Mpow 097 Waterproof Case for Snorkeling Review
Finding the right waterproof case can be tricky. The market is saturated with cheap options that don’t perform well and risk damage to your phone, as well as over-priced and clunky designer cases that perform little better than their less expensive competitors.
The Mpow 097 Universal Waterproof Case is meant to be a middle ground between price and performance, offering a full slate of functionality in an affordable package.
The manufacturer promises complete protection from water, as well as the ability to operate a touch screen phone underwater and take clear photos.
Mpow 097 Review
1. What's in the Box?
The order comes with two Mpow 097 waterproof cases, perfect for if you’re going camping or on a trip and you misplace one. In addition to the cases, there are two lanyards that allow you to carry your phone around your neck.
Unpacking and getting started is easy and takes little time. The packaging is no-fuss, and the cases come out without any issue. Getting your phone in place requires little effort.
Release the snap closure, open the case, slide phone in, and close the seal. Once this is done, your phone is protected. The seal slides shut easily and does not come unfastened accidentally. Once you want to get your phone out, it’s easy to slide the seal open.
3. How It Compares
The Mpow 097 is one of the cheaper options out there, and the one that features one of the cleanest and simplest designs. There aren’t many bells and whistles here, and that’s the point.
The case does everything as advertised, from protection to photos, and holds up over time. There’s not much more you need from a waterproof case. It’s just as good as products that cost twice as much.
The case is meant to be completely waterproof, protecting phones as well as documents or other small gadgets from water damage while submerged. The producer says it can be used while swimming and scuba diving, as well as in any other activity where a phone might be exposed to water.
The first test was to submerge it completely underwater for a prolonged period, to see if performance held up. This was done at various different depths.
When put in a shallow pool of water, the case holds up perfectly. The screen was fully usable, and responsive to swipes and taps. There were moments where the screen had to be tapped with greater force than normal to get a response, but not to the point where functionality was disrupted. Texting, taking photos, and even using apps all went smoothly.
When the case is used at greater depths, performance is still great. There can be some issues with the touch screen once you reach a certain depth, due to hydraulic pressure. This means that if you are scuba diving, pictures may have to be taken with the outside buttons on your phone, rather than with the touchscreen. This is not a fault of this case in particular and will be an issue with almost every other case.
One of the main features of the case is the clear design, allowing for pictures to be captured while underwater. The case is fully transparent, not obstructing the camera. The photos that were captured were clear and focused, and the seal of the case did not obstruct the lens of the camera.
There was occasional fogging inside the case, but nothing that affected visibility of the screen or the quality of photos. This issue is common with other cases as well and was no worse with the Mpow 097. In fact, across various tests, it seemed to actually have fewer fogging issues than comparable cases.
The case is also meant to protect phones from dirt and mud. After a muddy hike, the phone was completely clean and free of any trace of water exposure. The dirt was easily removed from the case, leaving it clear and undamaged.
The manufacturer claims that the cases are scratch resistant, and through hours of testing, this was largely true. There was a small amount of abrasion found after heavy use.
Performance Pros and Cons
For the price, it’s hard to find a product that will do more for you than the Mpow 097.
The design is simple and functional, and performance is great whether swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, or fishing. There was little wear through repeated, intense testing meant to intentionally push the product’s limits. Some of the minor issues, such as fogging and screen unresponsiveness, are found in other cases, many of them much more expensive than the Mpow 097.
This case is best-in-class and comes close to being one of the better cases, regardless of price.