Unsolicited Advice: Buy it.
I’ve only used the Seidio ACTIVE Extended Case for a week now, but I knew as soon as I opened the package that this case was exactly what I need.
I drop my phone. A lot. And I demand longer battery life than the Thunderbolt’s stock battery delivers. So the lack of a decent case that fits the HTC Thunderbolt with its extended battery resulted in a lot of scars on my lovely new phone over the last 2 months. No longer!
The Seidio ACTIVE Extended Case for the HTC Thunderbolt is actually a two-piece case designed to provide shock absorption as well as the usual protection against scratches and dents. The layer closest to your Thunderbolt is a rubbery polymer that I mistook in the photos for that sticky silicone that cases are usually made from. The outer layer is a rigid plastic exoskeleton claw that fits snugly over the polymer layer. According to Seidio:
- Overall thickness of only 2.2 mm
- Interior casing made from impact absorbing polymer and exterior skeleton provides extra protection at impact points
- Easy to put in and pull out of your pocket or purse
From my own experiences with the case this week:
PROS of the Seidio ACTIVE Extended Case:
- Quality: The two-piece case is molded perfectly. I was skeptical that the pieces would lay flush, but it meets my high standards. The port holes are in the right place, smoothly cut and don’t limit usage.
- Feel: The polymer/silicone inner layer is not “sticky” and doesn’t attract lint. It’s not as smooth going into your pocket as a caseless phone, but it is much better than a grabby silicone case. The case is strong, slightly thicker around the edges of the screen, and doesn’t feel easy to tear.
- Durability: The plastic exoskeleton clamps the softer silicone case into place firmly, lending even more strength to the case.
- Kickstand: Kudos for including a kickstand, since the case covers the phone’s kickstand and we all love the Thunderbolt’s kickstand. I’m glad they didn’t try to just leave the phone’s kickstand accessible, because the thickness of the case really does make it to hard to pry the kickstand open in other cases I’ve seen for the old EVO.
- Dock: Seidio makes a charging dock that fits the Thunderbolt with and without a case and with and without the extended battery. Genius! Why don’t more case companies make docks that fit them? It’s such a common complaint/request. I just ordered this one, so look for the review soon. UPDATE: Review of the Seidio HTC Thunderbolt Charging Dock
CONS of the Seidio ACTIVE Extended Case:
Kickstand: Yes, I’m glad it’s included, but it’s kind of wimpy. It’s thinner than the phone’s kickstand (IE not as wide), so the Thunderbolt sits just barely off kilter. Just barely. It’s stable, not in danger of tipping over, but it doesn’t make the phone stand dead on straight like the stock kickstand does. Given the awesomeness of the stock kickstand, it’s not surprising that a replacement on a $30 case would be lesser than, but since this is a review I’m mentioning it. Also, there’s are two little plastic nubs on the kickstand at the rounded end (not the hinge end) that keep the kickstand securely in place when shut away. I liked to use my stock kickstand as a kind of finger rest between my third and fourth fingers to keep my phone from slipping as I held it. The nubs dig in to my skin, making this uncomfortable.
- Heat? I’m not certain, but I think my phone is running a bit warmer to the touch with the case on. It’s bound to happen with any case, and it’s not hot, but there you have it.
- Feel: The polymer/silicone is kind of slick, almost silky smooth. I like the feel but it’s definitely not “grippy” if that’s what you want. The guys who hold my phone don’t like the feel, saying they think they might drop it, but the women prefer the smooth feel. It is noticeably slicker than other silicone sleeves, though, and does tend to slowly slip through my hand when I’m reading.
- Seam: There’s a mold seam all the way around the phone on the edges, on both the polymer layer and the exoskeleton. Aesthetically it’s nice that they line up, but I find that it digs into my fingers a bit when I’m holding it for long periods of time reading. It’s not extreme, but if you like to read for long periods of time like I do it’s a consideration.
The cons I have listed are pretty weak compared with the positive aspects of the case. I haven’t dropped my Thunderbolt yet with the case on, but I feel much more confident. It fits so snugly that I doubt the battery and door will be able to pop off accidentally when I do drop it (which is only a matter of time).
For those of you who have already scuffed your phone’s shell, the Seidio ACTIVE Extended Case hides all the many areas I had already dented and scuffed. The only uncovered areas are the Thunderbolt’s screen, a half inch at the top where the speaker and front facing camera live, and a quarter inch below the screen.