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If you’ve recently bought a brand new smartphone, you’ll naturally want to protect your investment with a reliable phone cover. Of course, you won’t be going for just any case. You want the most reliable from a reputable brand.

Otterbox is an American company based in Colorado that provides water-resistant, drop-resistant, and shock-resistant mobile cases. Otterbox Symmetry and Commuter cases are two of the most popular products from the company.

While both cases offer almost the same functionality, the main difference is that Symmetry cases are one-layered, while Commuter cases have two layers of protection. Otterbox Symmetry cases also feature beautiful designs and are available in different options, compared to durable Commuter cases.

If you are wondering which phone case is best for you, our team of tech experts has put together a guide to walk you through the differences between Otterbox Symmetry and Commuter. When you know the pros, cons, and features of each product, you can easily decide which one is best for your needs.

Otterbox Symmetry vs. Commuter: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Otterbox SymmetryOtterbox Commuter
LayerOne layer          Double layer     
DesignLots of color and variation            Limited block colors and no variation
ProtectionDrop-proof but doesn’t protect from dust and dirt       Drop-proof and protects from dust and dirt
Available models           OnePlus, Apple, Samsung, Google, Motorola, LG, Asus, and T-MobileAvailable for all phones, except for Asus and T-Mobile
ColorOcean Way, Black, Bespoke Way Blue, Ballet Way Pink, and many more            Black, Rock Candy Blue, Earl Grey, Cake Pop Pink
SizeThe case will double the size of your phoneThe case will double the thickness of your phone
Price$25-50, depending on the retailer$30-60, depending on the retailer

Otterbox Symmetry vs. Commuter: Overview

Otterbox Symmetry cases have beautiful designs and are well-suited for people who prefer nice aesthetics. Since they are single-layered, they are very easy to remove and install.

They also have a sleek design, can withstand drops thrice, and help protect your camera lenses and screen. Symmetry cases are also available in four options and come in 4 different colors, including Pop Pink, Earl Gray, Black, and Rock Candy Blue. The texture of the Symmetry case is very smooth and soft, which lets it easily fit into pockets.

Compared to Otterbox Symmetry, the Commuter series offers two layers of protection: a soft inner layer and a hard outside cover. These layers work together by both absorbing impacts and deflecting sharp objects.

The Commuter cases also have a charging port cover to ensure no debris gets into your charging port. Apart from the physical protection, some models feature an external case made of silver-based additives. This helps prevent common bacteria growth. Furthermore, the commuter cases come in four options and a changeable back. While the Commuter cases can fit well into your pocket, they are a bit difficult to adjust to the pocket area. Otherwise, they have a tight grip that makes them easy to hold and are also available in colors such as Ballet Way Pink, Black, Bespoke Way Blue, and Ocean Way. They also offer more protection in the long run compared to the Symmetry series.

Otterbox Symmetry vs. Commuter: 7 Must-Know Facts

  • Otterbox, the company that manufactures both Symmetry and Commuter phone cases, was founded on May 15th, 1998.
  • Otterbox Symmetry has lots of colors and variations like Black, Earl Grey, Moon Walker Graphic, and many more to choose from. The Commuter has limited block colors and no variations.
  • In addition to Apple, Otterbox provides cases for products by Google Nexus, BlackBerry, Amazon, Motorola, OnePlus, and more.
  • The Commuter offers better protection in two layers of protection compared to the Otterbox Symmetry, which offers only one layer of protection.
  • Both Otterbox Symmetry and Commuter come with a warranty. All Otterbox products are eligible for warranty replacements within one year of purchase from a verified retailer or outlet.
  • Otterbox Symmetry might also provide a built-in screen protector depending on your phone.
  • Otterbox Symmetry is available in models like OnePlus, Google, Apple, Samsung, LG, Asus, Motorola, and T-Mobile. The Commuter is available in models for all phones, except for Asus and T-Mobile.

Otterbox Symmetry vs. Commuter: What Are the Differences?

While these phone cases are both made by Otterbox and share in some similarities, there are, of course, quite a few differences between the two.

Otterbox phone case
Otterbox phone cases are known to be highly strong, durable, and protective of your phone while being shock-resistant and dust-proof.

©Random NZ Photography/Shutterstock.com


If protection is your goal, the Commuter series is the clear winner.

Offering two layers of protection, this case works by absorbing impacts and deflecting sharp objects. It also has a port cover that protects your phone’s charging port from debris. On the other hand, the Symmetry case is single-layered and a lot slimmer which makes it easy to install and remove. Despite that, it still offers solid protection.

Beyond physical protection, some Commuter models have an external case made of silver-based additives that helps to stop microbial growth. Although this feature doesn’t protect your screen, it still prevents common bacteria from sticking to your case and being picked up by your phone.

Moreover, both of these cases are DROP+ rated. According to OtterBox, this rating can withstand drops thrice and is at par with military standards. They also both have raised beveled edges. This ensures that the screen and the camera lenses won’t be affected if you drop your phone.

Variety and Style

While the Commuter case currently has four options for the latest smartphones, including Black, Rock Skip Way (Blue), Riveting Way (Teal), and Maven Way (Pink), Symmetry offers three types of cases which include Symmetry case, Clear case, and Graphics.

The Symmetry comes with four color options: purple, resilience gray, black, and renaissance pink. You can also choose clear cases from designs such as Stardust Glitter, Marigold, Wallflower, Enigma, Impressive Floral, Wild Fauna, Strawbaby, Ombre Spray, and Plant Parent.

Available Models

Compared to the Symmetry series which is available for Apple, Samsung, Motorola, LG, OnePlus, Google, and Huawei, the Commuter series can be used to protect Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, LG, OnePlus, Google, T-Mobile, and TCL.

As for options, the Symmetry series offers more aesthetic options than the Commuter. For instance, you can select bright colors, like Rock Randy Blue and Cake Pop Pink. You can also go for patterns like the “shell-shocked” graphic, a pearlescent pink, ombre, or the “Moon Walker” graphic. So, in terms of versatility, the Symmetry series is the clear winner.


While the Commuter is the most durable, the Symmetry series takes the lead when it comes to design and style.

The Symmetry case is available with printed designs and offers more aesthetic options than Commuter, which only provides double protection. Coming with a slimmer physical shape, this case is more ergonomic than the Commuter. But, beyond that, its colors vary wildly depending on the phone model.


The Symmetry series is very smooth and soft and easily fits into the pocket. Since it provides less resistance, its buttons are also easy to press and control. On the other hand, the Commuter series has a bulky design and good grip that makes it drop-resistant, water-resistant, and shock-resistant. It also comes with a changeable back.

Color Options

The Symmetry series has 12 color options, like Bespoke Way Blue, Black, and Ballet Way Pink, compared to Commuter, with options such as Earl Gray, Cake Pop Pink, Black, and Rock Candy Blue. It also offers colors such as solid, clear, various leather colors, and solid two tones.

Otterbox phone case
Both Otterbox Symmetry and Commuter cases are sleek, versatile, and comfortable.


Pros and Cons of the Otterbox Symmetry

Easy access to chargeCan develop scratches
Raised screen bumper protects your screenLarge from regular case
Easy installation and removal 
More style options 
Pocket friendly 

Pros and Cons of the Otterbox Commuter

Dust and debris protectionA bit hard to press the button
DurableBulky frame
Easy installation and removalPlastic appearance
Raised screen bumper protects your screen 
Various color options 

Otterbox Symmetry vs. Commuter: Which One Should You Choose?

While both Otterbox Symmetry and Commuter cases are sleek, versatile, and comfortable, the main difference is that one offers more protection with less aesthetic appeal.

For instance, the Commuter series offers a dual-layer construction and the port cover over the lightning port. So, if you are looking for a higher level of protection, the Otterbox Commuter may be a better option. That said, the Commuter will provide you with extra grip so that your phone doesn’t fall easily.

While both cases offer amazing protection, commuter cases are more protective from dirt, being dropped, shock, dust, and scratches. It is also very much durable in the long run. If protection is your thing, the Commuter is the best option. But, if you want something stylish with more options, you should go for the Otterbox Symmetry.

You can find the Otterbox Symmetry case on Amazon for the iPhone here, and the Commuter case for the iPhone here.


Otterbox Symmetry vs. Commuter: Full Comparison with Specs FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Which one is more durable, the Otterbox Symmetry or Commuter?

While Otterbox is known for producing high-quality products, the Commuter series has an advantage in terms of durability. Since it’s meant for heavy-duty usage, it can definitely outlast the Symmetry series.

Do Otterbox phone cases have warranty?

All Otterbox products come with a 1-year warranty, provided you purchase them from verified vendors and retailers. However, since the company doesn’t cover your phone screen, you cannot ask for screen replacement alongside your faulty phone case.

Will my Otterbox Symmetry or Commuter overheat my phone?

No. Ideally, your phone shouldn’t produce any heat but, if it does, it means there is an issue that must be resolved as soon as possible. So whether you have Otterbox Symmetry or a Commuter phone case, your phone will not overheat.

Are Otterbox Symmetry or Commuter phone cases waterproof?

While neither of the cases is waterproof, cases such as the Commuter series and Defender case series will offer maximum protection against dust.

How good is Otterbox iPhone case?

It’s sturdy, comfortable in your hand, not too tough to get in and out of a pocket, and gives a very good amount of protection all around.
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