UPDATE: This review is part of our big giveaway, remember to post a comment to earn an extra ticket to the final giveaway lottery!

 

Seidio Online was kind enough to send me a sample unit of their Convert Combo (formerly known as the Rugged) for the HTC EVO 4G, and I have spent the last week using it and I am now ready to share my thoughts.

First off, the first impression you get is that the case is quite large for an already large phone. The minimal clear plastic packaging holds the belt clip/holster, a Surface hard shell, The silicon outer shell, the ballistic plastic skeleton, and a static cling screen protector with cloth and plastic smoothing tool. The Surface case, the screen protector and the overall packaging had instructions on how to assemble all the various parts that make up the Convert.

Putting the case together was a snap. The Surface case fit snugly and with just that case on, the phone still fits into my leather belt holster. Once you slip on the silicone cover and then snap on the skeleton, though, you can kiss the old stand-by leather holster goodbye. The only way you are clipping this to your belt is with the provided holster that places you phone screen down for protection. The clip on the holster has a lock on it that works surprisingly well and will keep your phone from falling out if it gets snagged on something.

One feature that I like, since I have to be outside for my job from time to time, regardless of the weather, is that the silicone portion of the shell has covers for the headphone jack, the camera, and the USB and HDMI ports. These fit snuggly, but are easy to open and move out of the way when you want to plug in or use the camera. One drawback: When you have the full case on, you cannot use the kick stand, it’s sealed up inside.

 

Now, since I have kids, I have had my 4 year old play with the phone with the full case on. While he is very good with my phone, he does tend to drop things from time to time, and with the Convert Combo on, there has been literally nothing he has been able to do to damage the phone. The raised edges protect the screen from impact and the rest of the phone’s body is covered in silicone and ballistic plastic. The skeleton reinforces the likely impact points nicely at the corners and sides, giving your phone a high degree of protection in case of an impact or a drop. Very reassuring when your kids take your phone to feed their Angry Birds addiction…
One thing that I noticed was that the contours of the case and its size actually make it easier to hold the phone for an extended period of time. It fits the hands naturally and is still totally usable. You might think that the plastic skeleton would make it slick, but it is positioned in such a way that your hand comes into contact with the silicone more than the plastic, giving you a good solid grip.

Overall, after having used several different cases that were either just skins, or shells similar to the Surface, I will say that the Convert Combo is easily the best case I have used on my EVO. It fits well, and allows you to use the phone just as it was designed (except for the kickstand, of course…). The strength and durability of this case make it a must for anyone with small kids, or if you are going to be in an environment that could put your phone at risk. It looks good on your phone, but most importantly, it provides solid protection for the EVO for those who need it the most.
Thank you to Seidio Online for providing the product sample!

Photos courtesy of Seidio Online.