These days, most of us use our phones as our dedicated cameras when going hiking. And why not? They’re light, the modern phone cameras are excellent, and you need to have your phone with you anyway in case of emergency. The only catch, as with any electronics, is that they don’t play well with water and when we’re out hiking, there’s always a chance of being caught in an unexpected shower. Some of us bypass this problem by sticking them in a drybag or a “ziplock”, but that means no photos until it stops raining.
That’s where touch-sensitive waterproof phone cases come in – enabling full use of all your phones features while protecting it primarily from water damage, but also from dust and debris. Waterproof phone cases, as with many other products, are not all created equal, and when you’re out hiking in the rain or jumping into a mountain pool, you don’t want to find out that yours is of the lesser type.
I recently got my hands on the new Helian Waterproof Case and this might just be the answer to all my aquatic phone conundrums!
Price (at time of writing): R350
Dimensions: Fits all smartphones with dimensions up to 15 x 8 cm.
Waterproof rating: IPX8
As with all other touch-sensitive waterproof phone cases, the Helian case allows full touchscreen functionality – you can navigate across screens, type messages and even take calls. Basically, your phone as you know it, just waterproof – or at least water-resistant; not all phone cases are waterproof…
What sets it apart
The closing mechanism: As just mentioned, not all phone cases are waterproof, but merely water-resistant, or at the very least, splash-resistant. Most other phone cases either use a zip-seal, which will always let water in where the zip terminates, or a roll-top closure. The roll-top closure does a pretty good job, but still allows for air to escape, depending on the velcro mechanism. The Helian case uses a clamp-type closing mechanism with two pins that ensure everything lines up correctly and almost guarantees a 100% watertight seal every time.
Proper waterproof rating: The case is IPX8 certified, which means it has been tested to be waterproof down to 25 metres for up to 30 minutes, which is more than most of us will ever need from a phone case.
The welding style: Most other phone cases I’ve seen are welded at the seams in a “face-on-face” manner which ends up being a weak point when pressure is exerted from the inside, effectively pulling the weld apart – both my previous phone cases split at the seams. The Helian case’s layers overlap at high-stress points, allowing for side-to-side pressure, instead of opposing forces. They’ve also kept the seams to a minimum, with a wrap-around style covering and one seam, as opposed to a seam on either side.
Camera and button functionality: 90% of the cover is clear on the front, back and sides, offering unrestricted access to all side buttons, as well as no lens obstructions, irrespective of what model phone you might have.
The case comes standard with a 47,5 cm long nylon lanyard, but you can also buy the Helian Float separately – a bright yellow floatation device for your phone. It fits snuggly around one’s wrist and ensures that your waterproofed phone doesn’t end up at the bottom of a rock pool.
I can’t fault the Helian case on a design level – it‘s a well-made product – but as with any sealed unit, when it moves from cold to warm temperatures quickly, there is always a chance of it fogging up.
For instance, when you leave your cold hut or tent in the morning and want to take a photo in the warm morning sunshine, you might need to open the case to allow for the little bit of air trapped inside to adjust to the ambient temperature. Not really a con, but something to be aware of.
Brilliant value for money, excellent design, ease of use and total piece of mind. In a nutshell, the best waterproof phone case I’ve seen thus far!
The phone case was provided by Helian for review purposes and can be purchased from there online store: https://helian.online/