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Swimming might be the first thing that comes to mind when you imagine why you might need a waterproof phone case, but these are handy for a bunch of activities in and around water, from fishing to even watching Netflix in the shower.
When looking around for the best waterproof phone case, you’ll notice there are two main types: a traditional case that’s built to your phone’s exact specifications, and a lighter, transparent pouch (often with a neck strap or lanyard) that seals. Both work well for different situations, but the hard cases are better for everyday life, while pouches work well when specifically bringing your phone into the water with you.
How to Pick the Best Waterproof Phone Case
Here’s what to consider before taking your phone into a wet setting.
Waterproof Rating: Most waterproof and water-resistant electronics are rated on the IP scale, or Ingress Protection. It’s a simple way of letting the buyer know how much liquid exposure (along with things like dust) the device can handle without issue. The first digit tells you the level of protection against solids like dirt and debris, while the second is what indicates protection against liquids. An IP68 or IPX8 rating is the highest possible, and means it’s capable of being totally submerged over one meter, though all cases vary in just how deep they can handle.
Accessibility: A thick, sealed case might mean lots of protection from water, but it can also cut down on the sensitivity and responsiveness of touch — kind of a big deal with a smart phone screen. But a clear window made out of material like PVC can still be touchable, and most cases still have spots designed to fit your phone’s specific physical buttons.
Photos: Part of the appeal of a waterproof case is being able to take photos in, around, and especially under water. But if the case blocks the camera lens, or creates other issues like air bubbles around it, that can get in the way of a good shot. Having a case that’s anti-fog, anti-fingerprint, and one that provides protection for the camera is crucial if you’ll be doing underwater photography.
Durability: This matters with all cases, but even a waterproof one still needs to hold up against regular drops and damage. Having a case that floats is also a huge stress reliever, so you won’t have to worry about it disappearing forever if you lose it in the lake or ocean. And for diving, be sure to go for a case that’s designed to handle the intense pressure that increases the deeper you go.
What Are the Best Waterproof Phone Cases?
Here are the top waterproof phone cases to protect your device.
1. Syncwire Waterproof Phone Pouch
This pouch snaps and seals shut tightly, with an IPX8 rating, and can take a deep dive up to 100 feet down.
It’s protected against accidental drops into bodies of water as well as on hard ground, with both floating pockets and padding adding extra cushioning.
Using a touchscreen is responsive thanks to the soft and sensitive Thermoplastic Polyurethane material, and this is excellent for taking photos on vacation while keeping your phone safe.
2. Oterkin Waterproof Case
This can handle being totally submerged in over 2 meters of water for up to an hour, all while using it to take photos, video, and easily accessing buttons and the touchscreen.
The material is nicely grippy to prevent slipping when wet, and the lanyard is helpful to hold on to as well. It’s also tightly guarded against sand for a day at the beach, and the case is slim enough to still wirelessly charge up on a Qi pad.
3. Spidercase Waterproof iPhone Case
This fully waterproof IP68 case is also guarded against physical damage, with an anti-scratch back cover, rigid grippy sides, and shock-absorbing corners.
The bezels around the camera are raised up a bit to offer extra protection, and all buttons and ports are still readily accessible and easy to press. The case is thin enough that it’ll still work on a wireless charging pad, though the sound from the speaker can get muffled, so it’s best to use some wireless (and ideally waterproof) earbuds when making a call from the pool.
4. Mitywah Shockproof Case
This iPhone XR case covers all the “proofs”: water, snow, dust, sand, and shock.
It’s IP68-rated, totally submergible, and constructed with durable materials including aluminum, silicone, metal, and polycarbonate.
The rubber inside is soft and absorbent to drops, even on solid concrete, while the outer polycarbonate shell holds strong against external damage and liquids. The raised lip around the screen also gives a little buffer zone for when your phone tumbles face-down onto the floor.
5. Hiearcool Waterproof Phone Pouch
This pouch is your best bet to fit a bunch of different phones for everyone in your family, with up to seven inches to safely store various iPhones, Samsung Galaxie phones, and Google Pixel phones.
It’s IPX8-rated, and totally waterproof up to 100 feet. The polyvinyl chloride is clear and responsive to touch, and there’s enough room to fit other important items you want to keep dry too, like a passport or ID.