The iPhone is one of the most-used cameras in the world. However, in pursuit of the frequently illusive "perfect shot," more often than not you're required to take your iPhone into potential harm's way. The Optrix PhotoPro X (US$149.95) aims to protect your iPhone and enhance its camera in that pursuit.
First, let's start with the case. The PhotoPro X case is designed to withstand the toughest of bumps, scratches and drops. Made from an impact-resistant, custom polycarbonate unibody design, the PhotoPro X case will protect the iPhone from drops of up to 30 feet onto pavement. Oh, and it's waterproof up to 33 feet, too. In fact, it's earned the IPX8 water-immersion rating, the highest awarded to electrical housings.
The case is made up of two components. Firstly, a lightweight, sturdy and snug sled / tray case that the iPhone clips into. This provides low-level protection around the back and sides of the iPhone and is ideal for everyday light protection, though nothing fancy. The second part is the polycarbonate unibody. This has a latch door opening at the top that the iPhone, within the sled / tray case, slides into. It's all very simple to use. Put the iPhone in the tray, slide it into the case, close the unibody door and secure the latch. The iPhone is fully functional within the case. Headphone and charging access is accommodated for, too.
And, of course, the camera is fully functional too. In fact, over the camera is a hole in the case where Optrix's quick-change adapter allows various lenses to be easily switched in and out.
There are four interchangeable lenses: a 10x macro magnification lens (focused from 10-25mm from subject); a 2x optical zoom lens; a widescreen, 175° fish-eye lens; and a flat lens for clear underwater shooting, though all lenses will work underwater. All four lenses are made from glass with an aluminum body. A unique, yellow O-ring sits between the case and the lens to maintain the case's waterproof integrity. As mentioned above, the lenses are really easy to switch in and out, utilizing a screwing mechanism.
Each lens brings its own unique enhancement to the iPhone's camera. Though subtle, they were fun to use, and for the more discerning iPhone photographer, each provides a small, but practical enhancement. I particularly enjoyed using the macro lens. The lenses also come with a protective case as well as a cleaning cloth and additional O-rings.
Optrix has produced a case that performs three functions really well, where other cases might only perform one. The case itself provides extensive protection from drops, knocks, scratches, bumps and the environment, while not being overly bulky or obstructive. It's a fantastic heavy-duty case. On top of that, it provides waterproofing up to 33 feet (10 meters). Finally, it's really easy to use, unlike other cases which require extensive preparation before the case is waterproof-ready.
Futhermore, the PhotoPro X has four interchangeable lenses that provide subtle enhancement to the iPhone's camera. Though not groundbreaking, the lenses offer some practical improvements that iPhoneographers will enjoy.
Ecompassing these three features, the PhotoPro X becomes an attractive option for extreme outdoor iPhone users. However, more demanding iPhoneographers, who are not fussed about the protection, may find the PhotoPro X a little wanting in the lens department.
Extreme protection from the elements
Waterproof up to 33 feet
Really easy to use
None to really speak of
Who's it for?
Thrill seekers who require solid protection and waterproofing for the iPhone, and want to capture the moment with a bit of extra camera flair.