We first saw Dog & Bone’s Wetsuit ($80) case for iPhone 5 and 5s, and the case has returned for iPhone 6 with a revamped Touch ID cover. Notably, Wetsuit still features a rubber “boot” that surrounds the phone while it’s in a two-piece polycarbonate case, allowing the iPhone 6’s body to be waterproof while the screen is exposed. The case is IP68-rated, making it dustproof and waterproof up to 2 meters (6.6 feet) deep. Wetsuit is also tested to military standards, and certified to protect against two-meter drops. It also includes a screen protector, two extra port protector pieces, a headphone adapter, and a key for removing the case.
In the last edition of Wetsuit, a rubber Touch ID cover proved troublesome; thankfully, that’s been replaced by a thin piece of plastic, matching just about every other recent waterproof iPhone case. It can still be a bit awkward to use, due to the molding just above the Touch ID — you kind of have to slide your thumb or finger into the groove there, but it works. We love the clicky feel of Wetsuit’s buttons, and the rubber port protectors for the headphone and Lightning ports are more than adequate. The speakers, however, are directed out through the front of the case, and the result is fuzzy, muffled sound. You’re probably not going to do serious music listening while using an iPhone underwater or outdoors, but if you were thinking of using Wetsuit as a full-time case, it’s probably not the right choice.
Dog & Bone ships detailed instructions on how to install an iPhone 6 properly, and urges users to first do a “waterproof check” with the phone. The company suggests users should do such a test “every time before assembly” — the test involves submerging the phone underwater for 15 minutes, then checking to see if it penetrates the inner membrane “boot.” If that doesn’t work, you should start the test over again. Dog & Bone includes a support email address for those users who are unable to “get a watertight seal with repeat tests.” Considering this, and the lack of warranty for a damaged phone, it seems Dog & Bone is taking an extra step to make any damage seem like the user’s responsibility. Our first submersion test revealed a few drops of water inside the plastic case, but none inside the membrane boot that houses the iPhone; a second test gave us the same result. You may feel comfortable with the water staying outside of the membrane, but we’re more than a bit concerned about seeing water inside the plastic shell after 15 minutes of submersion.
Wetsuit for iPhone 6 looks good, and the Touch ID has been improved, both positives. That being said, the focus on repeated user waterproof testing — which in our case revealed water inside the shell — and the lack of a phone damage warranty make us nervous. If something does go wrong with your device, we doubt you’ll have any luck getting help from the developer — the case’s fine print specifically states that “under no circumstances” will the Australian-based company repair or replace a damaged device. Your results may vary, but we can’t recommend Wetsuit as a true waterproof submersible case, though it should be fine as a splash-resistant, shock-proof, dust-proof case. But for that functionality, the $80 price tag seems awfully steep, and it’s only an okay option.
Note: Dog & Bone contacted us after reading this review and said that the water inside the shell and outside the membrane in our testing was “completely normal and does not affect the waterproofing,” and that all cases are tested at a 2-meter depth before leaving the factory. Our concerns with the case remain; you can decide on your own.
Company and Price
Company: Dog & Bone
Compatible: iPhone 6