The OtterBox Commuter Case for BlackBerry Tour 9600 Series

December 20, 2009

OtterBox Commuter Case

I was grasping for a terse explanation of the OtterBox Commuter, thinking what niche does this case fill(?).  OtterBox’s own marketing lingo sums it up – "It’s protection without the bulk."  Ah yes, that’s exactly what I was thinking – well almost – because you have to include the benefits of a hard outershell amongst its top attributes. 

A lot of folks do not like to carry their phone in a holster on the hip.  They prefer to ensconce the case inside a leather pouch that they can then drop in a bag or large pocket.  However, their justified fear is that it’s just a matter of time before they fumble the naked Tour while taking it out of the pouch and drop it on the ground.   What follows is a mild cardiac arrest as they check the device for damage!

Enter the Commuter case….

The OtterBox Commuter case falls somewhere in between the Impact Series and the Defender Series with the latter offering mega protection and the former providing semi-protection. This rugged case comes in two separate pieces: a rubber casing and an industrial plastic shell.  The rubber envelopes the device and the plastic shell easily assembles around the outside of the rubber casing, offering additional protection and a smooth surface.  Why is the smooth surface such a big deal?  Because it allows the device to rub "nicely" with its surrounding –  be they a leather carrying pouch, a pant pocket, a suit pocket or a purse. The rubber around the parameters feels solid in hand, offering a firm grip on the device.

Commuter VS. Defender

In our last OtterBox review we covered the Impact and Defender cases for the BlackBerry Tour. I commented on the bulkiness of the Defender case.  That’s one big noticeable difference between the two cases.  Unlike the Defender, inside the Commuter case the Tour keyboard and the screen are fully exposed but protected by (approx.) 2 – 3mm deep of surrounding rubber barrier. The Commuter comes with a screen protector but does not come with a holster.  So, if you want to carry the Tour on your person, sans a big pocket, you will have to pair the Commuter with another pouch case.

Defender (L) Commuter (R)
Defender (Top) Commuter (Bottom)


How does it pair with the OEM BlackBerry case?

First and foremost, yes the sleeping function works with this combination.  The Commuter fits snug inside of the OEM BlackBerry case that comes with the Tour (see pic) and would most likely fit very similarly inside any pouch case (with elastic sides) designed for the Tour.  However, most pouch cases have elastic sides which won’t allow for the leather to stretch and conform to the Commuter.  If you absolutely do not want to spend additional money, then I would say you can get away with this combination. If money isn’t an option, and you really want a great pouch to pair with the Commuter, then I would recommend an open-top, all-leather pouch like Nutshell. Nutshell’s leather will stretch over time and fit the Commuter like a glove.  

Commuter paired with OEM BlackBerry pouch


Also included in the package are a screen protector, installation card and dusting cloth.

Click here to purchase: $34.95

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