Review: Seidio Luma, Surface + Tetra for iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 6/6s Plus
Seidio's Luma, Surface, and Tetra cases are all available for both iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 6/6s Plus. All three cases offer solid protection and button coverage, but their builds are quite different. Luma ($30) is a clear polycarbonate-and-TPU case with a cover for the LED flash — this cover allows the entire case to light up during notifications, if the iPhone is adjusted to proper accessibility settings. Surface ($30-$40) takes a thin, soft shell, and puts it in a two-piece hard matte slider shell case. Tetra ($35) is another of the "bumper-and-back" cases we've gotten used to seeing — it uses a clear back to show off the iPhone, while protecting the edges with a locking aluminum bumper. The kickstand-laden Surface comes in a variety of colors, while Tetra's bumpers come in brown, rose gold, or gold.
Luma is a straightforward case, except for its LED flash alert feature, which is of course its main selling point. If you turn on LED flash alerts in Settings > General > Accessibility > LED Flash for Alerts, and you set the camera flash set to auto, and you’re disconnected from an Apple Watch ... Luma’s flash cover will cause the alert light to quickly light up the case. Some will find it to be a neat future while others could care less. Visual iPhone case notifications aren’t a new idea, but the sliding cover — the flash can be exposed for photos — is an easy enough way of making it happen. Luma comes with a small screwdriver and a variety of colored plates, in case you want to change the color of your flash alert.
Surface has a bit of an odd design, and the result is a bit odd at times, as well. For iPhone 6/6s, we tried removing the case and putting it back on the iPhone 6s over and over, and the result was always strange, too-touchy volume controls. Sometimes the controls would get stuck and blast the volume to full after pressing the button just once. Not ideal, to say the least. Our testing for the iPhone 6/6s Plus case revealed no such issues, but we did find the case a bit slick — being so large to accommodate Apple’s biggest phone, we could see Surface slipping out of one’s hand often.
The aluminum framed Tetra should be a stronger, better version of plastic bumper-and-back cases we’ve seen, but again, we encountered some button issues. Tetra 6/6s’ volume controls felt a bit sharp — almost like the edges could cut you if you moved your hand too quick — and the 6/6s Plus controls felt a bit vague and floaty.
It’s a mixed bag here from Seidio. Even if you don’t use the Luma’s LED alert feature, it’s still a good case at a reasonable price, earning our general recommendation. The larger Surface case and both Tetra cases have a few issues that limit our recommendation, while the persistent volume control problems seen in the iPhone 6/6s version of Surface make us unable to recommend that particular case at all.