The rainy days of leaving your iPhone at home, in your car, or in a zip-lock baggie inside your backpack are over! The RainBallet by The Joy Factory is a rugged waterproof case for the GSM & CDMA versions of the iPhone 4 & 4S.
The RainBallet has an IPX7 waterproof rating, and I have successfully tested it in a swimming pool at a depth of around almost 6 feet. I was able to successfully shoot video underwater while in the case, and the quality and clarity was quite good. The case also seems fairly rugged and should be able to easily protect your iPhone from minor drops from chest height. However, the case seems like it could potentially get damaged if dropped onto concrete from chest height.
Luckily, the RainBallet comes with a very sturdy wrist lanyard. If used, the likelihood of a damaging drop should be severely reduced. The included lanyard is also quite useful when on a boat since the case does not float. If dropped into deep water, the chances of the case holding up to the extreme pressure or being recovered at all are fairly nonexistent. I recommend replacing the included wrist lanyard with a neck lanyard that floats.
The case is sealed and held closed by three metal locks that seem quite sturdy. These locks are opened and closed with the included metal (coin shaped) key that is attached to the wrist lanyard. If you do replace the wrist lanyard with a floating neck lanyard, you will want to have some spare change or multi-tool with a flathead screwdriver available so you can open and close the locks, since using your thumb nail does not work (I tried).
A few things that the RainBallet does not offer is the ability to charge the iPhone in any way while it is in this case. It also doesn’t have any pass through button control for the volume buttons or silent mode switch. Worst of all, there is no access to the power button on top of the iPhone. This means that you are forced to let the iPhone go to sleep on its own for the screen to shut off. This could be problematic if you leave an app running that has the ability to override the iOS auto sleep mode. That scenario has the potential to leave you with a dead iPhone battery. An advantage to not having many pass-through button controls is that with more buttons come more O-rings. The more O-rings you have, the greater the risk of one of them springing a leak. Meaning, this lack of these features could potentially be a blessing in disguise.
As far as audio performance goes, I had mixed results with the different forms of audio output the iPhone is capable of. For starters, the headphone jack is completely blocked off from any access while in the RainBallet, so that was disappointing. Several other competing brands of waterproof cases each have a different solution to allow access to the headphone jack. Unfortunately, the RainBallet offers none. You can, of course, still use any Bluetooth audio devices with this case if you have them, that is.
One of the biggest disappointments is the music audio output when above water. It is downright horrible. It’s loud compared to many other waterproof cases but the quality is so scratchy and rattily that any lyrics are totally butchered by the noise created. Oddly enough, that story is polar opposite when music is played underwater. When compared to other waterproof cases the RainBallet is equal to if not louder and clearer then the competition. I don’t know why this is exactly but that’s how it went during my testing in the pool.
When used in speakerphone/FaceTime mode, there was definitely a problem with the iPhone microphone picking up my voice unless I spoke louder than normal. Also, just as with the poor music playback quality, the voice of the caller on the other end was quite garbled. Call quality while holding the iPhone in the case up to my ear was just fine. There was a little reduction in loudness but not enough to hinder my ability to understand the caller on the other end. In fact, when told he was talking to me with my iPhone in a waterproof case my brother was very surprised and hadn’t had any clue until I had informed him that I was testing my iPhone in a waterproof case.
Even with its faults, I cant help but like the design and effectiveness of this case when used underwater for shooting video clips. It is also very competitively priced compared to many of the competition; in some cases it was less than half the price of competing waterproof cases on the market. If you don’t play a lot of music on your phone or you have a Bluetooth speaker already, then this is a very cost effective waterproof case solution that should sufficiently protect your iPhone on your next adventure.
Made in China
For more information, please visit the following web-link: www.thejoyfactory.com