An iPhone is an expensive device so it’s no surprise that we find the market crowded with accessories promising to keep your beloved smartphone safe, especially as Apple’s ‘official’ offerings really only supply limited protection at best. While these cover the corners and edges of the enclosed handset, as well as protecting the back from scratches and marks, they don’t protect the iPhone’s screen.
Furthermore, a drop from a height could still damage your iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c even if it is wearing one of Apple’s cases. For this kind of protection, you’ll need a more complex product.
Read on for a selection of top cases and equipment designed to keep your handset out of danger, above and beyond an everyday case.
Protective iPhone cases
1. Griffin Survivor All Terrain ($49.99)
If you’re looking for serious protection you’ll be hard-pressed to go wrong with the Survivor All Terrain. Available for the iPhone 5 and up (iPhone 6 Plus has a premium price of $59.99), the case meets or exceeds the standards published in US Department of Defense MIL-STD-810G – a US military standard for equipment. It protects again droppage, dust, sand, rain (water resistant, not waterproof), impacts, and whole host of environmental factors. It has four layers of protection and can attach to belts, so perfect for industrial workers, those that spend a lot of time outside – it could even be put to good use for those that are into extreme sports.
2. Otterbox Defender (from $59)
The Otterbox Defender series is a great line of robust cases. It uses a triple-layer system comprising of the outer case layer, cushioning foam, and a silicone layer to keep your iPhone safe, while it also includes plugs which stops all your ports getting clogged with dirt and fluff. It also includes a screen protector, yet still allows you to use the Touch ID thanks to a protective membrane.
Water proof iPhone cases
1. Incipio ATLAS ID ($89.99)
For iPhone 5 and 5s owners looking to fully protect their handset from anything the natural world might put in its way, this is the case to purchase. It’s available from the folks at Incipio for ($89.99, £74.99), and the accessory offers waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof military-grade protection for Apple’s seventh-generation handset. You can fully submerge your ATLAS ID-equipped iPhone 5s in up to two meters of water for 30 minutes and the handset inside will remain dry. Plus, if you’re concerned about your device, Incipio offers one year of limited device warranty that covers accidental iPhone and water damage. Usefully, iPhone 5s owners can use Touch ID even while their handset is equipped with Incipio’s ATLAS ID. The case also includes a scratch resistant tempered glass screen protector, too, and includes windows for the rear- and front-facing cameras.
2. LifeProof nüüd ($89.99)
Waterproof cases tend to get a bit bulky to ensure there’s enough material between your phone and the water, but the nüüd is remarkably slimline. It’s relatively easy to assemble, but for those still worried about submerging their iPhones in water, this case comes with a tester – a blue test box which you can submerge first to ensure no water gets in and you’ve assembled correctly. Check the video below for a demonstration…
3. Catalyst Waterproof cases ($64.99)
Incipio and Lifeproof are yet to update its current range to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and there’s few solutions out there that are offering waterproof cases for the latest devices that we’d be happy recommending. However, Catalyst produced some truly impressive waterproof cases for the iPhone 5s and expects to start shipping its iPhone 6 offerings in December, which isn’t far away at all. For the iPhone 4 and up however, you can get hold of their cases now – they’re designed to be waterproof up to 5m (16.4ft).
Water damage emergency kits
Prevention might be better than cure, but if you don’t own a waterproof iPhone case and happen to drop your device in the bath, down the toilet, or in the kitchen sink, a water damage emergency kit could help keep your smartphone in the land of the living. While nothing is 100 percent effective, these products could greatly increase your handset’s chances of survival.
1. EVAP Wet Electronics Rescue Pouch ($14.99)
Available from Kenington’s own website (as well as from a selection of third-party retailers), the EVAP is a sealable bag that contains an ultra-powerful drying agent that’s around 700 percent more effective than rice – a more conventionally used drying agent. Sealing your iPhone in Kenginston’s EVAP for a couple of days should draw water from the interior of the smartphone, thereby hopefully preventing permanent damage from being inflicted upon the device.
2. Reviveaphone ($14.99)
Reviveaphone is a similar product that aims to remove corrosive minerals from your phone. As its website states “it’s not the water that damages the phones its the minerals”. The system aims to revive your phone within 24 hours, and is designed to be used as much as one month after initially damaging the phone. The solution is also reusable, though it will lose it’s effectiveness with each use. Reviveaphone currently claims a 90% success rate.
1. Dry Case Waterproof iPhone Case Bag ($39.99)
There’s another option, which may not be quite as robust as the above, but is great if you want a quicker way to wrap your phone up for submersion. Whereas the above cases require a more time-consuming set up, these bags allow you to drop your phone in quickly and get going with whatever water-based activity you’d like. While there are cheaper versions available, this one does come with a proper headphone slot. We wouldn’t recommend using these for a long period of time, but they certainly serve a purpose and Dry Case make one of the better models. And they’re a bit cheaper too.
2. Tech21 Impact Shield review ($34.99)
You may be able to pick up a handful of screen protectors from Amazon for hardly any money at all, but they’re not going to be a patch on this. The Tech21 shield is a screen protector that aims to be self-healing, preventing scratches as well as spreading the force of impact. These features are supported by the so-called ‘BulletShield Layer’ – an optically clear polymer which absorbs impact. If you’re the kind of person that swears by screen protectors then you’ll definitely want to consider investing in a proper one.