Why choose between them? Get the best of both and more.
Both types of cases have their advantages. You can get the best of both by using a case that uses hard and soft layers. Otterbox cases have three layers of protection. First is a moisture barrier that most hard or soft cases don't offer. Next is a hard case. The third layer is a soft case. Its a bit bulky but your phone is ready to endure a lot of abuse.
My BlackBerry curve has been in an Otterbox for 7 months. In that time I have dropped it in snow while ice fishing, dropped it on concrete several times and has been exposed to rain. The 'Berry has suffered no damage.
The case kinda homely but I will take an ugly phone that works over a sleek looking, broken phone any day.
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