A lot of people ask me about cases for phones, and I tell them, “if you’re clumsy, get a case. If not, don’t.” But not all cases fit into that utilitarian category. The Galaxy Nexus is a stunning phone, without a doubt, and its back cover is rather slippery, but I have a found a case that actually makes the outfit look better.
The Otterbox Commuter case, a series of which I have reviewed quite a few lately, stakes its claim on being as low-bulk as possible while maintaining a rigid enough polycarbonate exterior to protect against impact. As with all versions of the Commuter, there are three parts to the case: the inner silicone, outer hard shell, and an optional dry-apply screen protector.
Since the Galaxy Nexus is a bit thinner and taller than the iPhone 4S, the Commuter case arguably fits it better. Though it adds 2mm of width to the 8.9mm body the phone, inside the snug case, feels far more comfortable to hold in the hand.
The bottom microUSB and headphone ports are covered in silicone flaps, protecting them from the elements, but they open in the reverse direction to most other Commuter models. The left-side volume rocker and right-side power button are extended slightly past the exoskeleton, and respond with a satisfying reverb. The phone’s backing mimics a wood grain, and opens up for the camera, speaker and microphone.
The silicone insert extends a couple millimetres past the front glass, too, ensuring that if the device is dropped on its face it will still be protected. And, because the phone’s bezel is already so thin the case’s minimal bulk doesn’t impede two-handed typing like I found on some other models.
Otterbox makes a Defender series case for the Galaxy Nexus, too, which adds considerably to the phone’s proportions. I find the Commuter case to be the best compromise, and unless you’re looking for colour or design flourishes, this is likely the Galaxy Nexus case to get.