A year ago, I wrote that the Twelve South SurfacePad was my favorite iPhone case. After a year, I’m still very happy I bought the case. I love knowing that I can leave the house with just my phone knowing I have the two most important cards with it.1 I thought it would be worth following up on two aspects a year into using this case based on the most common questions I saw in reviews while buying the case.
The biggest question was around one of the marquee features: can it be moved/removed without residue and while still remaining effective?
For me, I ran into a snag, but was able to get it off and onto a new iPhone successfully. The snag has to do with how the adhesive is made. It’s basically attached as a sheet to the insider of the leather. As I started pulling the case off the phone, the adhesive sheet started separating from the case and sticking to the phone. I just stopped when I noticed that, made sure I got the adhesive off, and then made sure to peel by pulling the adhesive & leather. The adhesive stayed intact as a sheet, still attached to the case, once I got the first edge pulled off. I had no problem after that. No residue on the old phone, too.
I then reattached it to the new phone. So far, it feels snug, I can dangle the phone by the case and the adhesive doesn’t seem to budge at all. I’m pretty happy.
The second question was around how the leather would age. Leather darkens and can stiffen as it ages, especially something like a phone case that’s always in my hand or in a pocket.
It has definitely darkened, and I’m debating whether to get a new case for this reason. I do like the darker red, but I’m going to get some leather cleaner and see if I can brighten it up.
The slots that hold the cards still hold the cards well, but they do slide around a tiny bit. I have one card that’s heavier, made of a faux metal material, that does want to slide out if I shake the case. That may seem contrived, but I do jog with the phone in my hand, which does worry me a little (I check to make sure the phone is right side up as I begin.
I’ve included a photo below that shows the case back when I bought it, the case now, and the back of the old phone. The phone photo was taken without any cleaning or other work – just the case removed. Click on it for a larger view.
Even with the wear, I’m really happy with the case.
Interestingly, in the US, that’s my driver’s license and main credit card. In India, I just carry two credit cards since I don’t have a valid driver’s license.↩