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GNex + Seidio Surface Holster + Otterbox Commuter + VZW Silicone
UPDATE:Pics added with GNex + Extended Battery + Battery Cover + Otterbox Commuter in Holster, per request. Dimensions/Measurements included.
Hello again, folks!
As promised from my previous post, illustrating and reviewing of my GNex using Seidio's Surface case/holster combo, I bring my conclusive assessment of the Otterbox Commuter and whether or not it will be compatible with Seidio's Surface hard holster. Also, responding to a request in that same forum thread, I have also tested Verizon's own silicone case for fit and function with Seidio's holster as well. Pics and assessments below.
After spending a full work day with my Galaxy Nexus cased and holstered in my new Seidio Surface combo, I returned home to see that trusty FedEx dropped off my Otterbox Commuter case. I went ahead and pulled my GNex out of the Seidio case and set off to see how well it fit in the Commuter. My GNex has Samsung's 2100mah extended battery installed, however while in the Seidio case, the battery cover that comes with the extended battery was NOT installed for fitting purposes.
First, I reinstalled the extended battery's mating battery cover and proceeded to drop the phone into the Otterbox Commuter case. The GNex, along with the extended battery and it's battery cover, DOES fit into the Otterbox Commuter case. With a little more effort, the phone was able to slip inside the inner silicone layer and squeezed into the outer hard plastic exo-shell. I crossed my fingers and tried to mount it into the Seidio Surface hard holster...and with some small effort, it DID fit. However, the bottom of the phone did show a bit of bulge as it required a bit of effort to push the phone down into the holster enough to slide the upper half of the phone under the spring clip retainer of the holster. I took it apart and tested the fit of the GNex with the extended battery, but this time, without the battery cover. I found that the fit was more comfortable and going into the holster was more easier and less stressed. In the end, I decided that I preferred the fit of the case WITHOUT the use of the battery cover for the extended battery. Pics below...
The test subjects...in their respective cases.
Otterbox Commuter - GNex inside w/extended battery - No battery cover.
Bottom angle - USB and audio jack covers.
Left side - volume rocker switch cover.
As you can see from the above pictures, the Commuter case does a great job and covering all the relevant areas of the phone. The fit is nearly perfect (particularly without the battery door) and all buttons and access jacks are covered by the inner silicone protective skin layer. The bottom usb and audio jack can be accessed by opening the silicone access doors. Sadly however, and I imagine that it will be a prevalent issue with all cases, the 3 side contacts are either covered (as they are with the Otterbox) or they will have a cutout (as they do in VZW's silicone case). Either of these will pretty much negate the benefit of accessing or making use of these contacts.
Below are some angles from the back side of the Commuter. Also detailed are pictures showing how the case is still nicely fitted against the camera, despite not having a battery door installed.
Below, you will see how the inner silicone layer closely hugs the contours of the GNex's shape. Nice tight fit.
So, here are a few pictures of the Otterbox Commuter being holstered by Seidio's Surface holster. The fit is really good (much better than I originally guessed it to be), but not quite as good as using Seidio's mating Surface case. With the Surface case, I can holster the phone to the holster one handed. Using the Otterbox, I can do it one handed as well, but it requires me to lift the spring clip up a little bit so that the top of the phone will clear. I didn't need to tend to such a detail when it was cased in the Seidio.
See the tight (but not overly tight) fit of the Commuter case to the holster? It's nice.
Also pretty form fitting of the spring clip to the top of the Otterbox. Slightly better fit on the Seidio case.
After day two of my GNex case and holster testing, I find that I will be using the combination of the Otterbox Commuter case and the Seidio holster. I really like the look and better protected feel of the Otterbox over the Seidio Surface. Both feel comfortable in the hand, but the Seidio's trademark soft touch coating on it's case tends to retain skin oils and dust particles. The Otterbox's outer shell makes it more slippery than the grippy Seidio case, but it looks more polished and higher quality. The silicone inner shell does tend to pick up lint easier, but it would appear to protect the phone better from drop. I also notice a tighter seal of the Otterbox's silicone to the screen than the front half of the Seidio case. The silcone door covers that protects the usb port and audio jack are functional, but I wonder how well they will hold up over time. The added time that it takes to open the cover for charging and ensuring it's closure after charging is done may be pesty to some. I really don't feel all that strongly about it.
Below are pictures and assessments (by request) of VZW's silicone case being used with the Seidio Surface holster. Keep in mind that my wife's GNex does NOT have an extended battery installed, but I have confirmed that the silicone case WILL fit with the extended battery with (or without) the battery cover.
It fits...and fits pretty well. As well as the Otterbox and retaining most of it's advantage and disadvantages.
The purple and black really don't look bad. The wife hates holsters however. Sigh.
Originally Posted by richro
The above pictures all represent the GNex, with extended battery and oem battery cover, inside the Otterbox Commuter. Tolerances are tighter with the door installed, but the Commuter still installs fine. You will notice that it's a tiny bit more tighter when holstering in the Seidio holster, particularly down by the corners and bottom of the phone. However, once in the holster the fit is fine and isn't obtrusive. Again, purely personal taste as to whether or not you want to leave the battery cover on or off when installing the phone into the Commuter.
Speaking of tolerances, I have also recorded some pure dimensional measurements of the GNex while cased with the Commuter. See and read below.
The above pics, obviously, shows height and width dimensions. Thickness of the phone with and without the battery cover installed is...
With battery cover on: 15.8mm (bottom of phone), 13.0mm (top of phone)
With battery cover off: 14.4mm (bottom of phone), 12.5mm (top of phone)
That concludes my update with a better look into the Commuter case with the battery cover installed and what it looks like when the phone is mounted in the Commuter case. It's very hard to visually tell the difference between the case when the phone has the cover on vs when it's not installed. The difference is more prevalent when holstering the phone on and off.
So, there you have it. I am VERY pleased to have discovered that the Seidio Surface holster is compatible with not only it's own Surface case, but ALSO the Otterbox Commuter and VZW's silcone cases. It is in my own personal opinion that NOT using the extended battery's oem battery door renders a better fit and provides more pleasing functionality when using it with Seidio's holster. It can, however still work with the door cover installed, but I think that it's not that clean a fit thereafter.
I know this review was long with a lot of reading, but I hope it helps you folks out there that have been on the outside looking in for a good case and/or holster combination for the Galaxy Nexus. As mentioned before, you can also consider the Otterbox Defender case/holster combo for the ultimate in protection, but bear in mind you lose clean, low profile (and sexy!) look of the Galaxy Nexus. It's a thick and bulky beast that Defender is!
My last step in my GNex project is to await the arrival of my Ghost Armor screen protector. Then I'll likely call it a day and just spend time enjoying what the phone and ICS has to offer. Drop me a message if there are any questions or you need any other picture angles.
UPDATE: 01.26.2012 I have been asked on a different thread to include pictures of the Otterbox Commuter case installed on the GNex w/2100mah extended battery AND it's battery door, zoomed in a bit more for details. I have also included in the pictures below the comparison side by sides of the Seidio Active and Seidio Surface holsters. Enjoy!
The Active holster is on the left, the Surface holster on the right.
In the picture below, the Active is on the right, while the Surface is on the left. Sorry for the reversal.
Alrighty, then...I hope these added pictures help for all those that needed more visuals. Sorry they took so long for me to get up here, but it's been a very busy week. =)
I have also completed my assessment and pictures of the Seidio 3800mah Extended Surface Case Combo, with Seidio Extended Battery and Door in a separate thread. For those interested and want to see if the added bulk and hit in visual appeal is worth the functionality of much greater battery life, go over to my review thread to check out the comparisons for yourself.