The surface itself is smooth, as in it is not textured. It is a hard plastic, meaning that pressing a finger nail to it does not create a depression, but it does feel a bit grippy. It feels like it has more friction against the hand then the bare phone, even though the stock back does have a slight texture. Hard plastic makes it sound like it might feel smooth, like a regular desktop mouse, for example, but it doesn't, there is a sense of friction.Thanks for the post What is the texture this case like, slick or grippy? I'm wondering if it's the same material as what is sometimes described as sandstone or rubber paint. I had a sandstone case for my previous phone and loved its feel.
The clear silicon case has more friction and grippiness than this one. One reason I've come to like this one is because it wraps up on the sides, so there is a consistent feel on the palm and fingers when holding the phone. The silicon case also wraps up on the sides, but because the edges of the case peel away from the phone and there is seam where the fingertips rest it doesn't feel as secure. I think the silicon one might actually offer better protection though, because it does cover everything except the screen and bezel, while the hard one leaves the top and bottom edges and half of each corner uncovered.