The Seidio iPhone SURFACE Reveal with Kickstand is a protective case for the iPhone 4/4S that includes a metal kickstand for times when you want to prop it up.
The case itself is .12 cm of hard material and provides scratch and minor drop protection on the sides, corners, and back. Cutouts ensure that the Apple logo, camera, flash, and all ports and switches are visible and accessible at all times.
The metal kickstand is held in place with a small magnet when not in use and is streamlined enough that it will not catch in a pocket or accidentally deploy.
The hard case is two parts that snap together easily and are fairly easy to remove after the first time you do it. In previous Seidio cases of the same snap design, I never had an issue with the case coming undone from an errant drop. This case did not receive the accidental drop treatment, but it appeared to be the same locking mechanism so it probably is not going to be an issue.
Among the features that Seidio touts is that the case does not attract lint or slide around easily. While that does seem to be the case when it’s in a pocket or placed on a surface, this was one of the more-likely-to-be-dropped cases I’ve ever held. It doesn’t have much of a texture to it and a little moisture plus the case makes it a nice handheld Slip N’ Slide. This case is a drop risk post-workout or while holding a frosty beer.
The kickstand is quite useful if you want to watch a movie, or are required to have your phone on a table and visible (say you play trivia), and you want to minimize the liquid-intrusion potential (i.e. spilled beer). It’s one of my favorite features from the HTC EVO 4G world, and the fact that every phone doesn’t include some method of propping it up to watch movies still amazes me.
The only problem with the kickstand is it’s a one-direction kickstand. You can prop your phone up into landscape mode, but not into portrait. This means that watching movies is fine, but applications that look best in portrait mode are not.
The case feels extremely light – so much so that I wonder what level of protection it would offer in a drop. However, even at .12 cm thickness, that’s probably enough to save your phone once or twice from a drop.
The case is also very pretty; this one got a lot of compliments. At a glance it looks extremely well built, and a bit fashionable. Unfortunately, the kickstand either looks cheap or neat depending on who sees it. It’s solid, but it looks a bit like a piece of scrap tin. Something about that unpainted aluminum protrusion detracts from the overall aesthetic qualities of an otherwise well-imagined case.
I think if I were designing this, I would have made the kickstand thinner (it’s strong enough to hold 50 phones,) and given it two locking positions. The position seen above, plus a straight-out position, would allow for portrait-mode, or allow you to flip the phone on the other side so the volume buttons were on top, which is where I would want them when viewing a movie.
The SURFACE Reveal with Kickstand comes in black, pearl white, garnet red, royal blue, amethyst, and glossed white (pictured here). It’s available from Seidio Online for $34.95, or a little less at other retailers.