There are many cases appearing for Apple's iPhone, but none more resilient than those offered by Otterbox, which is famous for its ultra-rugged phone, iPod and PDA cases.

For the iPhone Otterbox offers two cases, with macho names to boot: Armor and Defender. Each is packaged in a box that suggests potential users are rough-country runners, soldiers in combat, ER doctors, surfers and construction workers – an intrepid version of the Village People, perhaps.

Unlike the Armor case - which is built like a tank, completely obscures the stylish design and doubles the weight of your fancy Apple mobile - the OtterBox Defender is more sleek and only semi-rugged. (It is available in jet black or black with fancy yellow bits.)

But like the bomb-proof Armor it provides complete user interaction with the iPhone's volume controls, camera, and touch-screen functions (via a protective membrane) – and additionally includes access to the dock connector. (The Silence switch is not usable through the case.)

Its protection is built up in three layers: the iPhone sits in a hard plastic case, which is then covered in a silicone jacket for better grip and drop protection. A further hard plastic holster includes a robust if rather bulky swivel belt clip.

The Defender is water-resistant but not fully waterproof, so does protect against light rain and spray but not a dunk in the ocean.

Or try this: Otterbox Armor iPhone case

OUR VERDICT

The Otterbox Defender offers sturdy and robust protection for the iPhone (it is not compatible with the iPod touch) without completely hiding at least the shape of the stylish mobile – and you can remove it from the holster when carrying around away from your trusty belt. If you're often in fairly rough or precarious environments, it should stop most bumps and drops from damaging the iPhone.

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