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Seidio OBEX waterproof case for iPhone 5

May 8, 2013

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin’ - G4 Canada

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Seidio OBEX waterproof case for iPhone 5At first glance the Seidio OBEX waterproof case for iPhone 5 doesn’t look like much. However, if you use your precious device in an environment where it can easily be subject to things like mud, water, dust, sand or anything that could potentially destroy your prize possession then this case, as vanilla as it may seem, could literally save your backside.

Seidio OBEX is designed for protection and functionality more so than fashion.  It absorbs shock in two ways; first by the material it's made of – a combination of Polycarbonate and Thermoplastic Polyurethane - and second, by the curvature in the build that dissipates the force of the impact across the body of the case rather than at its point of impact, softening the blow. In fact, in independent testing, it exceeds MIL-STD-810G a military standard for drop protection when dropped from 4 feet at multiple angles.

It also passes IP68 water & dust protection standard, nicely protecting your device from the elements and even an accidental drop into the toilet or continuous submersion in water up to two metres deep.

Mic & Speakers Still Work

A number of features help keep liquids and other material from seeping into the case and damaging your phone while still maintaining its functionality including a red waterproof membrane or o-ring to seal its perimeter. Silicone and rubber stoppers protect the headphone and docking port as well as the mute switch.

It also features an antireflective glass to allow you to take photos without affecting your shots; the screen protector is designed to sit flush with your iPhone’s display to maintain visual clarity without majorly affecting its sensitivity.

Plus, with the case being virtually fully enclosed, it doesn’t interfere with your phone reception your Bluetooth or Wi-Fi signals.

Seidio OBEX waterproof case for iPhone 5 It's fairly quick to install your phone into the case but to avoid seepage; you'll need to install your device with care. Snap open the bottom hinge then from the bottom right corner and pry the case open with a coin. Then, pull the case apart, exposing the red membrane. You’ll notice the inside cushioning and nicely finished smooth seals where the glass attaches to the case. Insert your phone then slowly snap the case back on adding pressure, especially around the trim, ensuring that the there is no red showing and ensuring all the stoppers are properly in place as any leak could be fatal to the electronics.

At first it seems a little nerve wracking entrusting one’s valuable iPhone to a plastic case. In fact, before taking it out into the real world, it’s probably a good idea to go through the process and do a preliminary water test, sans phone, to ensure that you’ve got it right and there’s no chance of a factory defect.

That should take the edge off just a little bit.

The good news is that you can still access all your phones functions and controls like power, volume and even the home button, when it’s enclosed. However, I discovered that there is certainly a performance tradeoff for the protection you get.

First, while the mic and speakers are functional, there is a little diminished capacity. Phone calls may sound a little hollow and audio a little muffled. I guess this is to be expected. Second, because of the protective nature of the screen cover you may discover decreased sensitivity and maybe even the need to put a little more pressure for example when double-tapping icons. The latter is likely the result of the cushioning used to protect the screen from impact.

If you already have a screen protector on your iPhone 5, you might discover that you’ll need to remove it to increase touch sensitivity.

While the hinges and stoppers seem to stay securely in place, if you're like me and have a tendency of losing tiny little things, you might want to take note that one of the rubber stoppers, specifically the one that covers the mute switch while snug with the phone installed, is not actually attached to the case. At first, I thought perhaps I received a defective unit. However, the company promptly advised that it was part of the design. They explained that in the event that something should happen to it, perhaps it became damaged or worn out, then it could be replaced without having to toss the entire case.

The Seidio OBEX is available in two configurations - as a stand-alone case or as a combo. The combo includes the waterproof case and a solid spring-lock holster, which allows you to securely attach your Apple iPhone 5 to your belt at the same time quickly allowing you to unlock the case to get instant access to your phone. The holster also includes a cleverly designed belt clip with swivel adjustment for seven different rotating angle positions.  This is certainly a nice touch, allowing it to compensate for body type and perhaps whether you are sitting, standing or swimming.

Overall the Seidio Obex is nice little case and performs as advertised. What I really like about it is that regardless as to what kind of work you do, where you play or if you are a bit of a klutz like me, if you really need to take your iPhone along with you can without the worries of it being easily damaged in the process. Plus, you can still use your entire phone’s functions including the microphone, albeit not as perfectly.

The Seido OBEX waterproof case comes in black or white and retails for $79.95 ($89.95 with holster). It’s available directly from Seidio or Amazon.

If you’re simply looking for basic protection for a case then this one might be somewhat pricey and more suitable options are to be had. However if there’s a chance that this case can save your bacon in less than ideal conditions, then it’s probably right for you.

Rating: 3.8 / 5


Greg Gazin can be reached at  gadgetguy "at" telus "dot" net , , or on Twitter @GadgetGreg

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