Is it a difference of price and quality between the two? Or, are there other things you should consider?
That’s exactly what we’ll break down in this article. The average phone’s durability has increased over the years, but a single drop on a hard surface can be a costly repair or replacement.
Rather than paying for a pricey replacement, however, you can opt to for a cost effective alternative to safeguard your phone from accidents or hazards with rugged phone cases.
Bottom Line Summary Up Front Summary: The best choice will depend on your preferences and individual situation. But, our recommendation overall is to stick with a proven brand (with a great reputation, customer service, and durability) and go with an Otterbox case here.
But, what price should you pay? That’s the question we’ll attempt to explore through our Spigen vs Otterbox breakdown.
We’ll go over each company’s products, their features, pros and cons, and question any other queries you may have. In short, we’ll help you distinguish between the two brands so you can pick which one is worth your coin.
Main Differences Between Spigen vs Otterbox Cases
The main differences between Spigen vs Otterbox Cases are:
- Spigen cases have a greater product range, whereas Otterbox has comparatively fewer models
- Otterbox cases are more durable and shock-resistant, whereas Spigen cases are relatively less tough
- Spigen cases are relatively cheaper, whereas Otterbox cases are a premium protective case brand
- Otterbox cases uses higher-quality material, whereas Spigen cases are budget innovations
While we’ve outlined the main differences, there are a couple of details you need to know in order to make a confident decision.
Exploring Spigen vs Otterbox cases – Features
When it comes to design, both companies focus on creating products to fit a wide array of personal preferences while still providing protection. As such, Spigen has 10 product categories having 1-4 variations in them to meet the aesthetic and lifestyle of its customers.
It focuses on providing functional designs that provide an overall luxury feel. The covers have a dual-layer design with a flexible TPU layer and a hard outer plastic shell.
Combined these should reinforce any vulnerabilities a phone has to stay fully secured even under high-impacts.
It also adds other practical elements to its design, such as a textured back for an easy grip or a kickstand for added user comfort.
Similarly, Otterbox cases are also built using a design-plus-functionality ethos; but they take a different approach. Utility to the customer is provided by its sheer strength and shock-resistance while aesthetics is at the back.
The company uses military-grade standards to ensure its quality and it by far offers the best protection due to its high-quality materials and construction.
Some of their cases also have a two-part shell, but each is composed of a rigid plastic jacket that covers a rubber bumper layer. Resultantly, these cases are much denser with a little extra bulk compared to its counterpart.
A textured back isn’t necessary as a safety precaution, but it helps. Also, a good textured design can help elevate your cover’s overall looks, as opposed to the rather standard and simple smooth backs.
Most Spigen cases have a smooth back with a few design elements to provide some intrigue. But, even as an affordable option, the brand is able to provide a few textured back phones. Such as the Spigen Liquid Air and Neo Hybrid.
Notably, however, the cases have that TPU covering which does help provide some grip to the phone. On the other hand, most Otterbox cases also primarily have a non-textured back.
But, they do have a soft-touch, grippy edge for a comfortable hold. It also has a bezel for some added protection. Its textured background line-up includes Otterbox Defender series, Otterbox Strada and Otterbox Figura. Therefore, if you’re looking for a textured back, both Spigen and Otterbox have some models to offer.
So, how do Spigen cases fare against Otterbox in terms of protection?
When going outdoors, having some necessary safety precautions is a must. But how much protection do you actually need?
Spigen and Otterbox offer different levels of protection to users. According to the company, Spigen does use military-standard materials to craft its protective case. Its double layer protection is meant to provide smart protection by securing common weak points phones have.
The hard case back allows breaks in impact between the surface and phone, whereas its TPU layer absorbs shocks. It essentially utilizes air cushion technology and pairs it up with an inner spider web pattern which provides its protective capabilities.
Overall, Spigen offers good-looking cases that use innovative built with some good materials to provide some solid protection.
Otterbox cases are, however, simply durable without comparison. If you’re prone to dropping your phone or are always climbing heights, Otterbox cases are undoubtedly the safest options. While there are various types of cases, each is able to provide heavy-duty protection to the end-user.
Their premium cases, such as the Otterbox Defender series, have a thick, heavy case for multi-layered protection. Unlike Spigen, Otterbox goes a step further to cover each and every button so your phone stays protected from any environmental hazards.
Another differing feature is Otterbox’s built-in screen protector that encases a phone inside its covers to secure it within its fold. There are screenless options available, however, which have a raised lip to keep the phone’s display safe. All-in-all, Otterbox covers provide more protection against scratches, dings, shock and other accidents.
This brings us to the practicality of each phone and their real-life application as per your lifestyle. It might be tempting to simply jump ahead and buy the more protective case, but convenience is also a factor to keep in mind.
Picking the right phone case requires looking at how functional the case will be for you. For example, both Spigen and Otterbox offer wallet options for individuals who need a little cash or their card on them while they’re on the go.
But, due to their different construction, you may have a different experience with each company’s products. Spigen offers a single cardholder option with its Slim Armor CS, or provides a multi-layered wallet with its Spigen Wallet S case. Even within the two products by Spigen, there is a variance in bulk and functionality.
Whereas, Otterbox Strada allows you to carry up to 2 cards in its functional fashion protective case. However, it does not offer the same solid-protection as its other products. There are additional feature offerings to take into account as well.
Otterbox offers in-built PopSockets with some of its models, whereas Spigen’s flagship Tough Armor series comes with a functional kickstand. Depending on your preference and phone usage style, you may like to go with one or the other.
On the other hand, Spigen cases have a slight edge over Otterbox cases when it comes to functionality. The bulk in Otterbox cases can make them difficult to store in your pocket or use with holders. This may or may not be a deal breaker for some outdoor enthusiasts depending on their phone usage.
Coming towards their compatibility, Spigen and Otterbox have similar offerings, which include smartphones such as:
- Apple phones from iPhone 5 till SE (2nd gen)
- Apple accessories such as Airpods, Apple Watch, and iPods
- iPads from 5th gen till iPad Pro (4th gen)
- Samsung Galaxy from S10 till S20
- Google, Motorolla, LG, Microsoft, Amazon, Huawei, One Plus, and many others…
Therefore, regardless of which protective phone case you ultimately decide to choose, you likely will find an option for you. They also offer additional protective cases for some other tech gadgets.
How to fit the Spigen and Otterbox Cases onto your phone
Given the different construction of Spigen and Otterbox cases, they have different set-up methods.
Spigen is as simple as slipping your phone inside the cover to keep it safe and secure. Where, Otterbox is slightly different. To fit an Otterbox case on your phone, you’ll need to:
- Separate the two Otterbox case layers from each other
- Insert your phone inside its back section
- Place the top frame on top
- Press edges down to latch them on securely to your phone
Notably, however, some Otterbox cases, such as the Figura Series, employ the simple slip in technique to help secure your phone.
Comparing Spigen vs Otterbox Cases – Pricing
If you’ve checked out Spigen and Otterbox cases before, this is where you’re likely stumped. Both companies have a vastly different price point with Otterbox cases being more premium while Spigen cases having a more affordable price.
However, the price for each is only right depending on the value you can get from them. When comparing the offerings of the two companies, they have quite a lot of similarities and differences. Otterbox has a superior protection with other added traits to add value to its overall package.
That said, given the construction, features and quality, Spigen does seem to hold on its own.
Spigen vs Otterbox Cases – Pros and Cons
- Durable, light-weight and fashion-forward
- Affordable price
- Easy-to-hold grip with its TPU layer
- Comes in many different style and color options
- Can include kickstand
- Compatible with all major phones.
- Quality of materials complements its low price
- Jack and button cut-outs can be improved
- High-impact durability with its heavy-duty shell
- Multi-layered protection
- Can include PopSocket
- Button and jack cutouts perfectly line up
- Comes in various styles and designs
- Difficult to store due to its added bulk
- Can clog up opening overtime with lint or dust
Are there any alternatives?
Speck Presidio Grip
If you’re concerned about having a good grip on your phone, the Speck Presidio Grip may be an option worth considering. It is a rather thin case, but its back is covered in raised ridges which provide it an excellent grip.
There is slight padding on its edges that provide extra corner protection. Additionally, the case is a dual-layer construction which makes it shock-resistant. In fact, the company claims your phone can survive a drop from 10 ft with the Speck Presidio Grip. As an added bonus, its back is covered with anti-microbial technology which eliminates 99% bacteria and keeps your phone clean at all times.
Further Read: Speck vs Otterbox Cases Compared.
UAG Plasma Case
Don’t be fooled by its light-weight feel, this phone does not compromise on protection. It has a look similar to the Ottorbox Defender series while still being less bulky.
It offers rugged protection and uses a multi-layer construction to ensure your phone stays intact even when dropped from a height. Although its design and look may not be for everyone, the UAG Plasma has been made with the modern adventurer in mind.
With its premium materials and thought out build, you’re sure to have a durable case that gives you ease of mind.
Frequently Asked Questions about Spigen vs Otterbox Cases
Both companies are reliable names in the protective phone case industry with numerous positive reviews. As such, you should rest assured that either option will be able to safeguard your phone from most accidents or hazards. Spigen offers its innovation drop-defense technology to guard your device throughout your day. It has intentionally chosen a sleek exterior to set itself apart from the crowd and instead, chosen to reinforce its cover with the strategic use of materials. On the other end is Otterbox, which has used military-grade standards to develop durable products that can withstand nearly anything. Otterbox has information about their drop testing which you can read more about on their Certified Drop Protection page.
Protective phone cases differ from the fashionable ones more readily available in the market–even if they look rather eye-catching themselves. These phone covers are built to last. While neither company gives a certain period to estimate how long they’ll last, that in itself should tell you everything. As long as you’re keeping good care of it to ensure there are no unnecessary damage, the phone cases should last you a while. Additionally, if you’re worried about your phone case looking old, choose one of the solid color, textured-back options to minimize wear and tear.
The slip-on-and-off covers are easy to take off when you want to. Due to their construction, they shouldn’t slip out without your intervention. As for Otterbox cases which encases your phone, the company provides a tool to take the cover off in case you need to.
Neither Spigen nor Otterbox cases are waterproof. Given most phones are either water-resistant or waterproof, the companies focus more on providing shock and impact protection instead.
Both Spigen and Otterbox offer a wide range of options for various smartphones. Although their entire range might not be available for your particular smartphone, the two companies have ensured all major brands are catered to.
Similar to their smartphone selection, both companies do offer a wide variety of options for tablet users.
Our Verdict: Spigen vs Otterbox Cases – Which is better?
In short, our Spigen vs Otterbox review notes significant differences between the two, but which do we recommend?
All outdoor adventurers need the right tools and it can be a huge comfort to know that your phone is safe and secure at all times. If you are mainly concerned with price, Spigen cases are a decent option here.
However, Otterbox offers great durability with premium features and overall modern look. It might not always be as cheap as a Spigen case, but they have options for everyone, from durable tough cases to minimalist protective cases. They have really mastered the market for rugged phone cases.
Spigen is still a good brand for discount cases. Basically, if you can’t afford the “real deal” Otterbox case, Spigen will do the job for most users.
That said, Otterbox is not a compromise option by any means. Its durability is unparalleled on the market and it stands on its own. If you are a risk-taker who needs a phone cover that will provide maximum protection, Otterbox is the right option for you.
Bottom Line Summary: The best choice will depend on your preferences and individual situation. But, our recommendation overall is to stick with a proven brand (with a great reputation, customer service, and durability) and go with an Otterbox case here.
David is a strong advocate of outdoor-related activities and has many years experience backpacking and hiking around the world, including the Italian and Austrian Alps in Europe as well as central and southern Asia. Locally, he has also led many groups cycling through Vermont, Nova Scotia and Wisconsin. David constantly uses and tests the latest gear for the outdoors, which in turn allows him to help others make more informed buying decisions.