Immediately after you jumped off the diving board with your brand new phone in your pocket, you were probably wishing you had invested in a waterproof case. Nobody wants to be stuffing their phone into a bowl of uncooked rice, hoping that it will somehow absorb all of the pool water out of it. There is good news, and bad news. Bad news is that if you do find yourself staring down at your phone laying in a bowl of rice, it may already be too late for your phone. The good news is that many of today’s smartphones are water resistant to a certain extent. Another positive to note is that there are options for daily, subtle phone cases that can save you from that gut-sinking feeling after your phone slips out of your hands and goes for a rinse in the toilet. Water damage is without a doubt one of the most common ways that today’s smartphones are ruined. Here is a look at how to best protect your smartphone, both with a more traditional case and a special pouch designed for the water.
Understanding the terminology:
When finding the best phone or phone case for water damage protection, it is important to know some of the basics surrounding this topic. First, waterproof and water resistant are not the same thing. They are often used interchangeably, which can be lead to damaged devices. Water resistant refers to the devices ability to handle minor spills, small submersions. Waterproof generally means that if can be completely submerged, and partially or fully operational for a certain period of time, without damaging the device. This should help you avoid buying a water resistant case while searching for one that is waterproof, some products will hide behind the grey area between the two categories.
It is also to understand the scale used to rate a products ability to resist water damage. Each device and case will have a IP Rating (Ingress Protection Rating). For example, you could see IP-67, the first digit refers to the product’s protection from solid objects, which we will ignore for this article. The second digit is the water resistance rating, and it is on a scale of 1-8. The table below describes how the scale is used to test and rate how protected the device is from water.
|1||Protected against vertically falling drops of water|
|2||Protected against water drops up to 15 degrees from vertical|
|3||Protected against direct sprays from up to 60 degrees from vertical|
|4||Protected against spraying and splashing water from all directions|
|5||Protected against low-pressure jets of water|
|6||Protected against high-pressure jets of water|
|7||Protected against the effects of immersion at depths between 15cm and 1 meter for 30 minutes|
|8||Protected against long periods of immersion at depths more than 1 meter, specified by the manufacturer|
It is important to look into the exact specifications of the product you are purchasing. Just because it may be labeled as an 8 for water resistance doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe to take a swim with your smartphone. In fact, despite phone and case ratings, most manufacturers will recommend not intentionally submerging your device. But this scale can serve as a valuable tool when looking at protection against accidents. We will also be taking a look at products that completely protect from water damage, as advertised.
The first route to take in this journey to a more protected smartphone is to select a waterproof case. This is the better option for someone looking to protect their phone from accidents, like we mentioned above. A good way to look at purchasing a case for this purpose is to think of it as a tool to fill in the gap between your device’s current IP water rating and the desired 8 rating on the scale above. OK, let’s dive into it (pun intended).
LifeProof FRE SERIES Waterproof Case
IP-68 / Waterproof fully submergible up to 6.6ft for one hour
LifeProof as a proven track record when it comes to waterproof phone cases. They are one of the top producers of these cases, especially for the most recent models of the iPhone. One of the reasons for their popularity is that despite being a very water and shock resistant case, they are still very sleek compared to similar products in the past. This makes it much more practical for someone to purchase the case for everyday use. It should also be mentioned that it has an exceptionally wide variety of colors and designs to choose from, which is rare for products in this category.
This case provides very easy access to all ports, while still remaining sealed tight from water. Port access is a crucial function for waterproof cases, this is the most common complaint that users seem to have for other products. As one would expect with one of the larger brands in this space, this product will cost you more than double what you would pay for one of our next two cases.
Charlemain iPhone 7 Waterproof Case
IP-68 / Waterproof fully submergible up to 6.6ft for two hours
This product stands out with an incredibly minimalist design, and a great IP rating with a 2 hour test as noted above. A few additional things to note about this case. First, it does include a small metal sheet on the back to allow the phone to be placed on a magnetic mount in your car. Secondly, it is important to note that you have to use the original Apple charger because any other cord will not fit in the sealed port. For many this can present a problem, but it is crucial in the design efforts of keeping the phone as sealed as possible.
Ounne iPhone 7 Plus Waterproof Case
IP-68 / Waterproof fully submergible up to 6.5ft for one hour
This product is very similar to our last product, including the price and the charging port issue. But this case was at the top of the list of waterproof cases for the Plus version of the iPhone 7. It has a more industrial look than most others, but still sleek for being waterproof. Another positive with this case is that was designed to eliminate the air bubbles within the screen protector, an issue across the board when these types of cases were first made for smartphones.
LifeProof FRE SERIES Waterproof Case
IP-68 / Waterproof fully submergible up to 6.6ft for one hour
LifeLock is one of the few brands that has a line of waterproof cases that carries iPhone and select Android models. This particular case is compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S8, but not the S8+ version. We should also point out that they have the same case for the Galaxy S5, S6, and S7 from Samsung. On par with the iPhone version we went over earlier in this article, the case is known for it’s highly functional port seals and variety of colors to choose from.
Temdan LG G6 Waterproof Case
IP-68 / Waterproof fully submergible up to 10ft for one hour.
What stands out with this particular product is the testing that it has gone through. The sealed ports at the bottom remain fully waterproof and sealed even after 1000 opens. Port seals tend to wear out over time and will become much less effective at keeping water out. This a huge issue as you have to keep an eye on how tight the seal is, and you may have to replace your case because of one very small, but vital part of your case. So with that being said, if this case can stand up to the wear and tear over a long period of time, while still protecting your phone from water damage, this would be a great case for daily use.
Jaity Samsung Galaxy S8 Waterproof Case
IP-68 / Waterproof Fully submergible to over 19ft for one hour
This case stands out of the crowd because it advertises and encourages the user to take the phone underwater to take photos. With most of these other products it is definitely possible to do this to a certain extent, but no one else has made a claim to be designed for it. Setting them apart from similar cases that are meant to still be used as a daily case. This serves a perfect transition into our last category of waterproof protection for your phone.
Our next section is quite a bit different, while it still aims to waterproof your smartphone, these products are meant to be used when you know you are going to be bringing your device into the water. For example, a day at the waterpark and you want to be able to take photos. These are generally referred to as phone pouches as opposed to a case. This is due to their lack of practicality as a daily phone protector. But with that being said, they essentially provide 100% protection from water damage and they have other features that you won’t get with the traditional waterproof cases.
Mpow Universal Case
We really only need to talk about one of these products because they all nearly identical, aside from color options and some size variation. Which brings me to my first interesting feature about this product, due to their simple design they are compatible with nearly every smartphone available. This makes it very practical to have one of these laying around the house for any special occasion, and there is no need to worry about what type of phone the user has. Another feature unique to this route of water protection is the lanyard that comes attached to the pouch. This solidifies that this product is designed for water experiences you want to capture. One last thing to note, they are also meant to hold other personal items along with your phone. Wallets, keys, and any other small item you want to keep dry will be safe in these pouches.
Picking your best option:
It should be clear which route is best for you. If you are accident prone, and you simply want your phone to survive the plunge into the deep end, then the first set of cases would be your best bet. If you found this list because you just want to take pictures on your next trip to the waterpark or underwater in your pool, then the pouch is perfect for you. Either way, protecting your smartphone from the ever looming water damage with one of these cases can help bring that peace of mind we all want with our beloved smartphones. And lucky for you, if you somehow still manage to break your smartphone, we offer cell phone repairs at affordable rates.
(All photos courtesy of Amazon)