Underwater iPhone Cases for Beach Holiday

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by realph, May 5, 2014.

  1. realph macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2007
    I wanted to know if there are any good iPhone 5S cases for taking into the sea with me on holiday for underwater photos? Or is it worth just picking up a £100 underwater digital camera?

    Might sound a bit stupid, but I've seen a few cases out there, like the Lifeproof Nuud and the Inicpio Atlas. I was wondering if any users on the forum have used any of these or similar ones while on holiday and if so, how well did they hold up?

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. jeepik macrumors 6502

    Oct 2, 2009
    Im on vacation right now and am using the lifeproof nuud, so far so good

    Works as advertised in the ocean
  3. magilla macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2013
    Most of the "waterproof" cases are only good down to about 3m and for about 10-30 min exposure - not really meant for taking with you when snorkeling. More as a precaution against getting dropped in the water.

    Even the underwater digital cameras are only good to between 1-3m although I have an older Olympus Stylus SW850 that I take fishing with me regularly to shoot some underwater (1-2 ft) shots that works great.

    NO case is guaranteed ABSOLUTELY waterproof and manufacturers have long since dropped the allowance for any damaged equipment. They'll only replace the case.

    If you DO get a case, by all means, TEST IT BEFORE YOU TRUST YOUR PHONE TO IT. And by that I mean NOT WITH THE PHONE IN IT! Some moron posted on here earlier that they were pissed because the case leaked and destroyed their phone WHEN THEY WERE TESTING THE CASE FOR LEAKS.

    Look at it this way ... $100 camera vs. $600 phone? No brainer.
  4. Ti Rider, May 5, 2014
    Last edited: May 5, 2014

    Ti Rider macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2010
    Great advice. I've had four "waterproof cases". Three failed without warning. I work around saltwater so I thought it would great to have a case that would allow me to use my phone without taking precautions. I had the first case about 6-8 months with a perfect record. It had even gotten accidentally submerged a couple of time. Then I picked it up to use it after it got some light spray on it. The screen looked strange. I immediately knew it was water so I ripped the case open and dried the phone off. A mysterious pin hole had developed in the Gore Tex covering the ear speaker hole. Had my phone gotten submerged it would've been ruined.

    The second failure happened when I was off of work cleaning come fish. My phone rang I answered it with absolutely filthy fish gut covered hands so I stuck under the hose to rinse the screen off. Again I immediately noticed water flooding underneath the screen cover. Same deal as the first time, ripped it open, dried it off, again luckily the phone still functioned.

    The third was a cheapo knockoff of the most popular waterproof case. No hidden failure there - the screen tore away from the plastic. I never trusted it enough to fully submerge it but it was 1/8th of the genuine case's price.

    My 4th waterproof case was a tank. It turned my phone into what seemed like a 5 pound brick. I carried it for awhile but upgraded from an iPhone 4 to iPhone 5S so no more giant brick case. I never had any water issues with it but the size and cost were a definite tradeoff.

    Eventually I gave up on the idea of a waterproof case as an everyday carry. The tradeoffs just weren't worth it - the not knowing if today was the day they were going to fail, the cost (from $10 to $100), and then muffled sound quality that got worse the longer you used the case. I went back to a "rugged" case - Pelican Voyager.
  5. magilla macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2013
    Incidentally, I recently purchased a Pelikan case from a local LL Bean (not sure which model it was but it was sized to fit a 5c/s) because it looked like a great rugged case (for fishing) with what seemed a great all-around seal. It was rated (by Pelikan on the tag) as being for 1m @ 3 min immersion. Seemed like a very short time for immersion but I see the idea was that it was only protection for a "quick dunk & grab." Took it home to test & it failed immediately, even though the seal looked perfect (not dented, dinged, crimped or dirty). Returned to LL Bean.

    Don't know who else produces rugged cases (have had Pelikans for my photographic equipment for about 30 years) but I think Ikelite (haven't done a Google search) produces one. They've made underwater housings (for REALLY deep descents) for a bunch of years for 70 & 35mm cameras so I can't help but think, if they're still in business, that they haven't jumped on the cel-phone bandwagon.
  6. magilla, May 11, 2014
    Last edited: May 11, 2014

    magilla macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2013
    I second (and third) that! This housing (NOT a case as their site clearly differentiates) is the 800 lb. gorilla of a housing. 2 models for iPhones - standard rated to 40m/130' or the WaterShot Pro rated to 60m/195'.

    Neither are particularly "aesthetic" (nor particularly cheap $109 & $189 for that matter) but you won't find a better housing on the market. Has mounting points for GoPro & standard 1/4" tripod.

    This housing was referred to me by the people at Ikelite who make housings for 35, 60 & 70 mm cameras.

    Awesome stuff.

    Attached Files:

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