Review: EK Ekcessories Dri Cat Neck It for iPhone 4/4S
Among waterproof cases for the iPhone 4 and 4S, EK Ekcessories Dri Cat Neck It ($60) is one of the simpler we've seen that isn't just a bag. Available in a variety of colors, it's a hinged plastic shell with a hard back and soft, clear-ish rubber film over the screen. Following with previous accessories we've seen from the company this one has a nylon strap; it detaches from a neck-length, color-matched lanyard. A version with a carabiner at the end called Hang It is also available in the same colors and for the same price.
Dri Cat’s shell allows your iPhone to be inserted in either direction, with depressions for the rear camera at both the top and bottom of the hard plastic back. Either way, all the ports and buttons around the edges are covered, meaning you’ll be able to use the screen and Home Button but none of the other external ports and controls. Holding the case shut are a clip on each of the long ends and a unique twist open top. To lock it, you spin the clamp and flip a side latch; EK Ekcessories claims that it’s “100% waterproof” to 18-foot depths.
We ran multiple tests to confirm these claims. Illustrated in the last picture in this article, water seeped in the first time we submerged the case. Two subsequent tests had better results, with the seal keeping all moisture out. This may be attributable to latch not lining up perfectly on our review unit. The whole thing feels kind of cheap, including the ill fit of the locking mechanism.
Because of the issues we saw in our first test, we were reticent to actually submerge an iPhone encased in Dri Cat. Above ground, the skin covering the device’s screen doesn’t hinder the touch controls at all, although it does sometimes bunch up. This combined with the fact that the controls are covered limits how you’ll be able to use your iPhone underwater; photography is probably the most likely scenario. On that note, the plastic back reflects the flash significantly. Taken with everything else, this makes it clear the case is not suited for dry land use.
Although its simplicity may be appealing initially, Dri Cat Neck It doesn’t measure up to other waterproof cases. For the same $60, we definitely suggest driSuit’s Endurance over it. With it you get a foolproof seal, the ability to use the case wet or dry, port and limited audio access, and a better looking accessory. Dri Cat offers none of this and as such warrants our C- rating.