Aug 03 AT 1:11 PM Nick Gray 32 Comments

While most of us buy our phones based mainly on specs and which version of Android it is running on, there’s no denying that many of us have a keen eye for detail when it comes to hardware design. We love devices of various colors, sizes, and construction materials, but no matter how much we baby our precious handsets, accidents happen.

Unfortunately, the beauty of our beloved phones has to be sacrificed in the name of protection. We recently got out hands on a pair of Seidio smartphone cases for the HTC EVO 4G LTE to see if they could keep our phone safe without detracting too much from the handset’s aesthetics.

Seidio Surface

Price: MSRP $34.95, but you can find them on Amazon for less than $20.

Design:  If you’re looking to maintain the clean lines of you handset, the Seidio Surface should to the trick. This case is uniquely designed for each phone so that it minimizes its footprint and allows some of the original design of the handset to shine through. The case is made up of two pieces which lock into place once the handset is inserted.

In order to get the perfect fit, Seidio designs the Surface individually for every Android handset it supports. This means that the camera and speaker cutouts along with volume, power, and camera button covers are perfectly placed and optimized for every handset. The Seidio surface for the HTC EVO 4G LTE even features a special cutout for the handset’s kickstand which can still be used to prop up the phone.

Since we all have our own unique style, the Seidio Surface comes in five colors (black, glossed white, garnet red, royal blue and amethyst).

Protection: In order to deliver maximum protection in a slim profile, Seidio chose to make the case out of a hard plastic. This gives the phone a solid feel, but also has the benefit of a smooth surface which makes it easy to clean and slip in and out of your pocket. In an effort to test the handsets durability, we (carefully) dropped our EVO 4G LTE on the sidewalk from 12-36 inches. We’re happy to report that the phone suffered no damage.

Room for improvement: While the hard plastic of the Seidio Surface does an amazing job at protecting the phone, the case itself seems prone to scratches and dents quite easily. After using the case for a week (before we subjected it to our drop test), the case had incurred a few scuffs along the edges and a long scratch on the back.

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Seidio Active

Price: MSRP $34.95, but you can find them on Amazon for less than $25.

Design: If protection is your number one priority and you don’t really care what your phone looks like, the Seidio Active is probably a better option for you than the Surface. The Seidio Active uses a shock absorbing silicon case which wraps around the entire phone while the rubber exoskeleton locks both pieces into place by clamping over the four corners and edges of the device. While Seidio claims that the case is only 2.2mm thick, that thickness actually doubles since it wraps around the top edges of the phone as well.

While the Active may be all about protection, it does deliver some added functionality. The case comes equipped with a spring-loaded aluminum kickstand, allowing users to prop the phone up in landscape mode, just as you would with the EVO 4G LTE.

Like the Surface, the exoskeleton of the Seidio Active is available in five colors (black, glossed white, garnet red, royal blue and amethyst).

Protection: As mentioned above, the design of the Seidio Active is intended to maximize handset protection. The shock-absorbing silicon layer of the case creates a base later of protection which is then enhanced by the harder exoskeleton. Protected by the Seidio Active, the HTC EVO 4G LTE didn’t suffer any damage when we dropped it multiple times from shoulder height (roughly 5 feet).

Room for improvement: The kickstand on the back of the Seidio Active is a nice feature, but the construction materials make it feel like it was a bit of an afterthought. The super light aluminum and spring-loaded hinges made it feel like the whole thing would snap off if you accidentally dropped the phone while the kickstand was out.

Final Words

I’ve never been a huge fan of cases since I love to show off my smartphone’s design, but I’ve started looking at several options after scuffing up my personal HTC One S a few times. Both the Seidio Active and Seidio Surface did an incredible job keeping the HTC EVO 4G LTE over the past three weeks, but it’s hard to say which one is really better.  If I had to choose between the Seidio products, I’d go with the slim design of the Surface.

When it comes to choosing the right case, is it all about protection or does design play a more important role?

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • Puck

    You guys removed the full RSS option which is pretty bad, really really bad.

    Sincerely,
    A sad old reader.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      We had some people abusing our RSS feed so it has been turned into a limited feed while we address the issue. You can still subscribe to our daily newsletter that contains the full text of every post.

      • Puck

        I’m sorry for the problems and I hope you guys will fix this soon, I’ll have patience and click ’till then. Thank you for the feedback Taylor.

    • Matt

      They also got rid of there widget way back. i used to read that daily and then suddenly poof gone, i was told it would “be back soon” that was almost like a year or two ago.

  • amgala

    Loved my Seidio Surface case for my old HTC Droid Incredible, hated the Seidio Surface for my Galaxy Nexus. I didn’t like how the two pieces connected together, and the seam had some gaps. I bought a Speck PixelSkin case for my GNex and couldn’t be happier (other than no case, of course).

  • triangle

    I had Seidio surface cases for my OG Evo and Evo 3D. The case for OG Evo was OK, but not great as it got looser over time. I think they learned from this when they made cases for the Evo 3D and that one has been better. However, the finish on the case wears down over time, so you can definitely tell when a case is new vs. old/used.

    For my most recent devices, I tried out the Cruzerlite cases and I am definitely a fan. They are inexpensive, have a nice design and provide decent protection. They fit great and also have a nice grip on the sides of the phone, which I think is a nice touch.

    • catbom

      guys, michael phelps the famous weed smoker won his last medal ever

      • kazahani

        Who the hell has the time or inclination to troll Android and Me about Michael Phelps smoking weed? I mean honestly, who?

        I swear if this is some astro-turf campaign and there is a room of volunteers somewhere in the basement of a nondescript steel building trolling the internet about Michael fucking Phelps then I quit the internet!

  • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

    If I could choose any case for my phone, I’d buy a VajaCase (vajacases.com), but they’ve really cut back on the number of devices which they support. Right now they are only offering new cases for select Samsung devices.

  • Brandon Little

    I have switched from Otterbox to Seidio Active cases. Now my Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S 3 both have them

  • Clay G. Farnsworth

    Was this post sponsored by Seidio?

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      Seidio provided two cases for us to review, just like Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Sony send us new phones to review.

  • uknowme

    I have used the Seidio Surface cases for all my EVOs. I do HVAC and I’ve dropped them 15 feet, accidentally of course. I’ve never had any problems.

  • L. Kulick

    I recently purchased a Seidio Active case for my Samsung Galaxy S III. If I had it to do over again ,I would not purchase this case. The material they use to cushion your device is very slippery when you try to grip it. I constantly feel like the phone is going to slip out of my hand. It’s too bad they didn’t use a more traditional silicone material for the cushion part of the case.. Perhaps they can somehow treat their cushion material to make it feel tacky to the touch.

  • RocketDroid

    I’ve used the BestBuy version of the Seido Surface but did not feel it offered enough protection. I will have to try out the Active case to see how it compares to Otterbox.

  • ihatefanboys

    In my opinion the best case ive ever had was the case i got when i bought my ONE S from TMO. Not sure who made it, but its a hard rubberized case that claims that on impact, it hardens up to prevent damage. Ive dropped the phone several times accidentally and one time it even rolled end over end on concrete, the phone was fine, and the case wasnt even scuffed, marked, or anything. You would never believe it was dropped on concrete if i didnt tell you…

  • Dave Clary

    I’ve used several Seidio cases because I have also used several of their extended batteries, and that’s the only way to find one that fits. I’n a satisfied user although I wish their were more choices in case styles for big batteries.

  • Matt

    I dont use a case, but a Zagg Invisible Shield full body. the back of the shield gives off like a more grippy texture so it doesnt slip out of your hand so easily and they make an HD screen which gives a smooth glass like texture. It shows off the phones body and also helps protect it, also reducing smudges and finger prints. I use it on everything i have. Truely recommend it.

  • Tojen

    Had otterbox defender and trident cyclops for my atrix. Both are crap compared to the seidio convert. On my next phone I will just go with seidio from the get go.

  • Max.Steel

    Another sponsored post. It’s cool though. Gotta do what you gotta do to get that moola!!

    • Futureboy

      Did you even bother reading the entire article? A sure sign that it’s NOT a sponsored post is that the article clearly states pros AND CONS. No product manufacturer on the planet would pay someone for an article and let them say that one of their products scratches easily and the other is made with cheap parts.

      If you’re here long enough and actually read the articles, you will see that A&Me always does a good job of objectively reviewing gear, pointing out the good as well as the bad.

  • Alex Pitts

    I know for me, it’s a balancing act of design and protection. I want as much protection as possible, but I’ve found that it can add too much bulk to already large smartphones. It’s a fine line.

  • Anna-Maria

    Worst olympics ever? Sydney 2000 was fantastic and Beijing 2008 was great, but this one failz imho. What do you think

  • nrorm

    used seidio cases on my hero and evo3d. I’m using a ringke slim on my Gnex—barely looks like there is a case on it at all

  • cb2000a

    I tried a case, but did not like it at all. It made my Note much thicker and a little bigger. Staying with naked in pocket.

  • bobomb

    I love Seidio stuff. Been using it pretty much exclusively for a few years now. Got a case/holster for my Evo, along with a car dock that the phone fits in with case. Loved it. Got the same, minus car dock, for my Epic 4G Touch. Great stuff.

  • Vance

    The D30 case I got for my One S is phenomenal. I’ve never had a case, for all the reasons mentioned in this review, but when I tried this case on in the tmo store I was sold. It adds very little bulk to the device, is a good custom fit per device, and has a special silicon material on all four corners which is malleable and comfortable, but which becomes extremely hard on impact (adding extra protection of dropped). I got the clear case with neon orange corners and have to say the style and peace of mind make this case a must have for this and future devices in our home.

  • MoSDeeb

    I buy cases all the time and end up taking them off after a month or so. I will always be a fan of keeping the phone as is without adding any size. I try to protect my devices by being careful and have done a good job for years now.

  • http://www.jimtravis.com jimtravis

    Purchased the Seidio Active Case with Holster for the Galaxy Note. Like the concept when the Note case arrived, and ordered a case for the Galaxy Nexus. Within a week of its arrival, the Note’s Holster belt clip broke, and I had to return it for a replacement. Within a week of its arrival, the Holster belt clip for the Nexus also broke. Great concept, but the two I tried were not up to the task. I have used other brand cases for over a year without any problems; however, the Seidio holster clips have been total disappointments since they both broke within a week of use.

  • tylerfoy

    Nice looking case, otter box quality it looks like. Think I might pick one of these up! Thanks!

  • sbala

    really cool acessories

  • Traveler4God

    Thanks for your review of Seidio’s product; it’s nice to learn about what else is out there.

    I was able to purchase an Otterbox Commuter from AT&T for my Motorola Atrix 2 for $5 a few months ago. It’s very similar to the Seidio Surface in its sleek design but also has the two-part construction of the Seidio Active with the rubber inner campartment so I feel I’m getting the best of both designs of Seidio. The only thing it lacks in comparison is the kickstand which seems like areally nice feature from which I’d probably get some use.

  1. PuckGuest 3 years ago

    You guys removed the full RSS option which is pretty bad, really really bad.

    Sincerely,
    A sad old reader.

    • We had some people abusing our RSS feed so it has been turned into a limited feed while we address the issue. You can still subscribe to our daily newsletter that contains the full text of every post.

      • PuckGuest 3 years ago

        I’m sorry for the problems and I hope you guys will fix this soon, I’ll have patience and click ’till then. Thank you for the feedback Taylor.

    • MattGuest 3 years ago

      They also got rid of there widget way back. i used to read that daily and then suddenly poof gone, i was told it would “be back soon” that was almost like a year or two ago.

  2. Loved my Seidio Surface case for my old HTC Droid Incredible, hated the Seidio Surface for my Galaxy Nexus. I didn’t like how the two pieces connected together, and the seam had some gaps. I bought a Speck PixelSkin case for my GNex and couldn’t be happier (other than no case, of course).

  3. I had Seidio surface cases for my OG Evo and Evo 3D. The case for OG Evo was OK, but not great as it got looser over time. I think they learned from this when they made cases for the Evo 3D and that one has been better. However, the finish on the case wears down over time, so you can definitely tell when a case is new vs. old/used.

    For my most recent devices, I tried out the Cruzerlite cases and I am definitely a fan. They are inexpensive, have a nice design and provide decent protection. They fit great and also have a nice grip on the sides of the phone, which I think is a nice touch.

    • catbomGuest 3 years ago

      guys, michael phelps the famous weed smoker won his last medal ever

      • Who the hell has the time or inclination to troll Android and Me about Michael Phelps smoking weed? I mean honestly, who?

        I swear if this is some astro-turf campaign and there is a room of volunteers somewhere in the basement of a nondescript steel building trolling the internet about Michael fucking Phelps then I quit the internet!

  4. If I could choose any case for my phone, I’d buy a VajaCase (vajacases.com), but they’ve really cut back on the number of devices which they support. Right now they are only offering new cases for select Samsung devices.

  5. Brandon LittleGuest 3 years ago

    I have switched from Otterbox to Seidio Active cases. Now my Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S 3 both have them

  6. Clay G. FarnsworthGuest 3 years ago

    Was this post sponsored by Seidio?

  7. I have used the Seidio Surface cases for all my EVOs. I do HVAC and I’ve dropped them 15 feet, accidentally of course. I’ve never had any problems.

  8. L. KulickGuest 3 years ago

    I recently purchased a Seidio Active case for my Samsung Galaxy S III. If I had it to do over again ,I would not purchase this case. The material they use to cushion your device is very slippery when you try to grip it. I constantly feel like the phone is going to slip out of my hand. It’s too bad they didn’t use a more traditional silicone material for the cushion part of the case.. Perhaps they can somehow treat their cushion material to make it feel tacky to the touch.

  9. I’ve used the BestBuy version of the Seido Surface but did not feel it offered enough protection. I will have to try out the Active case to see how it compares to Otterbox.

  10. In my opinion the best case ive ever had was the case i got when i bought my ONE S from TMO. Not sure who made it, but its a hard rubberized case that claims that on impact, it hardens up to prevent damage. Ive dropped the phone several times accidentally and one time it even rolled end over end on concrete, the phone was fine, and the case wasnt even scuffed, marked, or anything. You would never believe it was dropped on concrete if i didnt tell you…

  11. I’ve used several Seidio cases because I have also used several of their extended batteries, and that’s the only way to find one that fits. I’n a satisfied user although I wish their were more choices in case styles for big batteries.

  12. MattGuest 3 years ago

    I dont use a case, but a Zagg Invisible Shield full body. the back of the shield gives off like a more grippy texture so it doesnt slip out of your hand so easily and they make an HD screen which gives a smooth glass like texture. It shows off the phones body and also helps protect it, also reducing smudges and finger prints. I use it on everything i have. Truely recommend it.

  13. TojenGuest 3 years ago

    Had otterbox defender and trident cyclops for my atrix. Both are crap compared to the seidio convert. On my next phone I will just go with seidio from the get go.

  14. Another sponsored post. It’s cool though. Gotta do what you gotta do to get that moola!!

    • Did you even bother reading the entire article? A sure sign that it’s NOT a sponsored post is that the article clearly states pros AND CONS. No product manufacturer on the planet would pay someone for an article and let them say that one of their products scratches easily and the other is made with cheap parts.

      If you’re here long enough and actually read the articles, you will see that A&Me always does a good job of objectively reviewing gear, pointing out the good as well as the bad.

  15. I know for me, it’s a balancing act of design and protection. I want as much protection as possible, but I’ve found that it can add too much bulk to already large smartphones. It’s a fine line.

  16. Anna-MariaGuest 3 years ago

    Worst olympics ever? Sydney 2000 was fantastic and Beijing 2008 was great, but this one failz imho. What do you think

  17. used seidio cases on my hero and evo3d. I’m using a ringke slim on my Gnex—barely looks like there is a case on it at all

  18. I tried a case, but did not like it at all. It made my Note much thicker and a little bigger. Staying with naked in pocket.

  19. bobombGuest 3 years ago

    I love Seidio stuff. Been using it pretty much exclusively for a few years now. Got a case/holster for my Evo, along with a car dock that the phone fits in with case. Loved it. Got the same, minus car dock, for my Epic 4G Touch. Great stuff.

  20. The D30 case I got for my One S is phenomenal. I’ve never had a case, for all the reasons mentioned in this review, but when I tried this case on in the tmo store I was sold. It adds very little bulk to the device, is a good custom fit per device, and has a special silicon material on all four corners which is malleable and comfortable, but which becomes extremely hard on impact (adding extra protection of dropped). I got the clear case with neon orange corners and have to say the style and peace of mind make this case a must have for this and future devices in our home.

  21. I buy cases all the time and end up taking them off after a month or so. I will always be a fan of keeping the phone as is without adding any size. I try to protect my devices by being careful and have done a good job for years now.

  22. Purchased the Seidio Active Case with Holster for the Galaxy Note. Like the concept when the Note case arrived, and ordered a case for the Galaxy Nexus. Within a week of its arrival, the Note’s Holster belt clip broke, and I had to return it for a replacement. Within a week of its arrival, the Holster belt clip for the Nexus also broke. Great concept, but the two I tried were not up to the task. I have used other brand cases for over a year without any problems; however, the Seidio holster clips have been total disappointments since they both broke within a week of use.

  23. Nice looking case, otter box quality it looks like. Think I might pick one of these up! Thanks!

  24. really cool acessories

  25. Thanks for your review of Seidio’s product; it’s nice to learn about what else is out there.

    I was able to purchase an Otterbox Commuter from AT&T for my Motorola Atrix 2 for $5 a few months ago. It’s very similar to the Seidio Surface in its sleek design but also has the two-part construction of the Seidio Active with the rubber inner campartment so I feel I’m getting the best of both designs of Seidio. The only thing it lacks in comparison is the kickstand which seems like areally nice feature from which I’d probably get some use.