Seidio has now released the 3rd generation OBEX case and is available for the Samsung Galaxy S4. This is a water, dirt, shock and snow proof case. It is constructed to withstand a good amount of compression and will give you great protection all around the device. The OBEX has evolved from a design that in my opinion beat out LifeProof since day one and has only gotten better. Seidio started out supporting the Galaxy S3 (1st gen) and soon after that released their iPhone 5 edition (2nd gen). I was pleasantly surprised at well I enjoyed the iPhone 5 OBEX. Check out the review here.
The video review is at the bottom of this post. Be sure to take a gander.
The setup that was sent to me left me feeling like something sorta special. When I opened the box I was greeted with professional looking ad, letter, stylus pen and decal wrapped in a red ribbon. Under the welcome gift was the Obex and Holster. The OBEX’s box has a door/window to peak in the box viewing the case ready to be taken out. The box is laid out with a well design information and data about the OBEX. As you open the top of the box you are then greeted with the best waterproof Galaxy S4 case on the market.
The holster is neatly packaged in a separate box and awaits for it’s companion. Both items comes with instructions to ensure proper installation and optimal performance.
This is actually one of the best parts of the OBEX. In previous models is a rubber band o-ring that could come off the case. You had to make sure it stayed in the respective grooves for proper installation and to keep it waterproof. The other generations also had removable parts such as the charging and vibrate rocker port covers. This guy has NO removable parts! It is simply the front and back covers. That’s it!
This model also has two grooves to pry the covers apart. The iPhone 5 model only had one. I like the two grooves because it takes away stress on the case. You can now gently pry and work your way around the case. Use a coin or object that will not damage the case. It is not recommended to use a sharp object. To begin opening the case be sure to unlatch the top and bottom port covers.
Once the two parts of separated you are initially greeted with the manual of everything you need to know about the case. From warning, installation procedures and specs.
For the best results you will need to complete two installations. The first is for the water test without the phone installed and then another with the phone installed.
To install the case lay the front cover with screen protector facing down on a flat smooth surface. Line up the phone screen side down, use the camera as a reference point and begin to place the phone inside the case. Press the middle first and then each corner. Do not press hard, but remain firm. Once you feel confident the phone is where it needs to be, proceed to the back cover.
Align the back cover with the front and press down to start the compression. At this point pick up the case and begin to work your way around the border pressing the covers together. Once the covers are sealed close the hatches and the case is now fully installed.
As stated above you will want to perform a water test without the phone installed and then do a test (if you want) with the phone installed. The first test I like to use a piece of paper, which you can tell if the case is defective or had a bad installation if the paper gets wet while submerged. Keep the case baptized for about 5 minutes and then dry off the case. Uninstall the case and carefully inspect the case for any water beginning by checking the paper for any wet marks. You will see some water on the first perimeter area grooves. The area of concern is the direct middle area. If no water in the middle you are good to go!
One of the big concerns people have about waterproof cases is the sound quality concerning the speaker phone, music and calls. In the video I performed a sound test involving watching a video that has music in the video. The video also has spoken word. The music pushed through pretty good and the clarity was not too bad. Obviously it’s going to sound different with this style case installed. Once the spoken word started is where there was a little distortion noticed. It is not terrible by any means, but there is a noticeable change is the sounds quality.
The iPhone’s call speaker volume is already poor in my opinion which doesn’t help any waterproof case’s call sound quality. The call quality was better than the LifeProof but still I was wanting to hear more out of the iPhone 5 OBEX. Fortunately, the Galaxy S4’s call volume is superb! With TouchWiz software you even get the choice of increasing the volume, which makes this case a win win for call sound quality.
On the way home after recording this review I made a phone call and was anxious to test out the call sound quality with the Galaxy S4 OBEX. It was a relief to be able to hear the other end of the call without pressing the phone’s ear speaker hard against my ear to hear the caller on the other end. Now with that said, the call volume was pushed all the way up and it was a little quieter compared to if the case was not installed. But significantly better than the iPhone 5 experience.
Keep in mind that I am running AOKP custom ROM that is not TouchWiz based and does not include the same call volume increase options. If I did have that option I would have used it and I am positive the sound would be perfect. I will update this post when I have a TW ROM installed.
The conversation went rather smooth and was not hard to hear on both ends of the call. There were a couple times both of us had to repeat ourselves but that is due to the other caller was talking softly attempting to not disturb kids. Overall the sound test was a good experience.
I have been able to speak another caller and the he said he could hear me loud and clear. On my end of the line, I still would prefer it to be a little bit louder. But overall, no worries.
The NFC test was a breeze. No flaws whatsoever. Worked perfectly. I was able to program a NFC tag and execute the command.
Screen Performance – The screen is constructed really well. The iPhone 4S LifeProof case was my first waterproof case experience and I HATED it! The screen was a horrible design. Reason being is because they have the filters and screens between the screen protector and the phone’s screen creating an annoying air gap and made typing a pain in the butt. Completely took away the touch screen experience. The OBEX on the other hand has the filters above the screen protector which makes the screen protector flush and smooth with the surface of the phone’s screen.
Typing is a breeze on the GS4 OBEX. I have had to issues with this build. I would say it has improved since the iPhone 5 OBEX. Swiping and normal touch screen functionality work great.
The ONLY issue I have experienced is while the screen gets wet or gets a drop on the haptic feedback menu and back buttons, the button will activate. I discovered this “problem” while attempting to shoot a silly Instagram video.
Buttons & Ports – This is another aspect of the OBEX I have been impressed with. Obviously everything is covered up. At times cases can hinder button press functionality with how the button covers are designed. As far as the OBEX goes, the power and volume controls are very easy to press.
The bottom hatch at times can be difficult to open, but it is something I live with knowing that it is sealed tight for when I need it most. The top hatches are relatively easy to open but again feels very secure. There are no removable parts like the iPhone 5 OBEX which is a HUGE improvement in my opinion.
The headphone jack port is covered but also comes with an adapter to be able to listen to music and rest assured the phone is still protected against water. Very cool addition to this new OBEX.
Pocketability – One of the biggest requirements I have about a case is it NEEDS to be able to fit in and out of my pockets with ease. The OBEX is smooth, rounded edges and thin = pocketable.
Durability – The OBEX is made to withstand some punishment. It will protect against 6 foot drops, getting run over (compression) and everyday wear and tear. Its made from strong TPU and Polycarbonate material constructed to taking a beating.
Overall Feel – The case feels good in the hand. I like the smooth surface, although at times when maneuvering with one hand seems to be a little bit slippery. But Seidio also designed the OBEX with a rubbery siding that helps with grip. When handling the phone the grip is actually very nice.
Everything is very responsive. This case could very well be considered a daily driver. <—–Don’t take those words lightly. For a case to be considered my daily driver, says a lot. I’m a case hoarder, addict and case snob. Yes I admit it. I am very picky with my cases and accessories.
I really like how easy it is to install and operate. If for some reason I need to do a battery pull or access my SD card, I do not feel like it will be a huge hassle, but will require extra effort regardless due to the nature of the case.
My particular setup is the Holster Combo. Seidio has always impressed me with their holsters. They are the best in the business! The Holster is VERY durable and is a fine companion with whatever case they pair it up with. The spring clip is a new design with a locking feature to give you even more assurance the case will not fall out of the Holster. It was already a secure fit, but Seidio went the extra mile.
The audio adapter was a pleasant surprise! I feel confident my phone will be protected while jogging keeping the sweat off or if I get caught in the rain (where I am from, rain could happen at any moment).
Rating: 11/10 (Yeah I like it that much, that I am throwing math out of the equation!)
Seidio has done a fantastic job with the 3rd gen OBEX case for the Galaxy S4. I was already happy with the iPhone 5 model and now this certainly beats the competition! Not too mention Seidio is the FIRST to release a waterproof case for the Galaxy S4. I can’t wait to do some more fun videos and reviews for this case, so stay tuned and be sure to subscribe/follow/connect.
I had TONS of fun with the iPhone 5 OBEX going to the beach, pool and filming spontaneous videos of storms and crazy weather. It is such a sweet feeling that I can take the phone to a wet environment and not worry about a thing. I could literally put the phone down anywhere on the beach and know the phone will not get wet or dirty. Just plain awesome! Needless to say I can’t wait to see how the high def 13mp Galaxy S4 camera will perform under water, in stormy weather, etc. This case is going to be a lot of fun!
If you could tell from my rating in each of the talking points, this case is built really well. The “flaws” if I can even call them that, are really not big deals and will be quickly overlooked as more miles are put on the case. If you want a waterproof case that will protect and perform to the max, go get it!