OtterBox’s new box offers a battery, speakers, Square reader and other swappable functionality

, OtterBox’s new box offers a battery, speakers, Square reader and other swappable functionality, Innovation ΛI

I speckled an OtterBox box on a sight float in this morning that some-more or reduction reliable my feelings about a company’s products: big, massive and protective. Swaddling one’s phone in an OtterBox box for a New York City transport float is a smartphone homogeneous to wearing a bulletproof vest in public. It’s kind of worried and somewhat awkward, yet hey, we never know, right?

But while there will always be a place for hyper-protective cases (I know what we wish my phone in a subsequent time we go crab fishing), a association has clearly been looking for a approach to offer protection yet effectively encasing a thing in Lucite.

OtterBox took stairs toward shedding that picture with a launch of a commuter array and a 2013 merger of LifeProof, a San Diego-based company that has mostly finished a good pursuit conceptualizing protecting cases that do a excellent pursuit charity insurance yet adding too many bulk.


In a undressed form, a uniVERSE some-more closely resembles LifeProof’s outlay than a arrange of thing many of us have come to associate with OtterBox, and a repute we met with forward of a product’s proclamation was discerning to indicate that out. This isn’t a customary water, dirt and drop-proof transport we’ve come to design from a box maker. It’s many slimmer and, if we do contend so, improved looking than many of OtterBox’s other offerings.

There’s still some plain fender insurance in a corners — adequate to strengthen a phone from a customary left-handed dump on a side. With a shade and bottom entirely exposed, however, it’s not going to be many insurance from water, dirt and a like. But for once, that’s not unequivocally a point. The point, as a matter of fact, is on a behind of a case: that small square of cosmetic that slides out that I’ll substantially finish adult losing within a initial 5 days of owning a phone.

Or some-more precisely, a indicate is what slots into that spot: a battery pack, a selfie stick, a storage-extending dongle, Bluetooth speakers. The sky’s a limit, really, and OtterBox is entrance out of a embankment with an considerable set of accessories for a iPhone/iPhone Plus box helped along by some high-profile partnerships. Polar has combined a lion’s share of the plug-ins here, yet other partners embody a label reader from Square, Olloclip’s four-in-one lens. Influx’s Wi-Fi upholder and Seek Thermal’s thermal imaging camera.


The box starts at $50 and a accessories unequivocally run a gamut, from a $20 mobile wallet to a 128GB chronicle of SanDisk’s iXpand Flash Drive, that runs $120 (the same MSRP as a standalone version).

The uniVERSE isn’t a initial modular smartphone box we’ve seen. In fact, Olloclip introduced a possess take on a space final year. But OtterBox’s case-making expertise and a eagerness to work directly with a series of other companies has resulted in a sincerely constrained product. It’s not ideal — a battery container is awkwardly made and a speakers don’t sound great, yet a whole complement slots together nicely, and there’s something to be pronounced for not carrying to settle for a one-trick case. Of course, as with any phone case, there’s still a small mental arithmetic to be finished with regards to either a complement is value your while.


For starters, how many of a opposite functions do we devise on regulating regularly? we could positively see myself regulating a battery and, occasionally, a speaker, yet we cite a standalone Bluetooth sound system. And in a box of a series of a products like a iXpand Flash Drive, being built into a box doesn’t offer a outrageous advantage over removing a product as a standalone.


Still, it’s a constrained product — and one that will usually turn some-more so as some-more partners and products are announced.

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