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Review of Seidio SURFACE case for Note 4 w/lots of pics!!!


Android Expert
Jul 30, 2010
This is a Review of Seidio SURFACE case for Galaxy Note 4. SEIDIO | SURFACE with Metal Kickstand Case & Holster Combo for Samsung Galaxy Note 4

First of all let me start off with a disclaimer that SURFACE version I received for my review from Seidio was the original one where the bottom mic opening wasn't aligned with my Verizon Note 4. As most of you are aware, Verizon really threw a curved ball by moving the left mic to make their Note 4 different from every other carrier. Seidio quickly caught up to this problem and the version offered on their website now is universal to work with any Note 4. In my pictures you are going to see the original alignment which is blocked on Verizon Note 4.

Now, back to the review! Seidio definitely has a winning formula with their line of popular SURFACE (also sold at Best Buy under their Platinum Series), DILEX (former ACTIVE), and CONVERT designs. I guess that is a reason why they decided not to re-invent the wheel and to continue with scaled up/down versions of these popular models for different phones. I have used and reviewed all of their cases for Note 2, Note 3, S4, S5, and Nexus tablets, so Note 4 will not be an exception. One interesting thing I have discovered, even so the wheel is not re-invented - it is always fine-tuned with some new details and subtle improvements. So let's take a look of what Seidio guys cooked up with this newly introduced case for Note 4.

SURFACE is the slimmest case in Seidio collection, but contrary to some other slim cases it actually offers an acceptable level of protection (both scratch and drop) for everyday basic use. Designed as two interlocking sliding pieces, it offers a unique way to go on the phone and to take it off without pulling/stretching the edges of the case. Once both of the halves locked together, it stays securely intact even if you drop it down. Made out of hard plastic material, it's lined with a soft felt layer inside to keep your phone from scratches and to add extra shock dampening. Outside surface has a soft rubberized coating which improves the grip and adds extra friction when placed down on the surface - it will not slide if bumped off a table, even a smooth glass top. Also, it has a decent lip bumper when phone is placed face down to protect the display while still allowing extra margin for screen protector. Assembled, it feels very solid and secure in your hand, rubberized finish is nice to the touch, and when removed from your pants it shouldn't pull your pocket inside out like some other cases do.

Thought Note 4 camera bump is not flush with a battery cover surface, I was pleased to see Seidio came up with a groove in the upper half of the case so that camera doesn't get scratched during assembly, and once assembled nothing sticks out beyond the case "surface". Obviously, there is no wobbling when you put the phone down on the back. Also, all the cutouts are perfectly aligned and easily accessible. There are no sharp edges, and every cutout has a nice rounded finish. I especially liked the generous opening for power and volume allowing easy access to otherwise shallow slim buttons. It also provides an extra room around the flash (one generous opening around camera and flash) to slide your finger to heart rate sensor. You will not have any issues accessing a charging port or s-pen, and should have plenty of room for headphones with larger plugs.

Of course, the review of SURFACE will not be complete without mentioning of its unique kickstand - one of the best built-in kickstand available on any of the cases I tested in the past. It's not some cheap plastic after-thought addition, but rather a high quality metal kickstand with magnetic mechanism to snap it back when not in use. Also, there is no interference with s-pen. The kickstand can only be used in landscape view which is very convenient when you want to watch a video/movie on your Note 4. And to complete this package, you also have Seidios holster with one of the best in class spring loaded latches. If you prefer to wear your Note 4 with SURFACE on your belt, this holster will be the best solution for it with inner felt-lining to protect the display from scratches, clip that swivels in 7 angles, and easy to access latch that keeps phone secured inside while also allowing one handed operation to remove it.

Overall, if you are looking for a great minimal case that offers both scratch and drop protection (although not as much of heavy duty drop protection), and a convenience of solid kickstand and holster - SURFACE is the top candidate in this category. Also, keep in mind that once CONVERT shell is available, you will be able to add another layer of heavy duty protection on top of SURFACE. I definitely recommend it for your Note 4!

Here are the pictures.

















I love this set up, I got the same Royal Blue case and black holster last week. The case is a very tight fit, and does not add much bulk at all. In fact it feels better in hand with the case on than without it to me. I used the Platinum Series (Best Buy rebranded models) on my last 2 phones, and my OG HTC EVO still looks fairly new. The only downside is that they are not the cheapest but well worth it in my opinion.
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In my original Review of Seidio SURFACE for Note 4 I mentioned that early version of the case I received had one of the bottom mic openings not aligned with Verizon version of Note 4 (while was perfectly aligned with every other Note 4 version). As everybody aware, Verizon decided to change position of that mic in their version of Note 4. With an updated batch, Seidio promptly fixed that problem by widening the mic opening to accommodate every version of Note 4.

I received the updated version and verified everything to be working 100%. Moving forward, Seidio will offer only this universal version in multiple colors. Here are the updated pictures:





Also, I had A LOT of questions about Note 4, Seidio SURFACE, and NFC support. Someone posted a comment on amazon that because of a metal kickstand on a back of SURFACE case - it will interfere with NFC in Note 4. I tested it with different accessories that have NFC support, and found NO problem. So that claim is false.
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I see they missed the location of the second microphone on the bottom. I've seen this on another case before, and I returned that one. I have been seeing more cases with elongated ovals instead of perfect circles on the second mic.

Do you think Samsung changed the spec of the mic location last-minute, and some case makers just modified the hole instead of starting from scratch?
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No, this has something to do with a Verizon only and their spec. Thus, Verizon version of Note 4 is different from every other version and as a result every case manufacture now making oval shaped opening for the mic.

I'm surprised that a carrier can influence the physical specs of a phone...especially something so miniscule.

I also admit fully that I didn't read this thread, and now see that you've actually mentioned this already. I just looked at the pictures, and then posted.
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