I thought that I would help to kick things off in this new area of the site by giving a quick review of the Seidio Rugged case for the iPhone 4
When the iPhone 4 was first released there weren't too many cases available, and fewer still that matched my 'must have' feature of having some form of belt clip. Things were further complicated because there are times when I want to just slip the phone into a pocket. It looked like I would end up with 2 cases, one slim enough to fit in a pocket, and a holster or case with a belt clip for the times when that was what I wanted.
However, after lots of searching I came upon the Seidio Rugged (now rebranded as the CONVERT), which can perhaps best be described as their equivalent to the Otterbox Defender. However, what makes it different (and in my view better), is that it offers more flexibility.
The first layer of protection is a slider case. This is the Seidio Innocase II Surface case, which is also sold separately. This is a 2-piece case, made from a rigid plastic with a felt lining.
The case snaps together easily, and provides a very snug fit. There is some slight movement where the 2 parts of the case meet, but it has never come loose or separated. It also hasn't lifted the screen protector that I have on my iPhone, unlike some of the silicone cases that I used previously.
On its own, this inner case fits nicely into a pocket. The ports and controls are uncovered, and allow for easy access. You can connect a data cable to the iPhone when it's in this case, and it also works with the 3 speaker docks that we have in the house.
This is ideal for when you need minimal protection and a slim profile.
When you need maximum protection for your iPhone, you simply slip on the next layer of protection. This consists of a rubberized case and a hard plastic exoskeleton. the latter covers the 4 corners of the iPhone, a small part of each side, and nearly all of its back..
The ports, camera and controls are now covered. The controls can still be operated by pressing on the appropriate area of the rubber case, whilst there are flaps giving access to the ports and camera. What's particularly neat about the cover for the camera, is that it has a little tab which can be pushed into a corresponding slot in the outer plastic case, meaning it doesn't flap loose when you are taking photos. Getting to the mute switch can be a little tricky, as you have to press on the rubber case and down through the inner case to reach it.
When the iPhone has its full layers of protection, it is quite bulky. I've not used an Otterbox Defender, so I don't know how the size compares, but I've read comments that indicate the Seidio is larger. However, it's bulky in a way that makes you feel fairly confident that the iPhone would survive a drop onto a hard surface. The front edge of the rubber case creates a large lip around the iPhone's screen, so should offer as much protection as you are realisticallylikely to get from any case.
But, you might be asking about my 'must have' feature. Well, here comes another big plus for this case. It comes with not one, but two holsters. One shaped and sized for the inner case, and one for when you have the full protection in place. The holsters are made of hard plastic and can be rotated to either vertical or horizontal. The iPhone is held in place by a lever which sits across the top of the phone. On the second holster, this lever can be locked into position so that it doesn't get accidentally bumped open. Both holsters have a very slim profile, and hold the iPhone close to your side.
This is a great solution for anybody who wants to be able to quickly and easily switch between different levels of protection for their iPhone.