As a smartphone user who is admittedly not fond of using cases, it takes a lot to impress me, and even more to convince me to use your product for more than a week or two. I’m very selective and particular in what I look for. Unlike most case users, protection of my device is the last thing I worry about. I look for something sleek, unobtrusive, functional, and, above all, minimal. I took theÂ SEIDIO SURFACE for the Nexus 5Â in Gold for a spin, to see if they could convince me to become a case user again.
The first thing that struck me about the SURFACE case was the similar feel in material to the actual back of the Nexus 5. The soft touch matte back was very reminiscent of holding the phone bare, and that was how SEIDIO gained their first point from me. Not only did I feel like I was just holding my phone, but SEIDIO’s choice to go with a matte case also minimized the appearance of fingerprints, and resulted in a firm, non-slippery grip that made you sure of your handling. The inside of the case is lined with a velvety felt, protecting the back of your Nexus 5 from an scratches from the case itself. A very important touch, here, given the snugness of the SURFACE case. It slides on as two separate pieces that snap together. And boy, was that a feat. Pushing it together took a moment or two, during which I tried to loosen up the case by snapping it together and apart several times. Taking off the case is a bit of a challenge, and requires tugging quite hard on either end, making me worry whether my phone would go flying when it finally came apart.
The SURFACE case doesn’t add too much bulk to the phone, as seen in the comparison photo above. A small lip goes around to the front display, providing a bit of a buffer between your display and a flat surface. Be warned – if you happen to have a skin or decal on the front and/or back of your Nexus 5, the SURFACE may be a little more snug than your liking. Another heads up as well: white Nexus 5 owners may run into a problem similar to mine, in that my white decal was smudged with some sort of residue from the inside of the case, which I have still not been able to remove after cleaning it several times. This could just be bad luck, or could be because of the carbon fiber nature of my decal, which collects dirt and grime more easily than a flat surface, but I felt it worth the acknowledgment.
This is a tight fit, and even the smallest amount of added bulk to your Nexus 5 may cause some issues getting the case on and off. I had a Spigen tempered glass screen protector that began to lift along the edges and bottom when the case was on, and eventually cracked due to the prolonged pressure, so this won’t be the phone case for you if you have or are considering something along those lines. Surprisingly, Seidio claims that it’s own VITREO tempered glass screen protector is compatible with the SURFACE case. I’m not sure if this is something I’m inclined to believe, given it lifted and broke my Spigen GLAS.tR which is 0.23 mm thick, pulled up my Anker, which is measured at 0.38 mm, and the VITREO itself sits at 0.55 mm, over double that of the Spigen. It could be that the VITREO doesn’t extend to the very edge of the phone, or more gradually rounds off, giving it more room for a case, but I can’t speak on its performance in conjunction with the SURFACE case. Â I imagine normal PET-type screen protectors would behave just fine, however.
There are ports cut out of the case for the power button, volume rocker, headphone jack camera and flash, charger and speakers, as well as the noise cancellation mic at the top of the phone, but not for the SIM card tray. However, the top portion of the SIM card tray can be seen from the cutout for the power button, which was a cosmetic overlook that bothered me just a bit. It does make the power button easier to press, though, which is likely more important to most users.Â I will say that I greatly appreciated the fact that the case protected the camera lens from any direct contact with a surface.
I tested both NFC and wireless charging while using the case, and didn’t have a problem. Pictures and files beamed to other devices without hesitation, and placing the phone on my Tylt wireless charger didn’t require any fiddling or moving it about. Given that the SURFACE isn’t a very thick case, this shouldn’t be surprising, but it’s nice knowing it’s not a concern. The kickstand on the back of the case, probably the biggest selling point, reclines the phone at a very comfortable viewing angle from every table and surface I rested it on. It’s also very sturdy, and even while shaking a table, it remains upright. The kickstand is held in place by a magnet, meaning there aren’t any clips that you need to worry about breaking or wearing out. It’s easy to pop out, but also not prone to opening when you don’t actually want it to. Unfortunately, you are limited to landscape orientation for viewing, which is great of course for videos, games, and other media. However, I read books quite often on my phone, and would have loved a kickstand that could function in portrait orientation as well.
In closing, I’d say that the SEIDIO SURFACE case is one of the few that I would consider using on a daily basis, except for the fact that it negates the use of a tempered glass screen protector. Unfortunately, the most important feature of a case for myself – a snug, slim fit – is exactly what stops me from enjoying it. However, the snug fit will be great for the vast majority of users, the feel of the case in the hand is wonderful, and the kickstand is the most excellent executed on the market. SEIDIO has spent the last few years perfecting the SURFACE line of cases, and I think the Nexus 5 case is an amazing example of this. The SURFACE case used in this review is the Gold version, but it is also available in Black, Glossed White, Garnet Red, Amethyst, Royal Blue, and Turquoise for $34.95. If you’re prefer something a little more rugged to protect your Nexus 5, SEIDIO also offers the DILEX and CONVERT cases, as well as a wallet flip cover-style case, LEDGER. You can find the SURFACE and all of Seidio’s other offerings on their website for the Nexus 5, and various other popular smartphones. As usual, you can save some money on all other colors of the SURFACE if you purchase through Amazon vs directly. The links to some of the various colors are down below.
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SEIDIO Product Description
The SURFACEâ„¢ with Metal Kickstand is the right case for those who want a slim case with functional features, such as a metal kickstand. Familiar features, such as our soft-touch coating and slide-in design, enhance the look and protect your LG Google Nexus 5.
TheÂ built-in metal kickstandÂ can be used in landscape orientation for a hands free experience when viewing multimedia, managing photo slideshows, and displaying clocks and calendars. TheÂ SURFACEâ„¢ with Metal Kickstand does not support the device in portrait orientation.
– Sleek and slim case that provides scratch protection
– Case raises the camera away from a flat surface in order to protect your lens
– Magnetic kickstand provides convenience by easily snapping back in when not in use
– Precision cut-outs for access to the controls, ports, speakers, and camera
– Unique slide-in design makes putting on and removing your case easy
– Compatible withÂ SURFACEâ„¢ HolsterÂ (not included)
This product does not interfere with NFC. It is compatible with most wireless chargers, including the Nexus Wireless Charger (2013).
For those that read this far, be on the look out for a upcoming giveaway for the gold version of the SURFACE. We will be giving some away for the Nexus 5, Galaxy S4 or Note 3. Also, the SEIDIO Dilex Gold case will be in that mix too. :O)