When it comes to protecting your brand new Pixel 2, there might be no better option than those from OtterBox. But that added protection from drops and other forms of damage means a thicker and robust case. Let’s see if the pros outweigh the cons…

OtterBox Symmetry Clear |

Out of the box, it’s immediately apparent just how protection the OtterBox Symmetry case brings to the table. This case features a combination of rubber and polycarbonate formed together into a single one-piece design. What this means is that the back part of the Symmetry is extreme hard plastic while the lip that encases the phone is a softer material.

OtterBox writes on its website that the Symmetry case features “easy installation” which I found kind of untrue. Despite the softer edges, to snap the Pixel 2 into the case, I had to exert more force than I was comfortable using.

In hand, the Symmetry case with the Pixel 2 feels solid. There is something about it that makes you feel safe dropping your smartphone and knowing that it won’t suffer at all. The rubber lip sits on top of the edge of the handset so that if you either set it face down or drop it, your display will be mostly protected. Unfortunately, though, with the rigid plastic comes exceptionally stiff power and volume buttons.

In the looks department, I personally didn’t like the Symmetry Clear option. I’m not usually a fan of clear/see-through cases because they show so many fingerprints and the Symmetry is no different. Thankfully, OtterBox makes the Symmetry case in other colors if the clear option isn’t for you.

Purchase the OtterBox Symmetry Clear case made for the Pixel 2 for $40 |

Purchase the OtterBox Symmetry Clear case made for the Pixel 2 XL for $50 |

OtterBox Defender |

The OtterBox Defender series case is just about the opposite of the Symmetry. Instead of a single shell, this case has a polycarbonate casing that must be constructed onto the Pixel 2. It is then encompassed with a softer rubber slipcover that protects the entire handset, including its corners and edges.

It has two main differences when compared to the Symmetry case, and one of those is the dust cover. To make sure lint and other debris don’t get into the USB-C port, there is a rubber flap that must be moved out of the way to charge the Pixel 2. It isn’t much, but I do worry about it tearing off with excessive use over time.

The second difference is the built-in plastic screen protector. This part is permanently attached to the hard plastic frame. Fortunately, if you don’t like this, it isn’t included in the Defender case for the Pixel 2 XL. You’re stuck with it on the smaller Pixel 2.

So, should you buy the OtterBox Defender? Yes, but only if you really need a ton of protection from drops and other forms of damage. This case adds a lot of thickness to the Pixel 2, but that won’t stop you from using the Active Edge.

Oh, and if you’re going to be dressing up as an IT system admin for Halloween, this case is perfect for you as it comes with a belt holster.

Purchase the OtterBox Defender case made for the Pixel 2 for $50 |

Purchase the OtterBox Defender case made for the Pixel 2 XL for $60 |


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About the Author

Justin Duino

I’m a writer for 9to5Google with a background in IT and Android development. Follow me on Twitter to read my ramblings about tech and email me at justin@jaduino.com. Tips are always welcome.