The rugged case market is big.
Otterbox knows this, and their Strada Folio and Symmetry Folio cases are their latest step in a strategy of addressing key market segments within the rugged case market, this time touching on the well dressed male, looking for elite protection but needing subtle style to work in a variety of settings.
This is not an adventurous crowd, and thankfully, this is not an adventurous effort. Simple, elegant, and true to the Otterbox brand, both the Strada Folio smartphone cases and the Symmetry Folio iPad cases don’t try too hard, offering build features that reflect an effort to build a stylish, yet timeless case.
The simple side is for us though, as actual case construction is quite complex. Both the Strada and Symmetry combine an impact-absorbing case shell with a leather or fabric (iPad only) flap. The case shells are made of bonded poly-carbonate and TPU, with the former providing protection on the back and sides and the latter rising up around the phone edges to provide impact protection, a lay flat ridge, and responsive buttons.
Lines, grooves, and textures in the shells are sharply defined, a result of the top quality injection moulds used by Otterbox. Port openings are large enough to support a variety of chargers and headphones, even flared outwards in an effort to be more accommodating. The case does not inhibit speaker volume on either the iPad or smartphones.
One area where these Strada Folio cases really impress is their prodigious use of leather. While the leather flap on the front is obvious, this leather piece extends all the way around the back of the device to cover the back. This does a couple of things. First, it gives the case an all-over leather appearance and second, it attaches securely, with plenty of support for the front flap and no clear stress point. Not only will your Folio case look and feel like a quality wallet, it will wear like one too.
The wallet features are all you need. The inside flap holds two cards and a bill, while a cutout in the back of the shell allow you to hide another emergency card or a couple of emergency bills.
The flap itself secures with a magnetic latch that features a chrome-embossed landing plate, a style element designed to remind you this is no ordinary case. The flap can also be folded around the back of the phone, sitting flat and once again attaching with the magnetic latch.
Made for iPad tablets, the Symmetry Folio cases carry a similar design to the Strada cases in that the leather/fabric material that comprises the flap wraps around and covers most of the back. It feels good in your hand, with substance and build quality that evokes the quality business accessories that preceded the tablet; the organizers, the underarm portfolios, and the briefcases that added something for the style conscious professional.
The flap is about 3 cm longer than the screen, allowing it to wrap around the tablet side edge and meet itself with a handy magnetic connection, ensuring it doesn’t accidentally fall open to expose the tablet screen.
The flap doubles as a stand, with interior ridges allowing for multiple viewing angles. The case can also swivel within itself, so it can stand up in either portrait or landscape position. Magnets in the flap activate the screen shutoff feature, so when it is closed you can be sure you are not over-consuming power.
Beyond these features, both the Symmetry Folio and Strada Folio cases stay true to the Otterbox brand, offering solid protection from impact and careless use. Users looking to project a sense of casual style without exposing their device to damage will have a difficult time finding a better option.