I think I have written enough here on The Gadgeteer about my obsessive need to keep my iPhone (previously 5 now 6) protected while I travel. I have done this to the detriment of my wallet at times, with such cases as the Incipio Atlas and the OtterBox Defender. Although both cases were fine, they both had their downsides that caused me not to use them on a regular basis. So, when Dog & Bone offered me a chance to review their new waterproof case, the Wetsuit for my iPhone 6, I jumped on it.
Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.
I know you’re saying to yourself, another waterproof case, what’s so special about this one? Let me tell you… Unlike most waterproof cases on the market today, this one does not cover the iPhone’s touch screen. Instead, it uses a unique design that I will describe later to keep the water out of all vulnerable areas while keeping the screen exposed.
The Wetsuit has the following features as listed on the Dog & Bone website:
Topless Direct Touch Screen A topless direct touch screen for optimum touch screen sensitivity. Wetsuit is a waterproof leader – the first waterproof smartphone case world-wide to enjoy direct touch screen technology.
Triple layer of shock protection! Silicon boot, polycarbonate and rubber overmold.
Soft rubber-touch case A premium non-slip rubber exterior that feels good in your hands, and for a better grip when wet.
Tough without the bulk Triple layer of protection it its slimmest form yet!
IP 68 Highest level of ingress protection from water and dust.
MIL STD 810F Meets and exceeds Military standards to withstand drops to 6.6 feet (two metres).
Proofed to the top
Waterproof Swim, bathe and surf. Can be fully submerged up to 6.6 feet (two metres) for thirty minutes.
Dirt proof Take to work or potter in the garden. Totally secure from dirt and dust particles.
Snow proof Go to the snow, ski and skate. Fully sealed from snow and ice.
Shockproof Meets and exceeds tough Military standards (MIL STD 810F), withstanding drops to two metres.
Touch ID Compatibility Masterfully designed with Touch ID compatibility for the iPhone 6 the first waterproof mobile case of its kind to do so with a topless front.
Inclusions in the box Screen protector and headphone adapter included. A key is supplied for added convenience and ease of opening the case.
The Wetsuit comes with the following:
Plastic test block
Case key (to pry open the case)
Audio jack extender
The back of the Wetsuit is orange, has openings for the camera and flash, and the Dog & Bone logo. The opening for the camera and flash have either a glass or clear plastic covering over it to protect them.
The front of this case has openings for the front camera and ear speaker at the top, the cut out for the touch screen, the home button and speaker openings at the bottom. The home button has a plastic membrane covering it but does allow the fingerprint reader to work correctly.
The top of the Wetsuit has no real features.
The bottom of the Wetsuit has covered openings for the Lightning connector and the headphone jack. To use those features you simply open the respective covers and plug in your cables. Depending on the headphone type you are using, you may have to use the included audio jack extender.
The right side of the case has the on/button on the upper 1/3 of the case and the key slot on the lower corner.
The left side of the Wetsuit has a cutout for the mute slider and the volume +/- buttons on the upper 1/3 and a cutout for a strap on the bottom corner.
Basically the Wetsuit is a three-piece case design as you can see from the picture above. On the left is the front housing made out of what appears to be polycarbonate and rubber. The middle is the boot designed to fit snugly around the iPhone 6, it is made out of high-grade silicon rubber. The boot is designed to “protect the phone from shocks whilst sealing it from the environment” (quoted from the Dog & Bone web page). On the right is the rear housing again made out of what appears to be polycarbonate and rubber. When all three components are put together they form a watertight, dust proof cover that leaves the screen of your iPhone 6 uncovered.
The basis of the Wetsuit’s waterproof case is the silicon rubber cover. This rubber cover is designed to cover your phone in such a way that when the outer case is put on your touch screen is exposed, but the rest of your phone is covered and protected. The design has pop outs that fit through the outer cover to allow you to use the phones buttons and switches.
The only set up you really need to do for this case is to test it before you actually use it. The above video from Dog & Bone’s website shows the procedure on how to do this. The fact that they included a test block to simulate your iPhone is a nice feature.
So, what’s my bottom line here? After a couple of weeks of use I think the Wetsuit is a winner. It is well made and thought out. When using the Wetsuit for calls the earpiece opening had the best clarity of any waterproof cases that I have tried, I could hear the caller clearly without the muffled sound you usually get with other cases of this type. Size and weight are good for a case of this type, but to be honest I do not think I would use this as an everyday case. While I think it would be great for folks who work outdoors or for traveling to areas that might require more protection for the iPhone (the times I will use it) I actually prefer another of Dog & Bones products for everyday use, the Backbone. Now before you ask, I did not drop my phone in water to test how good the waterproofing was on the case. I look at it this way, I like the fact that the Wetsuit offers waterproof and shockproof protection to my phone, but I will not tempt fate and my phone’s warranty by needlessly exposing it to any hazards. If you are looking for waterproof, shockproof protection for your phone at a reasonable price, $79.95 then you should check out the Dog & Bone website.
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Dog & Bone. Please visit their site for more info.