The SurfacePad for iPhone is smart, both in terms of appearances and design. Mine adds a lovely shock of red to my black iPhone 4S, and allows me to set my iPhone down on either of its faces without worrying about scratches.
The installation process takes less than a minute, requiring me to align all of the sides properly, and apply a bit of pressure for the adhesive on the SurfacePad to stick to the glass on the rear of my iPhone. The adhesive is strong enough that I can dangle the iPhone by the cover without fear of my phone plummeting to the floor. I’ve only ever applied the SurfacePad once, but I’ve been told by TwelveSouth that it should stand up to a few repeated applications.
The leather takes a few days to break in, but the front cover now sits completely flat on my device at all times. The leather wraps around the iPhone like the jacket of a book, adding class and some very welcome extra grip to the device. It also does a good job of dulls vibrations just enough to make them less alarming (some of my friends hate the sound of a metal-and-glass smartphone buzzing against a table). The camera cut-out along the back makes it easy to take shots, although it does feel more conspicuous because the cover has to hang below the phone.
When I’m not taking photos, I can fold the cover behind the iPhone to make the whole package more compact, but most of the time I just let the cover dangle open – it’s light enough that I’m never worried about the iPhone being tugged out of my hand.
There are two more little tricks hidden in the SurfacePad’s simple design. The leather that runs along the side of the iPhone is imprinted with the outline of the volume buttons, so it’s always easy to find them. An even cooler trick, however, is how the cover can become a stand, just like a little iPhone Smart Cover. The viewing angle on the resulting stand is flexible, lends itself to alarm clock apps, and really makes me wish that iOS had more native landscape support for the home and lock screens.
The $35 SurfacePad for iPhone is light, durable, and made to the usual top-notch TwelveSouth standards, and I think it’s an easy recommendation for iPhone 4S and 5 owners. It isn’t a case for drops, but rather a fantastic little leather jacket – the iPhone equivalent of Suiting Up. I’m smitten with the red SurfacePad, but it’s also available in white or black, if you’d like to match the colour of your device.
The SurfacePad was provided by TwelveSouth for review on iSource. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.