The 8 Best Waterproof Cell Phone Cases

Updated December 11, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

8 Best Waterproof Cell Phone Cases
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With mobile phones costing more than many computers these days, it's probably smart to protect your investment from water, dirt, debris and accidental drops with one of these sturdy waterproof cell phone cases. We've included a range of phone-specific models that can support all of your phone's functionality underwater, as well as some universal and budget-friendly options. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best waterproof cell phone case on Amazon.

8. F-color Premium

Protect your high dollar investment with a low dollar purchase using the F-color Premium. You get two waterproof bags for the price of what many other companies charge for just one, so it is certainly a good value, and it comes in a range of colors.
  • supports touchscreen use
  • accommodates most phone models
  • interferes with touch id
Brand F-color
Model pending
Weight 2.6 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Pelican Marine

The Pelican Marine comes in models for the iPhone 6, 6s, and the plus versions of each. It has an IP68 waterproof rating, which means it can be continuously submerged without the worry of water leaking in. It is built to military drop testing standards, too.
  • feels extremely solid and well-built
  • makes it hard to depress buttons
  • doesn't float if dropped in water
Brand Pelican
Model Marine C02040
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Otterbox Preserver

While it gets mixed reviews, the Otterbox Preserver still does an admirable job of protecting an iPhone 5 or 5s in nearly any situation. It allows for full phone functionality while underwater, but can only be submerged to 6 feet, and it does seem overly bulky.
  • rubber casing provides a good grip
  • interior foam buffer
  • muffles your voice when you speak
Brand Otterbox Preserver
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. AloFox iPhone 6/6s

The AloFox iPhone 6/6s comes in either white or black, both with a transparent back, or a black model with a really cool spiderweb print. Like many other fully sealed options, it does muffle the phone's volume a bit, but that's a small price to pay for protection.
  • backed by a one-year warranty
  • supports touch id use
  • allows for underwater pictures
Model pending
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. 3iArt WPBAG01

The 3iArt WPBAG01 works with both iPhones and Samsung models, and can be taken down to depths of 100 feet. For added phone security, it floats in case you drop it in water, so you don't have to worry about your phone sinking to the murky depths.
  • pass-through headphone jack
  • easy to open and seal quickly
  • includes a neck and armband strap
Brand 3iArt®
Model WPBAG01
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. OTBBA Full Body

The OTBBA Full Body comes in models designed for the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s, which means you can operate buttons while underwater. It's a good value option considering that it costs less than $25, and it's impact-, frost-, and water-proof.
  • can be submerged for up to 2 hours
  • doesn't interfere with taking photos
  • allows you to use your touchscreen
Model pending
Weight 5.4 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Joto Dry Pouch

The Joto Dry Pouch is universal, meaning it accommodates almost every type of smartphone from Samsung to HTC to iPhones. At 6.7" tall and nearly 4" wide, it has enough room to hold a bit of cash and a credit card or two with most phone models.
  • completely see-through on both sides
  • includes a handy lanyard
  • budget-friendly and high quality
Brand JOTO
Weight 2.1 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Lifeproof Fre

The Lifeproof Fre comes in eight different color choices so you can match it to your iPhone 7 or your personality. Unlike many other cases with this level of impact protection, it doesn't hinder access to your buttons or muffle the conversation.
  • doesn't cause any camera reflection
  • can withstand freezing temperatures
  • smaller and lighter than an otterbox
Brand LifeProof
Model 77-53981
Weight 3.5 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Why A Waterproof Cover Is A Necessity

If you've broken or lost a cell phone in the past, particularly a smartphone, then you know how expensive it is to replace these devices. It's a smart idea to get insurance for your phone, but if you look into what's covered in most cell phone insurance plans, you'll see that water damage isn't. You should also know that most cell phones today have a small moistness indicator inside of them, that tells the phone company if water damage has occurred. So saying the source of your phone's troubles is something other than water isn't an option.

When looking into a waterproof case, it's important to make sure that it is in fact waterproof and not just water resistant. Make sure your case meets certain standards and specifications, particularly those on the International Protection Rating scale before you buy it. If you're already purchasing a case, it would be wise to invest in some extra protective features, too, like buying one that can withstand drops up to six feet.

Cases that cover the entire device, including the screen, offer the most protection, but some of these models may interfere with key functionality. Make sure your case doesn't cover the important volume and power buttons. People who spend a lot of time near natural bodies of water should consider a case that floats since it can be nearly impossible to relocate a phone that's dropped to the bottom of a dark lake. For people who like to consolidate their valuables in one place, there are cases that have a dedicated compartment for credit cards.

The Difficulty In Fixing A Water Damaged Phone

Since water damage makes up for thirty percent of broken smartphones, it's an issue most are bound to face at some point. In some cases, should you not have a waterproof case and drop your phone in water, you may be able to have it fixed. But there are a number of reasons that water damage repairs are rarely successful. First, one should know that even if they can fix their smartphone, it may cost as much to fix it as it does to replace it.

While the actual repair might only cost around $50, this usually doesn't cover any components that might require replacing. For example, you may need to have your screen replaced, which can cost another $40 to $250. So the full repair, once you've replaced the broken screen and a few controls, might cost much more than you had planned.

Water damage doesn't happen all at once but rather seeps into your phone over time, like rust in a vehicle. So, a phone repair technician may be able to fix the damage that is visible now, but he cannot predict what damage is still to come. And the fee you've already paid him will not cover new issues if you have to come back. Most electronics safe cleaning solutions or sonic cleaners only remove 95 percent of the foreign material (in this case, water). The five percent liquid that's left behind, however, will continue to spread long after the cleaning.

In theory, one could spend $180 on a phone repair, with a new screen added, only to find two weeks later that there are new problems related to the water damage. The problems typically happen one at a time, like a malfunctioning camera one day, finicky keys the next, and entirely broken volume settings the following.

A Brief History Of Smartphones

Before smartphones, people would need to carry around both a cell phone and a personal digital assistant (PDA). For those who are too young to have witnessed the PDA era, these little devices can browse the web, keep calendars, and run software programs. In 1992, IBM created a phone that had PDA capabilities. Working in conjunction with BellSouth, they unveiled it to the public in late 1993. Their model was called the Simon Personal Communicator and it could make calls, send emails and send faxes.

Throughout the 1990s, cell phones with PDA capabilities became very popular. In fact, at one point, one of the leading PDA companies, Blackberry, was valued at $40 billion. But just on the heels of this valuation came the iPhone, which caused a shift in the market trend from PDAs to smartphones. After being on the market for just one year, between 2007 and 2008, Apple sold 4.7 million iPhones.

Around the same time, Microsoft had been making a name for itself in the smartphone market with its Windows Mobile. In 2007, they had an eighteen percent share of the smartphone market. In 2008, Google released their Android, while Microsoft put an end to their Windows Mobile and instead created the Windows Phone. By 2011, smartphones were outselling personal computers.

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Last updated on December 11, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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