Official Review - Seidio CONVERT Extended Combo for use with Extended Batteries (2600mAh & 3200mAh)
First off, the one thing I that want to say the most is how nice it is dealing with Seidio. Between seeing how their Customer Service handles people's questions and comments on Facebook and how they dealt with me, I have nothing but great things to say about them. I also want to point out that I'm definitely not getting paid at all to write any of this, I'm just someone that took a special interest in the protective cases that were coming out for the HTC Thunderbolt. As we all already know, the stock battery life for these phones is questionable at best. The easiest way to fix this is to buy an extended battery - the only problem was that not many companies were making protective cases for the Thunderbolt equipped with an extended battery. A few of us managed to craft something to get by until a real case was produced, but this left us with cases that had the battery cover exposed. Finally, Seidio showed that they were paying attention (unlike some other companies) and decided to produce something that we all actually needed.
-The CONVERT Extended Combo for use with Extended Batteries (2600mAh & 3200mAh)-
When you open the box, you get the SURFACE Extended case, the CONVERT Add-On pieces, a screen protector, and the belt clip.
The SURFACE Extended case by itself is something that finally adds some protection with minimal bulk. It's a one-piece case that snaps onto the backside of the phone. The case has an open top and bottom which allows easy access to the headphone jack and power button on top and the microphone opening on the bottom. The two sides of the case have appropriate openings for the volume rocker and the micro-USB port. The backside is where the design differs from other cases. The camera and flash are both useable with this case, but the factory kickstand is covered up. In place of the factory kickstand, Seidio built one into their case. It still opens on the same side as the factory HTC one, but the Seidio one snaps firmly into place both open and closed. I haven't had any noticeable change in the loudness of the speaker under the case, although I have heard a few people say they have noticed some loss in volume. It may depend on what you're listening to, but I held a conversation via speakerphone just fine while driving down the highway with my driverside window open... all hands free of course.
Adding to this case is the CONVERT portion of the system, both the shock absorbing silicone and the precision-fit skeleton that goes over it.
This is what I've been waiting for. I prefer buying things that I know are going to be substantial. I don't want to spend my money on something that will fail to perform when you need it. With that in mind, The CONVERT Extended case for the HTC ThunderBolt passed the MIL-STD-810G Mil Spec Drop Test, which is a durability test based on military requirements. I didn't go out and throw my phone around on purpose, but I did accidentally send it flying across a parking lot when I got out of my SUV, and failed to grab my phone from my lap first. The case did not suffer one scratch or scrape and my screen was completely unharmed. Maybe it landed perfectly, maybe it's also because I managed to grab it before it stopped moving... I'm not sure. What I can tell you though, is that I wiped a dirt mark off of the silicone rubber portion and my phone still works perfectly fine and the case looks like it just came out of the box. I'm not saying that the same will happen for you, I'm just saying it absolutely kept my phone from getting scuffed up and possibly worse. The silicone rubber portion has protective flaps that cover the camera and flash, along with areas that cover the micro USB area and headphone jack. I don't think I'd test it with being waterproof or not, but I'm sure they'll keep dust and lint out of those areas. The fit and finish of this system is top notch. There's no noticeable play or looseness with any of the components. They all fit on the phone securely and add a nice feel to when you hold the phone in use. Because of the contours of the complete CONVERT system, when you hold it you get a lot of different natural ways to hold it and that has been important to me when texting in landscape mode and browsing the internet. I didn't apply the screen guard so I can't comment on that as I already had one on my screen that I was really happy with. If you don't already have a screen protector, then I'm sure it will only help to apply the one provided. I tried the belt clip for an evening and it worked pretty well. I'm not used to wearing a belt clip, so it kept getting caught on everything I walked by. Luckily, it has a locking mechanism you can push into place to keep the phone from inadvertently falling out. When the lock is engaged, you cannot release the phone from the clip as the top piece will not move. Unlocking it was as simple as pushing the lock in the opposite direction and the top then releases the phone. I stopped using the belt clip, not for any reason to do with the product, but because I'm used to throwing the phone in my pocket. That brings me to one more thing: bulk. This does add some s-i-z-e to this phone, but if you have an extended battery then you already know how much bigger your phone can be. I like the heavier and bulkier feeling honestly and With this CONVERT case it feels much less delicate and less prone to accidental breakage.
*depth of protective lip around screen*
*depth of protective lip & kickstand*
All in all, I highly recommend this case. The shipping on in-stock items is fast, the customer service is easily among the best I've ever dealt with, and the product is second to none. I have several of their other products including the wall charger and 3200mAh Extended Battery that comes with a new battery cover. I've had other cases made by them and not once have I ever had a problem with anything. Again, I highly recommend this case and Seidio. They are now my go-to company for my tech stuff. Thanks for reading this!