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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Protect your investment in smartphones; How to handle a phone virus

Keep your Galaxy S4 well protected with this Otterbox.

High-end smartphones have become must-have items that are drooled over and lusted after whenever a new model is released. With so much marketing going on, many can’t resist the latest and trendiest smartphones.

However, in pursuit of designs which are sleeker and more ­lightweight to entice the crowd, manufacturers have compromised on the durability of smartphones.

Take for example Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S4. It’s a great lightweight smartphone with an amazing 5in screen squeezed into a sleek body.

This makes the bezel (the area between the edge of the phone and the screen) extremely small, making me worry that the ­slightest drop is going to ruin the screen. As smartphones today consist predominantly of the ­display, even the slightest damage to the screen will cost a significant amount to replace or repair.

As such, it is best to invest in a good casing for peace of mind. For me, a good casing is one that provides full protection around all edges of the phone, rather than one that looks fancy but leaves the corners of the phone exposed.

Enter the Commuter

Otterbox is a company well known for producing hard travel cases for all kinds of sensitive electronic equipment.

They have been producing a few different lines of full protective cases for most smartphone brands in the market. The Commuter series is one of their popular product lines, and here we have the Galaxy S4 version of the case for review.

More than just good looks

The casing itself is a two piece set up (three if you count the screen protector that’s included). It has a polycarbonate outer layer and a silicone inner layer which fits the S4 perfectly.

Unlike the more rugged Defender series, the Commuter is simple enough to assemble that you don’t have to read through a user manual or watch a video tutorial.

The review unit we received was an ocean blue colour. It’s a vibrant, striking colour but I’d have to say that it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I for one, didn’t fancy this colour.

The Commuter has flaps to cover both the audio port as well as the charging port. This is to protect the ports from dust and any other unwanted debris from entering and damaging the innards of the phone.

Build and feel

I appreciated the fact that the flap left enough room for my thick MHL adapter to be plugged in, something which was not possible with the Defender casing for another phone that I have tested.

However, at times it did feel bothersome to have to keep opening and closing the flaps, as I frequently needed access to the micro USB port to charge my phone.

I personally don’t fancy my devices being too thin, so the added bulk around the device actually made it feel better in my hand. I sometimes freak out when my pocket feels too light, only to find that my device is still in there, just that it isn’t heavy enough to be noticeable. The additional pounds that the S4 puts on with the Commuter makes its presence better felt in my pocket.

If there’s one other thing I don’t like about the review unit that I received, it is the material used for the casing. Having used other Otterbox products before, I was left a little disappointed with the texture of this Commuter casing, as it felt too cheap for its class. It gave me an impression that it wasn’t worth the price tag attached to it.

I didn’t have the heart to do any major drop tests with the device. I tried dropping the S4 from the most likely heights that a phone will be dropped from, such as when getting up from a seat as well as from a table top. As expected, the device was well protected by the casing.


The Otterbox Commuter is a protective case that provides full protection around the edges for your precious Galaxy S4. While it may not be the best looking casing in the market, it gives you peace of mind if you are a careless person by nature or someone who leads an active lifestyle.

However, we weren’t too fond of the way that the polycarbonate outer layer was designed as it felt a little too cheap.

While the flaps for the ports were appreciated, it did seem a little obtrusive at times.

Pros: Gives the S4 a more secure feel; protects all edges; screen protector.

Cons: Polycarbonate outer layer feels cheap; flaps for the port can be obtrusive.

Samsung Galaxy S4 protective case
Specifications: Silicone inner layer, polycarbonate outer layer
Other Features: Screen protector included
Dimensions (|W x D x H): 143.25 x 78.92 x 14.58mm
Weight: 45.35g
Rating: ***
Review unit courtesy of KWS
Distribution SdnBhd, or eamil 
- By Donovan Quek The Star

How to handle a phone virus 

Stay safe: Your phone is like your PC - only install apps that you trust

If you get a virus on your mobile phone, the best action to take is a factory reset. Most phones have this option, which returns your phone’s operating system (OS) to the state it was in when it left the factory.

With some phones, a factory reset will allow you to keep your personal data like pictures and music when resetting the OS. If not, you can also sync your phone with your PC after resetting to return your applications and data to your phone.

In the future, protect yourself against viruses by treating it like a PC — never install something you do not trust or recognise, and do not open suspicious text messages or e-mail messages.

It is also helpful to install antivirus software on to your phone, which can help prevent malware and alert you if you have been infected.

Recent data shows that Android malware has grown 580% between September 2011 and September 2012. Apple iOS malware is rarer, but it still important to protect yourself and use safe practices when connected online with your mobile device. — McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

28 Jun 2013
05 Jun 2013

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