After about 2 weeks or terror keeping my naked SIII safe from falls and scratches, a new crop of cases has finally arrived! First up for reviews is a slim number from SEIDIO called the ACTIVE case. We reviewed this model for the iPhone recently, but now here is one for the rest of us.
I’ve used a number of SEIDIO products to date, and can say that they have been one of my go-to companies for protecting my phone. One of my favorites was the CONVERT for my HTC Thunderbolt which was a beefy monster that held up superbly to the high level of stress I put my phones through. I’ll say up front that I’m BRUTAL to my phones, so the CONVERT really had to hold its own. So when I saw the ACTIVE, I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t stand up, what with it’s thin silicon sleeve and plastic shell, but I put on a brave face and strode once more unto the breach (that’s Shakespeare, right there. CLASSY).
I was pleasantly surprised by the durability and protection offered by the ACTIVE case. The ACTIVE has most all of the best features from the beefier CONVERT; a silicon sleeve provides impact absorption, a hard plastic exoskeleton spreading the impact force out across the phone, raised ridge around the screen to provide some screen protection, and hard reinforcement on the phones edges. I think it would be safe to say that this case is simply a slimmer version of the CONVERT.
The combination of all of these features leaves your phone well protected from a variety of hazards. I’ve dropped my phone a couple times in this case, at least twice right on the corner, and still not a single scratch or dent in the phone. My only concern would be with drops where the phone lands flat on the screen; I’m not convinced the ridge they provided around the screen is enough to protect it from a drop more than a foot or so. I’m obviously not willing to test that theory, though.
This case, in general, offers no protection from environmental hazards, such as dirt/dust.sand, snow, or incidental water spray. One feature I do sorely miss from the CONVERT are the dust flaps that cover the ports around the phone. I find that dust and sand end up getting into these silicon skin phone cases very easily and mar up the phone’s surface. The dust covers over the ports reduced this significantly for the CONVERT.
Also, it is important to note that the case is not sold with a screen protector, so you’ll need to buy one separately if you don’t want to scratch that pretty glass.
In the end, the ACTIVE case provides some serious protection in a slim package. There’s just enough protection to make it useful in most all demanding indoor environments, but I would be weary of relying to heavily on it if you encounter a lot of dirt or water spray.
SEIDIO’s build quality on their cases has always been pretty good, and the ACTIVE with kickstand is no exception. The hard plastic exoskeleton has a slightly soft-touch feel to it which makes for a comfortable grip.
The silicon skin also has a soft-touch feel to it, which in the past has rubbed off on some of my SEIDIO cases. I don’t see any signs of this happening with this case yet, but I doubt that the material has been changed, so it may still occur with more usage.
Functionality is really where this case shines over the CONVERT and makes for a more broadly appealing case that is useful in every day life. It is very simple to put on and take of the phone as needed and does not increase the thickness of the phone considerably, adding a little over 4mm to each dimension. I honestly think the Galaxy S III needs the extra thickness though; it was just way too thin for me to start with.
Though I complained about the lack of port/camera covers above, the open access to all the ports is a plus for functionality of the phone. You never have to worry about opening a flap to take a picture or plug in. It just makes life easier.
The metal kickstand is also a HUGE improvement over previous kickstands SEIDIO has included on their cases. The spring loaded hinge prevents the kickstand from being hyper-extended by an over-zealous user and damaging the hinge, making for a more user friendly experience. The magnetic retention also does a fine job holding the kickstand in its closed position.
These features, along with the change from plastic to metal, make this new kickstand far more durable than the previous stands. The previous plastic stands, in my experience, were prone to hyper-extension, bending, and eventually tearing out of their plastic foundation after extensive use. The base that the kickstand is recessed in is also metal, so I can’t see any possibility of breaking this model unless you really try.
One big down side for me on the kickstand is that it does not support portrait orientation as previous kickstands did. Because the hinge is spring loaded rather than snapping into place as the previous plastic ones did, the kickstand simply folds closed if you try to place the phone in a portrait orientation. To SEIDIO’s credit, they make it clear in the product description that portrait orientation wont work, but I still find myself missing it.
The SEIDIO ACTIVE is a great compromise for folks who want a bit more protection from a phone case but aren’t willing to deal with the bulk of many well known protective cases. Coming in at a $35 price point, the case is comparable to most reputable cases. Alternatively, if you like to wear your phone on a belt holster, the case can be bundled with the ACTIVE holster for an additional $10 (though I think they should throw in a screen protector for the price).
The ACTIVE is a great compromise between protection and comfort and is well suited to being kept comfortably in your pocket (if you aren’t wearing those silly skinny jeans…) for use around the house or office. I think that most average users would be pleased with the case over all.
- Minimal bulk
- Good impact/scratch Protection
- Solid build quality
- Only $21 on Amazon Prime
- No Dust/dirt/grime Intrusion Protection
- Kickstand Doesn’t Support Portrait Orientation
t3chniq’s final verdict: A solid compromise between protection, comfort, and convenience. Great for indoor adventures, avoid sand and dirt.
- Overall thickness of only 2.2 mm
- Magnetic kickstand provides convenience by easily snapping back in when not in use
- The interior casing is made of highly durable yet compact and lightweight polymer to absorb shock
- Arachnid design of the exoskeleton gives your device extra protection at the most vulnerable spots
- All controls and ports remain fully accessible and functional while in the case
- Compatible with ACTIVE® holster (not included)