Double Review & Comparison: Otterbox Commuter vs. Seido Innocase Active


Last Updated: 2010-09-20 07:28:07
  1. aaz110

    aaz110 Well-Known Member

    I've been using the Otterbox for a few days now. I had the Seido Innocase Active Limited Edition on my phone for the first two weeks of my Evo experience (I'm now on week three). Sorry for my review being extremely long by the way, but it's technically two reviews together and then being compared to one another.

    Anyway though, here's my comparison review of the Otterbox Commuter to the Seido Innocase Active Limited Edition:

    Protection:Both cases provide two layers of protection. An inner layer made out of a soft silicone rubber type material and an outer layer of hard plastic. On both cases, the inner layer covers the entire back and sides (minus cutouts for the ports, camera, and kickstand). On the Otterbox, the outer layer covers almost the entire inner layer. Only the bottom corners and a small portion on the top is left exposed. I would say that about 95% of the surface area of the back and sides of the phone is covered by the outer layer of the Commuter. On the Seido, the outer layer is a skeletal layer. It probably only covers about 70% of the back and sides of the phone. The sides are left pretty much unprotected by the outer layer.

    Both cases protect the screen by elevating it slightly, so if you lay the phone face down, the screen won't be in direct contact with the surface it's on. Both cases also protect the camera lens by recessing it slightly. The Commuter does cover a little bit more of the camera and speaker area than the Innocase Active does. The Seido just has one big cutout for the entire row (the flash, camera lens, and speaker), while the Otterbox is more precise in that it covers the areas in between. The Otterbox also comes with a screen protector. I can't vouch for it one way or another as I didn't try it yet. I already had a screen protector on my phone before getting the Otterbox. Additionally, the Otterbox Commuter has port covers for the headphone jack, the HDMI port, and the mini-USB port. It is a bit annoying having to open up the port cover every time you need to use the mini-USB port, and I'm sure as many of you non-rooted users with battery chugging Evo's know...that's pretty often. That being said, I do appreciate the extra bit of protection. On my last phone, I had to clean out the solidified gunk from my ports on a semi-regular basis.

    The Otterbox feels much more solid to me. I've never dropped my Evo, but if I did, I would feel safer if I had it in the Commuter instead of the Innocase Active. I feel that the Innocase Active would do a good job at protecting the phone from scratches, however it wouldn't make much of a difference in a fall. I do think that the Otterbox may be able to withstand a fall from hip level assuming it wasn't on concrete or something similar.

    Otterbox Commuter wins this round.

    Aesthetics
    : In terms of size, they feel about the same to me. I do like the look of the Commuter a lot better than my Innocase Active though. It looks a lot sleeker in my opinion. I always found the Seido a little bit on the ugly side. The Otterbox reminds me more of the sleek, sexy phone (that I rarely actually see) inside the case. The only thing I don't really like about the aesthetics is actually just the Otterbox branding, but even that's not too obtrusive.

    Also, one thing I hated about my Seido is that the silicone parts seemed to constantly attract and retain dust. My phone always looked "dirty" because the case would always be dusty...and the only way I could get the dust off would be from compressed air (which isn't always handy) or in really bad cases, from actually washing the inner layer...which I then had to let dry before using again, leaving my Evo exposed and defeating the purpose of having a case in the first place. Because there is much less of the silicone layer exposed on the Otterbox, I don't think it will collect nearly as much dust (do note that the silicone parts that are exposed, still do collect dust).

    The Otterbox Commuter looks like (from a distance) it could just be the design of a phone, if that makes any sense. The Seido Innocase Active Limited Edition looks like a case from any distance. Also, maybe its just me, but anytime a friend wants to check out my Evo, I always blurt out that they should ignore the ugly case (the Seido) as I hand it to them.

    Otterbox Commuter wins this round.

    Feel: The case is definitely a little slippery compared to the Seido as the (grippy) silicone inner layer is mostly covered up by the Otterbox, while on the Seido it stays exposed on the sides. I don't know if this will necessarily be a good or bad thing though....on the Seido, I never felt that it was slippery in my hand, but it was constantly catching on the fabric of my pants as I would put it in and pull it out of my pocket. A few times I almost dropped it while taking it out, because it would suddenly catch on the fabric. The Otterbox is definitely easier to pull out of my pocket, but it doesn't feel as sure in the hand to me. It still feels good overall though (it's not too slippery...just a tad bit compared to the Seido. If I never had tried the Seido first, then I probably wouldn't have even noticed).

    For those who use a holster or carry the phone in a purse, the Seido Innocase Active would probably win this round for you as you wouldn't have to deal with the negative aspect of the higher amount of exposed silicone. For everyone else out there that carries their phone in a front pants pocket (like me), then the Otterbox Commuter would win this round.

    This round is a draw. I found both positive and negative aspects for the physical feel of each case.

    Build Quality
    : This one is a bit tricky, as there's a lot more to the Otterbox Commuter than there is to the Seido Innocase Active. That being said however, the Otterbox is about $10 more expensive (after a coupon code for 10% off and free shipping) so I feel that they should be held to a higher standard here. In terms of build quality, the Seido only had one issue for me. The hard plastic part is peeling in one of the corners already, and I only used it for two weeks. I think this is probably a widespread issue, as someone on Amazon posted pictures of this in their review of the Seido Innocase Active on there. I haven't had the Commuter long enough to notice any peeling, so I can't comment on that, but the hard plastic does feel a bit better, a bit more "upscale" on the Otterbox. However, the Otterbox does have build quality issues of its own. When using the kickstand, the phone is a bit wobbly while in the case. I use the kickstand every night, so that was a major blow against the Otterbox for me. It'll stay up on a nightstand or table, but I'm not sure how it will hold up somewhere else, like an airplane tray table. I have a feeling that, I'll be swapping cases back to the Seido during trips. Also, the cutout for the camera bezel doesn't line up perfectly. It doesn't cover up the camera lens itself, so it doesn't affect pictures, but still would be nice for it to line up to keep it looking symmetrical.

    Seido Innocase Active Limited Edition wins this round.

    Final Thoughts
    : I was really disappointed in the wobbly kickstand while using the Otterbox Commuter. For a relatively expensive case, this was a major drawback for me, since I use the kickstand quite often. However, on the other hand, the Seido has two huge drawbacks for me as well. The issue with the dust was annoying. It constantly made my phone look dirty. The bigger issue was with the material catching constantly on the fabric of my pants. That made me almost drop my phone multiple times, and if I did drop it, I'm not sure the Seido Innocase Active Limited Edition would protect it that well.

    In the end, with it's better protection, much better aesthetics, and overall "higher-end" feel to it

    The winner for me is the Otterbox Commuter!


    Please note that I edited my review to make a correction. I had mistakenly said that I was review the Seido Innocase Active, without realizing that it should have been the Seido Innocase Active Limited Edition. I apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused.

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  2. joelkirzner

    joelkirzner Active Member

    Thanks for the side-by-side comparison.

    I too have the seidio active and was considering purchasing the otterbox commuter. My biggest complaint with the otterbox is probably the cover for the bottom ports. I just can't deal with having to unplug the cover every time I charge/sync the phone.

    BTW, my seidio active back cover is peeling off like a ripe banana. It's occuring on all four corners, unfortunately. I'll probably contact seidio for a replacement--I'm sure the new one will have similar issues, but at least it will start off fresh.
  3. DarkMage619

    DarkMage619 Active Member

    Are you talking about the Seidio Active Limited Edition or the normal Seidio Active?

    [​IMG]
    Active Limited
    [​IMG]
    Active Standard

    I certainly don't see how the standard would only cover 70% of the phone. I have it and the only thing that is in common with the Limited is the camera cut outs.I personally preferred the finish on the Seidio Case but end the end its all subjective.

    The Dark One
  4. FraGztr

    FraGztr Well-Known Member

    The limited edition looks nice... gonna check this case out.
  5. aaz110

    aaz110 Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry, I was talking about the Active Limited. I'll edit my original post as I didn't even realize that I had different version of the Innocase Active. On the Active Standard that you pictured, it looks like it would cover a similar amount of surface area as the Otterbox Commuter.

    I still do like the grippy feeling of the Seido, as well as how it looked at first. I think I just got tired of it constantly looking dusty and pulling on my pocket fabric. I'm sure when another case comes out, I may very well be sick of my Otterbox Commuter by then because of the wobbly kickstand issue. I still do think that both are good cases though, and even though I picked the Commuter for the win, I would still take the Seido over anything else out there after that.
  6. aaz110

    aaz110 Well-Known Member



    I actually thought that would have been the biggest issue for me, but it really hasn't been that bad. As I've been able to tweak my battery settings pretty well now, I really only have to plug in my phone once a day when I go to bed at night (unless I'm using it for extended navigation in my car - which isn't that often in my case). Everything else pretty much syncs through wifi or 3G for me. The wobbly kickstand is still annoying me though. I temporarily solved it by using the video stand that came with a case for my previous phone, but it's still frustrating that this case compromised a feature of the phone itself, aside from slimness of course (for those of you without a video stand that comes with a case, a business card holder could also be used as a stable fix to the wobbly kickstand issue).

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