Review: Concord Keystone MarineCase for iPhone 5
Similar in concept to EK Ekcessories' Dri Cat Neck It, MarineCase ($50) is Concord Keystone's waterproof solution for the iPhone 5. It's designed to be a relatively inexpensive way to use your device underwater, especially for photos and videos, but not an everyday case like LifeProof's Frē. MarineCase comes with a lanyard and a bright yellow floating wrist strap.
About 80% of the clamshell-style case is hard plastic, including a thick, clear tray with just enough room for an iPhone 5 to rest inside. It’s hinged at the bottom, with the black-bordered front piece coming down to protect the display. A latch at the top twists shut and snaps to lock the case, forming a waterproof seal. It works properly; in our testing, after about an hour of submersion, the interior of the case was bone dry.
The material over the iPhone’s screen is a rubbery membrane that notably doesn’t aim for pure clarity or a glass-like finish, but does allow for full, if less pleasant, control above water. It drags and can bunch up a little under your finger, making scrolling less smooth. The volume and Home buttons are the only physical controls accessible through the case; the Sleep/Wake button and ringer switch are not usable. Concord Keystone suggests that if you’re going to be shooting video or photos underwater, you should navigate to the camera app first, and then use the volume up button as the shutter. The screen is clearly not intended to work underwater, although you might get lucky having a press here or a swipe there recognized.
MarineCase isn’t designed to appeal to everyone, but it’s an inexpensive option for users who want to shoot pictures and movies underwater. It’s better executed than EK Ekcessories’ attempt, even if it is larger. At $30 less than Frē, and $10 less than Dri Cat Neck It, it’s worthy of a limited recommendation. If your goal is to keep water out and take pictures, MarineCase will do just that.