Review: Seidio Active case for Nexus 4

 An Awesome Case for An Awesome Phone

The Nexus 4 is a jewel of mobile technology. The silhouette is functional yet beautiful. The slight curve on around the edges of the front screen feel great. The ‘Crystal Reflective Process’ sparkliness on the back is pretty cool too. That being said, this phone has one major flaw. Like the iPhone 4/4s it has a glass back. And like the iPhone 4/4s, the glass back on the back of the Nexus 4 is just as prone to breaking or scratching. I also have a toddler in the house, therefore I need a case on my phone. A good case. And the best one I have found so far is the Seidio Active case. Check past the break for my full review.


Design

The Seidio Active case consists of two parts: a flexible, rubberized sleeve that fits around the phone and a plastic exoskeleton to provide rigidity and structure to the case. The exoskeleton also houses the built in kickstand. (More about that later). 
Placing your phone in the case is  3-second affair. Slip the phone in the rubberized sleeve and then clip the exoskeleton onto the back. Presto! You’re done. 

The case comes in several colors. I bought the red one because I’m always loosing things and red will stand out in the pile of papers and whatever else that seems to be perpetually on my kitchen table. The finish of the exoskeleton has a metallic, shiny look to it despite being very much plastic. The color is bright and attractive without being garish.

On the back you have cut-outs for the camera and the speaker hole. The buttons on the case have a good feel to them and transfer the energy of your button-press firmly without any mushiness or hesitation. Seidio did a really good job with the buttons on this case.
The rubberized sleeve forms a 3 millimeter  protective lip around the edge of the touch screen. This should alleviate any concerns about scratching the screen if placing the Nexus 4 face-down. I should also add that the rubber adds a nice grippiness to the phone. A naked Nexus 4 is pretty slippery and this solves that problem.

Kickstand

The kickstand in the back seems to be metallic. It is spring-loaded and pops out nicely. There is a little magnet on the underside of the kickstand to lock it into place when closed. Seidio has done an excellent job tucking the kickstand into the exoskeleton making the added bulk minimal. I don’t use the kickstand very often and usually even forget it is there. However, it was very useful the few times I did use it.

NFC

Thankfully the case does not block NFC transfers. In fact, my wife has a blue version of this case on her Nexus 4 and even when both of our phones are wearing cases, we are still able to use Android beam. I haven’t had a chance to try out the wireless charger but I have no reason to believe that the Seidio Active case would interfere. 

Protection

This device has protected my phone flawlessly. I am not nearly as nervous about handling my Nexus 4 as I am when the case comes off. Despite being dropped onto hardwood floors and hard, office carpet from various heights up to 4 feet my Nexus 4 has nary a scratch. In fact, today I wanted to do and experiment and not use the case for one day. Well, I made it to 1 p.m. before I noticed a few scratches on the back and immediately put the case back on. So far, this case has protected my phone against my toddler.
I’m taking the case of my #nexus4 for the day. Kinda nervous with the glass back. Let’s see hour this goes.
— psiktech (@psiktech) March 29, 2013

Crap. I just noticed I scratched the back of my #Nexus 4. Case goes back on immediately. #whatisseencanneverbeunseen #waytogobutterfingers
— psiktech (@psiktech) March 29, 2013

(Looks like my Twitter time is in the wrong timezone. I’ll need to change that.)

Gripes

I do have a couple minor gripes about the case but considering the design of the case, there is no way around them. 
First, the 3 millimeter lip around the phone makes using the lock-screen widgets a little cumbersome. You need to move the lip out of the way with your thumb just a little bit so the experience isn’t as fluid as Google intended. 
Second, while nowhere near as bulky as an Otterbox, it adds enough bulk to the phone that it makes it a little tricking getting it in and out of pants pockets. The grippiness of the rubber doesn’t help any. Other than these two gripes I think this is an excellent case. There really isn’t anyway around these issues without compromising the functionality of the case. It’s just me being a malcontent. Seriously, if you’re ok with a smidgen of bulk, DO NOT let these two issues deter you from purchasing this case.

Conclusion

Despite my (very) minor gripes with this case I give it 5 out of 5 stars. The bulkiness is unavoidable and it is nowhere near as big as an Otterbox. If you are looking for stylish protection for your Nexus 4, this is the case to get. 
Questions? Comments? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll be more than happy to respond.
Kenny Larson
Onetime Apple/Android/Windows fanboy. Now a firm agnostic when it comes to OS. They all suck in their own special way.

"Be excellent to each other."
--Bill & Ted

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