Published on May 9th, 2017 | by Greg0
ValsTech LenzO Underwater iPhone Case: Dive Safe
It’s almost beach season- as warmer weather brings the perfect time for North Americans, at least, to head to the shores. Whether you’ll be heading to Hawaii for a much-needed vacation, or just taking a weekend trip to the Caribbean, you’ll probably be wanting to appreciate the water. And the best way to do that is by heading under it- and you’ll want a way to protect your phone, whether you’re a serious diver or an amateur simply looking to do more than scuba, or even simply love to fish.
The ValsTech LenzO is much more than just a waterproof case, since it covers your phone for depths up to 100 meters. It also, more importantly, is one of the only ones on the market made to allow you to take photographs and even movies at those depths, thanks to a special lens. You’ll have full access to controls, critical and often challenging in underwater casings, and can even see the screen to allow you to frame your shots rather than just guessing. We’ve been testing the iPhone 6/6s version, but an iPhone 7-compatible model is also available (and is even buoyant, so it will naturally float if you lose it underwater).
Originally a Kickstarter project that raised over $65K, the LenzO is probably the most sophisticated waterproof housing we’ve seen for a phone. The lens offers a scratch resistant, anti-reflective coating and color filters, and the impressive optics make images look clear and crisp, almost like you were on land, without the distortion and softness that are common to most underwater pictures. There’s even a similar dome for the front-facing lens, so you can grab a selfie! The case adds some bulk, and adds about a pound to your load, but you won’t notice it much- we wouldn’t use it on land, but wouldn’t hesitate to use it while, say, kayaking or grabbing images of a swim meet or on a swamp tour- anywhere you’re worried about your smartphone falling into water (and negating your warranty most likely, not to mention losing your data and putting your vacation on hold).
For those worried about their phone- and who wouldn’t be?- ValsTech claims that each is individually assembled and pressure-tested by our team. Getting your camera into and out of the LenzO is pretty simple- just expect it to take a couple of minutes to make sure it’s safe and sound. Similarly, using the unique touchscreen controls takes some getting used to, but they worked better than most of the competition. Keep in mind that lighting can be a real issue underwater- the LenzO won’t provide light where there simply isn’t any. Considering the expense, there are some standalone underwater cameras that you could grab- but they have their own hassles and can’t go quite as deep (or cost much more). With the LenzO, you don’t need to use any special apps and can use any apps you want, plus there are dual tripod mounts for use with accessories. The ValsTech LenzO makes use want to take our phone on more photo expeditions, and helped us feel secure while carrying our iPhones even in the ocean. Expect to spend around $295, online and in stores, for the ValsTech LenzO- available in blue, black, or yellow.