The Otterbox Defender Series for ipod 4S consists of several parts. Two separate plastic pieces snap onto either end of your iPod. The piece that includes the front of the case includes a plastic, use-through screen cover. The piece that includes the rear of the case sports a felt liner to protect your iPod's backside from case-induced scratches.
Snap those pieces together around your iPod, squeeze it tight to lock several tabs together, and you’re ready to put the silicon layer on. The silicon indeed feels soft and rubbery when it’s off your iPod, but once you stretch it over the case's plastic skeleton, the silicone feels surprisingly stiff. That’s neither complaint nor praise—the silicone simply feels like a smart way to protect the iPod from impact.
I’ve tested many rugged iPod cases, and too often they're very difficult to get on or take off the iPod. The Defender offers a welcome respite from that common frustration. Once you know how, there’s nothing difficult or time-consuming about either process, and you don’t feel like your fingertips are about to snap off during removal.
The Defender covers the iPod's Home, volume, and Sleep/Wake buttons with overlays of its own; each offers a satisfying use-through click. The case provides rubbery flaps to protect the iPod's headphone jack, Ring/Silent switch, and dock-connector port. I found the dock-connector port’s cover a bit fussy to lock into place when closing it, and it was annoying when it hung loose, though I got better at fastening it consistently over time. The other flaps worked acceptably
The Defender ships with a belt holster that can double as an iPod stand for video watching. For protection, Otterbox recommends that you store your iPod in the holster with the screen facing in—unless of course, you're using it in stand mode, in which case you flip the iPod around and allow the screen to face outward.
The rear of the case sports a circular cutout that reveals the Apple logo. I’m not a fan of this design choice, which is fairly common in iPod cases these days, but your preference may vary.
I didn’t fear for my iPod in the slightest when it was in the Defender. The case is strong, snug, and secure, and as an added bonus, it’s not a nightmare to put on and take off. It’s a fine choice for iPod owners who fear dropping and damaging their iPod.