When I switched phone companies and had to get a new phone, I was really disappointed that there wasn’t a waterproof case available for it. Living on a boat, with numerous trips to shore in the dinghy and just being on the deck of the boat and on the dock so much, I worried about dropping it in the water or getting salt water splashes on it.
Enter the ugowear Waterproof Phone Case (use discount code BOATGALLEY for 20% off). It’s a universal case but without the problems that most universal waterproof cases have (namely, being ugly and only water resistant, not truly waterproof). I’ve been using it for over six weeks now and have found it to be wonderful.
Bottom Line: The ugowear case is the best waterproof phone case I’ve used, as it both protects and floats the phone, has great call quality, is built to last and will work not only with my current phone but with any new phone I get. The fact that it also carries a few other essentials is a bonus!
- The ugowear case is sized so that even the largest smartphones will fit in it. I have a Samsung Galaxy J7 and there is plenty of room to spare.
- The case will float as I “normally” load it — so if I drop it in the water, I don’t have to dive and hope I can find it (a problem with many other cases unless you attach a bulky float). This solves a problem with many waterproof cases – if the case doesn’t float, you may still lose your phone.
- It’s waterproof to 15 feet. Since it floats, it’s highly unlikely that it will ever go deeper than 15 feet with my phone in it unless I do something crazy like clip it to an anchor! Non-floating cases can end up letting water in if the bottom is deeper than the waterproof depth. So even if you can dive to the bottom and find it, the phone may be toast. A floating case is a huge improvement in my book!
- The ugowear case is actually a waterproof phone case and wallet in one. It won’t replace a purse, but carries everything I need for quick trips ashore: phone, credit cards, cash, key and boat cards. I can even get an external battery pack for the phone in it or a single Epi-Pen (but not both). Great for going to the beach or exploring an island.
- In testing with paper towels in the case, it is truly waterproof as long as you have it completely zipped. When brand new, it can be a little tough to close the zipper all the way (it’s stiff) but within a day this was no longer a problem. Be sure to use their silicone lubricant at the zipper end to keep it working smoothly and to maintain the waterproofing.
- All phone functions except a rear camera can be used with the phone in the case. Easily.
- Call volume is excellent with the phone in the case — both listening and speaking (call volume was a real problem when we tried a LifeProof case for our previous phone — bad enough that we immediately returned it). Dave has a moderate hearing loss and has no problem making calls with the phone in the ugowear case.
- It’s a little large holding the phone up to your ear, but being able to make or receive a call in the dinghy or on the beach with no worries about water damage to the phone is worth it (particularly if you are having a problem and are calling for help!).
- The ugowear strap is long enough to wear cross-body when I need my hands free, making it great for hiking or riding a bike. Wearing it cross-body is also more secure in large crowds or places where snatch-and-run thieves work.
- There is not a charging port or headphone jack in the case. Fewer worries for water intrusion (my one gripe with my old Seidio case was that when the cover for the charging port broke through the hinge, I had to replace the case). You can use the phone with a Bluetooth device but you do have to take it out to charge.
- Yes, I wondered about whether a zippered case could really be waterproof. It’s the same type of zipper used on drysuits and hazmat suits and is tested to hold up to 10,000 pulls.
The ugowear is not a cheap case, costing about 50% more than the model-specific waterproof Seidio case cost for my old phone– but I think it will save money in the long run.
- With no charging port to break (and destroy the waterproofness of the case) I won’t have to replace it due to use.
- The fact that the ugo floats makes it less likely that a phone dropped in the water won’t be retrieved (let’s not discuss the price of a replacement phone).
- And finally, if/when I have to get a new phone, I won’t have to buy a new case.
Colors: ugowear cases come in orange, navy with a green zipper, all black, black with a green zipper, and camo. The all-black looks more like a small clutch purse, but I tend to “misplace” black cases on dark surfaces and opted for the orange instead!
Where to Buy: ugowear is offering a 20% discount if you buy directly from the company on their website and use the discount code BOATGALLEY (all caps, no spaces) at checkout. There’s no expiration date for the discount code.
- ugowear website – best price with the discount
You can also buy Ugowear on Amazon, but there is no discount.
Disclosures: Melanie Cole, the co-creator of the ugo case, gave me a review copy of the case. And I’m glad she reached out as I hadn’t seen them before and love the case — it’s exactly what I had been looking for. I don’t think that my review is biased by the fact that I got it for free, as I’d buy one immediately if I somehow lost it. I do not make anything if you buy the case from ugo (the better deal with the discount coupon); I make a tiny bit if you purchase from Amazon.