Waterproof phone cases tested: Diving with your smartphone

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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Cheeky fish, floating turtles, colorful corals – great photo opportunities await you underwater. They can also be recorded with a smartphone if it is in a dive case. We tested solid underwater cases, so-called hard cases, and soft, waterproof cell phone cases for the beach and sea.

Quality ratings range from good to bad. The test winner allows successful photos and is the only one that can be handled comfortably. Two other test candidates delivered blurry and blurry images and had another problem: the smartphone could hardly be activated on them. Use our test results to find the right case.

Why waterproof phone cases are worth testing for you

Test results

Stiftung Warentest tested seven diving cases for smartphones and two waterproof covers for mobile phones. They cost between 11 and 645 euros. The results vary from good to bad. The products tested come from suppliers such as Divevolk, Easydive, Joby, Kraken and Sealife.

The best dive case for you

You can filter the test results, for example, only displaying devices that allow “operation via touch screen” or “operation via app and buttons on the dive case”.

Test comments

We provide detailed reviews with pros and cons of each device under test. You can find them by clicking on the respective product in the table.

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Waterproof phone cases tested
Test results for 10 underwater smartphone cases

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Suitable for many cell phone models

We tested underwater cases and waterproof phone cases with two premium smartphones: Apple iPhone 14 It is Samsung Galaxy S22. Even newer models like this iPhone 15 It is Galaxy S24 as well as many other cell phones are suitable for diving accommodation.

Tip: You can see how big a smartphone can be to fit in its dive case before activating the test. You can find the information when you go to Table Click on an individual device and scroll down to product features (see “Dimensions and weight”).

Simple: operated via the cell phone’s touch screen

The tested underwater housings are based on different operating concepts. With the Divevolk, Joby and Shellbox models, the smartphone can be operated directly via the touchscreen, even underwater. To do this, a film is firmly glued to the cell phone’s display and you run your fingertips over the touch screen. Advantage of this technology: The dive box does not require a battery or rechargeable batteries. Disadvantage: Touchscreen control often works less accurately with diving gloves.

Convenient: operation via app and buttons on the case

Dive cases from Sealife, Kraken and Easydive work with their own app. You need to install it on your smartphone beforehand, and the dive box and cell phone are then connected via Bluetooth. The app can be operated using buttons on the dive case. Disadvantage: Bluetooth connection requires power from rechargeable batteries or batteries in the case. When they are empty, just take photos.

The Seafrogs underwater case is a little unusual in that it uses your smartphone’s pre-installed camera app, but controls it via the cursor keys on the dive case.

Waterproof cell phone cases as an alternative

In addition to solid underwater cases, waterproof cell phone cases are offered, which at least protect the smartphone from sea salt and water pressure. They are cheap, costing 11 and 19 euros, and our test reveals whether they also guarantee good photos.

Tip: Smartphones with great cameras can be easily integrated into our Smartphone Test filter. If you prefer to take diving photos with a classic camera, you will find the best devices in Camera Test. There we also reviewed several waterproof compact cameras – including the TG-7 Tough OM Systemthat we are competing with underwater cases and cell phone covers.

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