The OtterBox Symmetry case for the iPhone 6/6 Plus is in the middle of the spectrum of protection. It affords more cushioning than clear, thin polycarbonate cases, but not the ultimate protection of the OtterBox Defender. The style and materials are first-class.
There are times when one needs a middle-of-the-road case in terms of protection, but not middle-of-the-road in quality. The Symmetry case is one of those. It employs a thick, dual-material construction (synthetic rubber inside and a soft, textured polycarbonate outside) that looks good, slips on securely, comes off easily, and affords pretty good cushioning against a modest drop.
This case contrasts strongly to the iLuv Vyneer, previously reviewed. The Vyneer is mostly transparent, affords only modest protection, and the Sleep and volume buttons are exposed.
On the other hand, the OtterBox Symmetry is thicker, tougher, softer and the buttons on the sides of the iPhone (except for Mute) are covered. (The speaker, Lightning port and headphone/microphone ports on the bottom are left open. The Symmetry is basically one step up from the Vyneer in protection.
The textured rubber inside looks, feels and works great.
While the case is a handsome blend of two materials, there is a small price to be paid. The Apple logo is covered, the case adds some thickness all around, and the force needed to press the Sleep and volume buttons is greater. This is the the kind of case an active, young person might want who doesn't pamper the iPhone—someone for whom protection is more important than fashion—at least in the two-tone color schemes.
The textured polycarbonate back is good looking, has good grip.
The thicker, sturdier rubber and polycarbonate (bonded together) become evident in the weight, just about twice that of the Vyneer: 41.8 grams (1.48 ounces). There are five two-tone color schemes available immediately: Black, Glacier (shown above), Blue Print, Damson Berry and Teal Rose. Shipping later are four more stylish, patterned designs that may be appreciated by many women.
Available fairly soon, with patterns, for US$5 more.
The packaging is the usual for OtterBox: an outer paper shell with a clear plastic tray inside to hold the case. It's clearly marked for the iPhone model, in this instance, 4.7-inch. There is an identical Symmetry case for the iPhone 6 Plus.
Packaging is clearly labelled, describes features on back.
The very small pamphlet suggests installing the iPhone feet first, and that's fine. But then it suggests removal but prying the top of the case off first. I think that's a mistake because the material on the top is less pliable. At the bottom, there are apertures for the various ports, so the bottom edge is easier to peel away.
There is a one year warranty and shipping is free.
The texture of the outer polycarbonate makes for a great grip, yet it is smooth enough to go into and come out of a pocket easily.
There is a raised edge that wraps around to the the front so that you can safely lay the iPhone 6 face down. It doesn't obscure any part of the display. As is customary, no matter the color, there is a blackened anti-glare section around the camera port.
This case can be removed in seconds, and that's helpful for customers who are constantly changing cases. Also, the case is about a centimeter (0.4 inch) taller than the bare iPhone 6, so if you're using a belt holster that's already a tight fit, beware.
I believe this case is a great choice for most customers. It provides very good all around protection, good grip, protects the Sleep and volume buttons, looks great, slips on and off easily, and the materials and fit and finish are excellent. The marketing theme is spot on: "balancing protection and style."
While the Symmetry case will bend, the way the case's edges grip the iPhone 6 adds an additional layer of strength. It seems to me that the iPhone 6, in this case, is stronger and more resistant to bending (if it ever was) than either component by itself.
If only there were an opening to show the Apple logo, I might make this my current iPhone 6 case of choice. But that would compromise the strength and protection afforded. The bottom line is that every case is a compromise, designed to meet varying needs. This one strikes a great balance of protection, minimalism and style.