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Seidio ACTIVE and SURFACE Samsung Galaxy S III Cases Review

on July 22, 2012 4:03 pm

Congrats on buying that brand new Samsung Galaxy S III. Now you probably want a case to protect it. I have 2 cases from Seidio for your consideration. They are the ACTIVE and SURFACE cases, which are available in multiple colors, with or without belt holsters and one even comes with a kickstand.

Note: Click the images in this review to see a larger view.

I’m going to start with the ACTIVE case, which comes with or without a kickstand and with or without a belt holster. I was sent the combo version with both the kickstand and holster.

The ACTIVE case is a two layer case that consists of a soft Black silicon skin style case and a more rigid snap on back cover that is available in 5 colors (Red, Black, Blue, Purple and White).

The interior skin is soft to the touch and provides shock absorbing protection. It takes little effort to install or remove. I should note that the volume and power buttons are covered by the sides of the skin. Special “buttons” molded into the skin allow you to access the features without difficulty.

You could use the SGS3 with just this skin if you wanted to. But snapping on the rubber coated back cover adds some extra protection and is easy to install and remove.

Cutouts for the camera lens, LED flash, microphone, earphone and USB connector allow you to use all the features of the phone while it is in this case.

The back cover is available with or without the kickstand feature. It’s an aluminum leg that folds out to prop up the SGS3 in landscape orientation. However, it is not designed to hold the phone in portrait orientation. A magnet embedded into the back side of the kickstand keeps it securely seated when not being used.

Available separately or with the Combo version of the ACTIVE, is the plastic belt clip holster. This is a full sized felt lined holster that holds the phone face-in. The strong spring belt clip can be rotated so that you can wear it as shown above or horizontally.

Another spring loaded clip at the top holds the phone securely in the holster while also providing an easy way to remove the phone.

As reviewed, the ACTIVE combo version of case is priced at $54.95.

The SURFACE case also comes with or without the belt holster, which is the same holster used with the ACTIVE case.

This case is comprised of two pieces that snap together. The case is rigid, but has a soft touch coating. The interior is lined in velvet.

To install the case, you just slide the bottom half on the phone, slide on the top half and snap them together. Easy right? Yeah I thought so too…

The SURFACE case is available in the same 5 colors as the ACTIVE case (Black, White, Red, Blue and Purple). I was sent the Black version. I liked this case and thought that if I ended up buying an SGS3 for myself, I might use this case with it full time. It adds very little bulk, while providing extra grip.

All the buttons and ports are accessible and the camera lens has some extra protection.

I liked this case a lot until it came time to take it off so that I could box up the loaner phone to send it back to Verizon. Since the case was so easy to install, I didn’t think it would be hard to remove. Boy was I wrong. I tugged, pulled, huffed, puffed and almost resorted to using screw driver to pry the pieces apart. I finally gave up and gave it to Jeanne to see if she could get the case to come apart. She had no luck either. I will say that the Samsung Galaxy S3 is one tough phone for putting up with the man handling that we gave it. Even though it feels a little too plasticy for my liking, it’s pretty darned rugged. I finally gave it to my friend Bill and after a few minutes of grunting, he managed to get the case to come apart. Whew!

So even though I like this case, I wouldn’t recommend one because they are just too hard to remove.

As reviewed, the SURFACE combo version of case is priced at $49.95. If you don’t care about a belt holster, both cases are priced at $29.95 when purchased without one.

 

Product Information

Price:$29.95 - $54.95
Manufacturer:Seidio
Requirements:
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 Smartphone
Pros:
  • ACTIVE is available with or without a kickstand
  • Belt holsters are rugged and can be worn in portrait or landscape orientation
Cons:
  • SURFACE case is much too hard to remove

Comments

  1. 1
    Jake says:

    So Julie, now you’ve tested your GSIII and have had to send it back will you renew your contract with Verizon now or wait for the next Gen iPhone? I say as a test for you, try and get yourself an old Palm Treo and see if you can use it as your main phone for a month… Then write about using a phone that old and what restraints you have had vs. A new smartphone now… Just a suggestion… ;)

  2. 2
    Julie says:

    @Jake Ha! That might be a fun experiment! Not sure I could do it for a month though. I’m not sure it would sync with google for all my contacts, calendar and mail.
    I just looked in my drawer o’gadgets and found a Treo 650 for Sprint (I loved that phone!) and a 680 which might be Verizon. It doesn’t have a SIM card, but it also doesn’t have the Verizon logo on it.

  3. 3
    Jake says:

    @Julie Okay… I’ll let you off… A weekend then. ;) I remember the tales of the hacked Sprint 650 well! I had my trusty BlackBerry 7200 I think it was back then and loved it to bits! I might throw my SIM in that again one day. Ditch my Bold 9900 and iPhone 4 and see how long it takes for it to hit the wall. :)

  4. 4
    Stephen Schmidt says:

    While I don’t have that specific phone, I am a big fan of Seido cases. They are very well made, and add great protection. I’ve had one for my AT&T Tilt, and my iPhone 3G and 4. As a matter of fact, I didn’t purchase my iPhone 4 until the Seido case was available. Less bulky than otter box (slightly less protection). My 2 cents.

  5. 5
    Bob says:

    Hi Julie
    Luv your reviews!!
    Just got my S3..so far so good! Need a case tho.
    A few questions w/ the Active (above):
    *Can you use just the soft skin case w/o the “6-fingered” hard case & is that enough protection?
    *Is the 6-fingers purpose only to provide the kickstand, or is it the “corner protector” also?
    *When you used the soft case, 6-fingers & holster, wasn’t it a real pain to have to release the phone from the holster to answer the phone every time?
    *Can you put the soft skin only in the holster & can it be put in face out to answer the phone w/o taking it out of the holster??
    *Can you put the soft skin & the 6-fingers in the holster face out to answer the phone w/o taking it out of the holster??

    Thanx for your great work :)
    Bob

  6. 6
    Fran Smith says:

    Dear Julie, I DO not have a Samsung Galaxy III yet, but I am thoroughly enjoying my Samsung Galaxy Note, the III’s predecessor. Any great cases for my phone?? I love it and want to.protect it the best I can. I have a few very good cases, but I have yet to find the “perfect” case for my Note. Thanks, Fran Thibadeau Smith

  7. 7
    Julie says:

    @Fran Smith I’ve not had the opportunity to even see the Samsung Galaxy Note in real life. I know it’s one HUGE phone though ;) I haven’t had anyone send me info on cases for this phone. You might want to check the main sites like Sena, Incase, and Vaja to see if they are offering anything for that specific device. I’m not quite sure how popular it is, so you might be stuck with pouch type cases instead of a play through case / skin. If you do end up finding something that you like, let us know about it.

  8. 8
    Bob says:

    Hi Julie
    Just checking if you saw my post of 7/23 copied below?Thanx-Bob
    Bob July 23, 2012 at 11:23 am
    Hi Julie
    Luv your reviews!!
    Just got my S3..so far so good! Need a case tho.
    A few questions w/ the Active (above):
    *Can you use just the soft skin case w/o the “6-fingered” hard case & is that enough protection?
    *Is the 6-fingers purpose only to provide the kickstand, or is it the “corner protector” also?
    *When you used the soft case, 6-fingers & holster, wasn’t it a real pain to have to release the phone from the holster to answer the phone every time?
    *Can you put the soft skin only in the holster & can it be put in face out to answer the phone w/o taking it out of the holster??
    *Can you put the soft skin & the 6-fingers in the holster face out to answer the phone w/o taking it out of the holster??

    Thanx for your great work
    Bob

  9. 9
    Julie says:

    @Bob oops, I forgot to respond. Sorry.

    Yes you can use the soft skin all by itself and it will protect as well as soft skin can.

    The 6 finger case also provides more protection as well as corner protection.

    I’m not fond of holsters and belt cases, so yes, it is annoying to remove the phone to answer it. But it’s not any more annoying than taking the phone out of a bag or pocket.

    I don’t remember trying it, but I believe you can use the holster without the 6-fingers hard case.

    I don’t think you can orient the phone screen out. The hook at the top is molded to hold the phone face inwards.

  10. 10
    J Farrar says:

    I have the ACTIVE case and I agree, its freaking difficult to take off and I’m not a weak individual lol.

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