I realised after accepting this review that it wasn’t going to be a normal test. I would eventually have to put my own phone (iPhone 5S) in harms way to prove it worked, or endure a long phone call to the insurance company if it didn’t. I then pondered if this was an evil plot by GWA setting me up to destroy my own beloved Apple product…
Anyway, I started with a bit of research on their website. An impressive video in fast forward with water, mud and sand all thrown at it. The case looked well built and only restricted the use of the fingerprint sensor. With an IP rating of 68 (that’s good) and waterproof to 2m for 30mins, I picked the brightest colour case and also took a bike mount for good measure. It arrived a few days before I was due to get married so all I had chance to do was admire the professional packaging as I snuck it into my pre-packed honeymoon suitcase hoping my “wife to be” wouldn’t think I was bringing “work” with me. Thankfully she turned up on time, we married, it was a lovely day… but you don’t care about that.
It was a good few days later before I started testing the case. Initially in a very scientific way using a piece of paper, a hotel sink and a toilet roll. As I didn’t put the phone in initially it floated, hence the toilet roll to take the photo. I held it underwater for approx 5 minutes, moving it around, tapping the screen and banging it against the side. Once opened the paper remained bone dry so it was time to try it with the phone. It was then that I noticed a slightly disconcerting gap around the edge joining the two bits of case together. There was a yellow clip lock at the top and bottom that were completely sealed so I was happy that it was still waterproof. The phone went in, 5 minutes, moving, tapping, banging and all worked ok underwater and still when back out. Case opened without any hints of moisture inside. Test One – Passed.
Test two was just everyday life living in my pocket. Charging is still easy as you just flip down the bottom yellow clip. The earphone socket is a little faffy but still works fine. Calls sound the same and there didn’t seem to be any issues with the microphone. The speaker was a little more tinny than before. The case then had a little dip in the pool and well as lots of use in the rain. The bike clip was then tested and I was seriously impressed. It feels expensive and well built, its easy to lock in the case, adjustable position, totally secure when riding and then easy to clip back out. Test Two – Passed
After this I did what any man would do and jump to the next logical test. Strapping it to the winch of a Landrover Defender and going off roading in deep muddy puddles! At this point I wimped out a little and decided to keep the phone with me in the cabin, thinking that I’d find out if it worked afterwards by seeing if any moisture had got inside. After a few hours driving about we looked at it again and found water inside.**
It’s at this point I should declare that Test Three may not be to NASA standards. I don’t know if the case was underwater longer than 30minutes in total. The fact there was no phone inside may change the effectiveness? I may have knocked it on rocks? So I’ll declare Test Three void for the case, but a fantastic success for the bike clip again.
So discounting test three, I like the case, it does the job without adding loads of bulk.
Price: £74.99 (£110 with bike mount)
**GWA Note – Yes, the fact that the case was empty could well have caused it to leak, by creating a vaccuum when/if the case was compressed underwater.