OtterBox: the undeniable, global head honcho for protection of handheld devices. …But what a weird name! Sounds like a good name for some waterproof creation, but everyone knows OtterBox cases, with their thick silicone and/or polycarbonate edges, are more for protection against drops and falls.

Actually, it turns out that wasn’t always (and is no longer) true.

OtterBox-Armor-Series1

OtterBox Armor Series

OtterBox founder, Curt Richardson, started the company based on the concept of making certain technological devices waterproof—hence the name that at the time probably seemed like one of those self-explanatory marketing gems. As smartphones became prevalent, the company gravitated toward making generically ‘protective’ cases and waterproof was a criterion that fell by the wayside.

Enter LifeProof, the sleeker, some would say more stylish, line of smartphone and tablet cases that do what OtterBox cases cannot: make handheld devices waterproof. Finally, it seemed as though OtterBox had some real competition in the smartphone case market.

OtterBox reacted promptly to this sudden threat by simply… acquiring LifeProof. Nbd.

This venture was announced in late May, and by the end of June OtterBox debuted their new line: the Armor series. It’s waterproof! (Isn’t that sweet? Ricardson’s original brainchild has been re-realized in the ever-important arena of smartphone technology.)

But how does the Armor series really compare to the preexisting LifeProof case? Both cases are made to maintain function within 6.6ft of water. That is to say, they are equally waterproof. When it comes to drop protection, the Armor case boasts the ability to withstand 10ft drops onto concrete, while the LifeProof case protects against 6.6ft drops (magic number?). The OtterBox Armor case is also “crush proof” (up to 2 tons), something the LifeProof case specs don’t mention.

The gist is this: OtterBox took a hot young wife, LifeProof, and together they made an army of babies that are better than anything either company could have come up with alone—the Armor series.

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The youngest of three with two older brothers near in age, Elizabeth grew up pretending her teddy bear was an Ewok, watching Star Trek (The Next Generation), and letting her imagination run wild in the woods where all sorts of mystical creatures lurked. One thing led to another… and in May 2012 she graduated from Towson University with a Master of Science in Professional Writing. She’s been a high school teacher, an editor, and a writer, but at this point her primary role is wife to an uber geek with whom Elizabeth enjoys playing Wii U, streaming stuff on Netflix, and… sitting next to each other while he plays Guild Wars and she perfects their mansion on the Sims 3.