Hence this wet and miserable January provided me with plenty of good opportunity to go out testing the new iPhone 5 waterproof case from Lifedge; from trying to get the winter training miles in on my bike, onto wandering over the Malvern hills looking for a glimmer of the elusive winter sun amid the omnipresent cloud and mist. It’s fair to say that through it all the phone case has protected my iPhone from the elements – and saved me from trying to rehabilitate another sodden gadget from premature electronic death.
Bike Mount: £34.99
First impressions are good. Very good. The products arrived extremely well-packaged and everything has a high-quality feel to it. The materials and packaging design clearly indicated straight from the start that this is going to be a premium, well considered product.
The case is designed to be waterproof and dustproof to IP68 (which means it will be fully watertight in up to 2.0m / 6’7″ of water for 30 minutes. As a result the case is also 100% dustproof too). Lifedge state that the ‘drop protection combines with complete ease of use for an amazing go anywhere, do everything piece of adventure kit’.
The case itself is nicely constructed and very light. It feels a little bulky in your hand but – considering that it is designed to protect what is probably your most cherished gadget – it is very well designed. The case comes in two parts. First you need to press the face of your phone into one half, and then the back clips on the top and bottom of the phone, and after that you need to work around the edges pressing the seals together. The phone outputs are protected but still accessible by removing or unscrewing covers. The fit is precise and snug. Somewhat surprisingly – considering the device is now encased in an additional sturdy outer layer – the phone functions extremely well. All physical buttons work through the case and the touch screen performs well. My only slight niggle would be the very corners of the screen cover didn’t respond to touch particularly well.
A myriad of materials within the case create the shockproof and waterproof protective layers. I wasn’t quite brave enough to drop my cherished and only recently-acquired iPhone 5 into the bath just to see what would happen – despite the 100% guarantee from Lifedge. But testing the empty case in the same way was less worrying and even after a few minutes submerged, the inside of it was still bone dry.
As I headed out to the garage on a damp and chilled January evening to try and burn off a bit of Christmas excess, I found myself looking forward to trying out how the kit I’d been sent would work with my bike. To compliment the case, Lifedge offer a very solid looking bike mount and I was keen to get this on and get moving.
The clamp is incredibly secure. I did find that the screw only just fitted around my handlebar tubing, so it took a bit of jiggling about to get it in place. Yet once secured, the clamp is rock solid. The phone within the case is pressed into the clamp and then a double locking mechanism clasps it tight. It’s worth taking a moment to ensure that the case is seated properly within the clamp for optimum security. But trying to remove it without unclamping – utterly unsuccessfully – gave me absolute confidence. However, on many rides this January I came home with frozen fingers which did make things a little tricky to unlock the small outer clamp and release the phone.
Once on the move the phone could be used to take photos, plan routes and generally be quite useful. Coming from my previous method of shoving it out of sight in a plastic bag in my back pocket, I initially found it a little distracting, but quickly learned to turn Strava on, turn everything else off and enjoy the ride.
The cost of the case and clamp is perhaps a little on the pricey side. But then both the case and the bike mount are extremely well designed and built to last and last and last. For peace of mind I’d say the Lifedge range is well worth considering.
Read a note on Sidetracked reviews here