The SURFACE iPhone 5 case combo from Seidio is both a case and a companion holster that allows the case to be worn at the belt. It is slim and available in eight colors. The case slides apart for easy insertion and removal of the iPhone.
Seidio's SURFACE Combo iPhone 5 case in blue
This case is attractive in a subtle way. The case is made from a durable plastic with a coating that gives a matte finish. Even the brightest colors in the range do not scream at you because of the soft matte finish. The case, which is 0.5-in (1.2 cm) thick, can be used without the holster, and, can be purchased without the holster from the company website. The availability of a thin case with a holster is somewhat unique and many users may find that to be a particular attraction.
SURFACE case color options
The case covers the back and folds over the front to the extent that it makes it possible to lay the phone flat on a surface without touching the face of the phone. The corners of the phone are somewhat protected by the corners of the case, but the real protection comes from attaching the phone to the holster. Not only does it add considerable protection to the corners, but the holster belt clip has a spring loaded top that grips the top of the phone to hold the holster to the phone in such a way that there is no concern about it coming loose. Also, there's a U-shaped catch at the tip to make sure the cllip can't ride up and slide off the belt.
The belt clip itself is well designed and well made, and swivels in seven directions. The SURFACE holster is made to conform specifically to the SURFACE case and will not work with any other case.
Ease of Removing the iPhone
The SURFACE case is composed of two pieces and to either insert or remove the phone the case must be free of the holster. The case is pulled apart via a finger groove. The user puts pressure on the finger groove while pulling the two pieces apart.
When inserting the phone, the user slides the top piece on first and then slides the bottom piece on until the two pieces snap in place. When removing the phone, the user puts pressure on the finger groove and pulls the top half up and away from the phone and then slides off the bottom. There are instructions for this procedure included with each case.
Using the Case
The SURFACE is easy to use. With just a little practice I was able to unclip the holster and case from my belt without looking and quickly retrieve it to make or receive calls. I was also able to carry just the phone and case, without the holster in any of my pockets, although I find that the length of the new iPhone 5 makes me somewhat nervous with some pants because of short pockets and was glad to have the holster as an option. This is probably just a burden of being short. At the same time, the thinner case meant the phone and case easily fit into purse pockets designed for phones. All of the case openings to access ports and controls are large enough that accessing them is not a problem.
Packaging & Warranty
The SURFACE is warranted against workmanship and manufacturing defects for the period of one year. As noted with previously reviewed Seidio products, the packaging for the SURFACE does not lend itself to projecting the quality of the product.
Do I recommend it?
I do. It is attractive, stylish, lightweight, and well made. I like the fact that you can use it with or without the holster.