Last year, I brought you a Ballistic HC iPhone Case Review and found it to be an awesome rugged case. At the time, I wished it would protect my iPhone from water, too. Today, I have a Keystone ECO NautiCase, which promises to be shock proof, sand proof, and splash proof, so I put it to the test.
The NautiCase is made with a polycarbonate hard shell surrounded by a rubber skin and has a clear membrane for interfacing with the screen while protecting it. Also included with the case was a thick holster with a belt clip and the belt clip doubles as a stand.
Some of the key features as mentioned on the Keystone site are:
– Shock proof, sand/dust proof and splash proof. IP54 certified.
– 3-layer integrated one-piece design, no assembly needed.
– Redesigned sound channel for clear voice transmission.
– Full touch screen and phone functionality.
– Access to all buttons.
– Enhanced lens protection allowing glare free photography.
– Hard impact hard shell with durable rubber skin & textured bumper for firm grip and shock absorption.
– Holster holds phone face in or face out and with built-in stand.
How Well Did It Work?
The case has a very small rubber seal around its inner perimeter that came out a little the first time I opened it. I wedged it back in and it wasn’t a problem, but this had me worried from the beginning. Another thing to note is that the included user guide warned that this case is splash proof, not water proof. The case has a hinged front that opens to insert or remove your iPhone and snaps tight with three small plastic clips on the top, left, and right edges. Getting my phone in and out of this case was easier than a lot of other cases I’ve reviewed, and that’s important for a case like this. The holster was, well, a holster and worked like it should. The Swivel belt clip moved only when I wanted it to, but it sometimes required a bit of pressure. This is a good thing, really. As an added feature, the belt clip has a little plastic prop that pops out to make it double as a stand. This only worked for horizontal viewing, but it worked well. I put the case and holster on my iPhone for just this feature to view MIT video courses one night.
The NautiCase did pretty well with some basic tests with dirt and dropping, but I was really interested in just how splash proof it was. Despite the warnings in the user guide, I fully submerged my NautiCase in a sink full of water (as seen above). What you might also notice in the image above is that I did not have my phone in the case for this test. I heeded the warnings and opted, instead, for paper towels. With the case completely packed with two paper towels, I submerged it in the sink for 60 seconds, giving it any chance to fill with water. When I retrieved it, there was a small amount of wet paper towel at the bottom edge. This was much better than anticipated, as I expected the front membrane to let a lot of water in. The top two-thirds of the paper towel was bone dry, which also surprised me. Splash proof? It’s almost completely water proof. Keep in mind that the operative word is “almost”, so when you use this case, heed the same warnings about submerging it.
While a little bulky, the Keystone ECO NautiCase comes in several color combinations to help it fit your style. Regardless, this is a case designed for function more than for style and it works well for that purpose. At $49.99, it’s priced for a higher budget, but if it saves your phone once, it’s worth the price. This is not a case I would have on my phone all the time, but will definitely come in handy when on a hike, by a pool, or anywhere I know the likelihood of iPhone catastrophe is high.