Marine for iPhone 7 provides total protection from the elements.
My adventure with Pelican began long ago when I worked in video production. At one point in time, the company I worked for had to ship a bunch of production gear across the country — an entire editing suite — and we trusted Pelican cases to get the job done right. The investment was considerable, but we knew that Pelican cases were built tough and they would keep our expensive, professional gear safe. Since my relationship with Pelican was based on that experience, I never thought to look to them for iPhone protection. Perhaps it should have been since Pelican has been the ‘go to’ for protection for divers, firefighters, police, and military since 1976. When I decided to take the leap into a ‘total protection solution’ for my iPhoen 7, I took a look at the Pelican Marine case by Pelican.
While I am adamant about keeping a case on my phone at all times, I’ve never been a rugged case type of girl. I definitely appreciate them for the physically active and dangerous profession people. Personally, I’ve just found them to be overly bulky and for most cases, unnecessary. When I unboxed the Marine case, my opinion of total protection cases swiftly changed. This case is slim and stylish. You can get the Marine in three different colors – clear, black, or teal. I have the teal version, which looks really nice with my matte black iPhone 7. The Marine offers five layers of defense against the elements. It’s made from impact absorbing materials and is tested against MIL-STD 810G – military drop-test standards. The case is rated IP68 — 100% waterproof protection. You can completely submerge this case and rest assured that your phone is safe and dry on the inside. This rating also certifies that the case will provide additional protection from dirt, snow, and dust.
Now that we have the particulars out of the way, let’s talk about my testing experience.
First off, if you’ve ever delved into the world of waterproof cases, you will know that it’s encouraged for you to test the waterproof seal prior to installing your phone in the case. While I’ve tested ‘waterproof’ cases in the past, I can’t say that I’ve ever actually done the seal test. In this instance, it was suggested that I place a piece of tissue inside the case and close it up. Then, I was to completely submerge the case underwater for a period of 30 minutes. I did this test in my kitchen sink. After 30 minutes, I pulled the phone out from under the coffee cup that was keeping it submerged and found that while there were drops of water rolling off the outside of the case, the tissue on the inside was bone dry. I found this to be quite impressive and moved to the next step of the process — installation.
Installing my phone into the Marine case was actually pretty easy. You place your phone face-down on the screen covering. Then you snap the back down around it. It will be a tight fit. I actually have a glass screen protector on my phone right now. Even though it’s very thin, I wanted to point out that I could still fit my phone in the case with a screen protector on it. The trick with the Marine case — as it is with any total protection case — is getting your phone free of dirt, lint, and hairs before you finish the installation. Pelican includes an installation kit with a microfiber cloth, but unfortunately, that’s not enough. I wiped my phone and the case down throughout and somehow I still ended up with a couple of hairs and pieces of lint inside the case when I snapped it together.
There is nothing more frustrating that knowing you have to open up a rugged case just because of dirt. Fortunately, Pelican designed this case with an easy pull apart option on the bottom left-hand corner of the case. You simply insert a coin and pry the two sides of the case apart. During my testing, I did have to do this a couple of times and I began to wonder if the integrity of the waterproof seal would be compromised the more you take the case apart. While I don’t have a definitive answer for that query, it’s something to take into consideration. You don’t want to be reckless about disassembling the case and I would think as long as you are careful, the case should remain intact. Pelican does offer a 2-year warranty on the case and you can always repeat the initial water test if you suspect the seal is failing.
A couple other observations I had while testing includes the following:
- Screen sensitivity – This is always something I wonder about with the total protection cases. Pelican and its competitors have been dealing with touch screens for quite some time now and I found that the Marine case didn’t give me any real problems. I did have to be a little more forceful when connecting with the screen and my SwiftKey keyboard didn’t seem to respond as easily as it does when my phone is out of the Marine case. For most actions, though, the case is plenty responsive.
- Touch ID covering – I rely on a Touch ID now more than ever since I have an iPhone 7 and while the Marine case has a touch sensitive covering over the home button of the iPhone, the longer I used the case, the more I found that the Touch ID was responding less. I really had to be careful about the placement of my finger on the home button for it to register. On more than one occasion, I was prompted to enter my passcode instead of my fingerprint being read. I would be curious to find out if other brands of phones have this same issue since fingerprint ID is becoming more popular.
- Charging port – I really LOVE the design of this charging port. Many cases I’ve seen that are waterproof or even just water resistant have a semi-permanent rubber fixture that hangs over the port even when you have a cable connected. The Marine has a plastic swinging arm that sits almost at a 90º angle when it’s fully opened. The seal is tight around the port so you don’t have to worry about water entering. One thing to note though is that it wasn’t really designed to work with larger third-party Lightning cables. I charged my phone using a Lightning Paracable, which has a bit wider cap on the Lightning end than the Apple charging cable. It fit, but I really had to force it into the case. I would recommend sticking with the Apple Lightning cable so that you don’t have to risk damaging the case.
I am really glad that I gave the Pelican Marine case for iPhone 7 a try. Even though I still don’t want a total protection case for everyday use, I love having this case as an option for more adventurous outings. I feel secure that my phone will stay dry (I took it into the shower once while it was in the case) and damage-free if it falls to the ground (I did drop my phone a couple of times — accidentally — during testing). This is a very strong choice for total protection of the iPhone 7.
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