Scubagram: The iPhone Underwater

I won’t bore everyone here with how much I love my camera phone. It’s well documented here, here and here. This post is about how much I love my new waterproof case for my phone. I’ve taken it kayaking several times now and I pretty much love that I don’t worry about keeping the phone dry any longer. That paired with the ease of taking photos with the case on and I’m hooked. Up until recently I’ve only been dipping the phone into the ocean for some interesting angles of our paddling adventures. Last week I had the chance to test it out in a beautiful Palm Springs backyard pool which was more fun than I thought it could be. Below are four of my favorite shots, processed up with Instagram. Hit the bottom for a pic of the case and a short review.

Action of woman jumping into pool underwater

Underwater Instagram © 2012 Gary Allard

Feet and bubbles entering pool from underwater.

Point of Entry © 2012 Gary Allard

Splash and bubbles in pool from below the surface.

Above from Below © 2012 Gary Allard

Underwater view of woman diving into a pool

Underwater Instagram © 2012 Gary Allard

Lifeproof case is one of a few iPhone 4/4S cases available that makes your device completely waterproof. This has been something I have wanted for a long time now. I am one of those people that keeps my iPhone naked when on dry land but I do a lot of kayaking and other surf-&-sand-centric activities so when I saw this it fit the bill perfectly.

A few high points:

  • Low profile: This case barely creates any extra bulk at all. It’s actually slimmer than a lot of regular cases.
  • Ease of use: While some weatherproof cases restrict some features (like ringer toggle or headphone access) the Lifeproof let’s you have a fully functioning phone underwater. It even comes with a screw-in waterproof headphone jack so you can pair it with waterproof headphones for swimming.
  • Quick installation: The front and back snap together and the bottom clip secures the shell and closes the charging port. This added function enables you to charge the phone without removing it from the case. Handy.

Some minor cons:

  • Delicate O-ring: The very thin o-ring that creates the watertight seal is quite delicate and will sometimes pop out when taking the phone out of the case. It is easily pushed back in but this could introduce dust or debris which would compromise the seal.
  • Touch pad vs. water temperature: While not a case-specific issue, I’ve noticed that sometimes as the phone hits the water it will open the zoom function on the screen. Also the touch pad is much less sensitive when underwater and sometimes the shutter button does not trigger. I have gotten used to using the + volume button shutter feature instead which gives me a better grip underwater as well.
  • No lanyard hole: Just this small addition would help with peace of mind when multitasking on a kayak or sailboat. As it is, there is no way to clip the case to a ‘biner or lanyard. They do make an optional float but at $40 (and a LOT of bulk) I’d prefer to just not drop it in the first place.

So there it is. If you are in the market for a case that will keep you phone “life proof” check it out. If you’ve just upgraded the to the iPhone 5, word is the new case is in the works.

Want to see more Instagram shots? Follow me at @gee_allard, hit me up on Twitter or check out the latest on my Facebook page.

All photos © 2012 Gary Allard /

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