iPhone 5 Case Review: Hitcase Pro for iPhone 5 Review
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4.5
What's Hot: Incredibly rugged. Many mounting options. Waterproof to 10m. Built-in wide-angle lens. Great rugged style. Built-in lanyard.
What's Not: Too much armor for everyday use. No access to mute switch. Wide-angle lens not removable. No access to camera flash.
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
The Hitcase Pro is a rugged case that seeks to turn your iPhone into a sports camera. As an action movie camera, it succeeds fantastically. However, it limits the functionality of the still camera in the process.
Size and Fit
The Hitcase Pro is surprisingly trim considering the amount of protection it provides. The non-removable wide-angle lens protrudes significantly from the back of the case, however, adding about 0.5" inches to the thickness of that portion of the case. Once installed, it holds the iPhone quite snugly in its soft layers of silicone and ABS plastic. Rest assured, your device will not be rattling around, even with rigorous physical activity.
Features and Quality
The first thing you'll notice when installing your phone into the Hitcase Pro is its quality and attention to detail. All of the exterior buttons are metal, and the three seals that hold it closed are so snug you will never worry that they will open accidentally or leak. In fact, the manufacturer claims that you can safely take your phone to 10m (33ft)! That's the deepest of any full-use case I've reviewed or even heard of. You also get the comfortable feeling that repeated openings and closings will not diminish the effectiveness of the seals, thanks to some pretty substantial hinges. While reviewing the Hitcase Pro, I took it into the ocean to take videos of my son and his friends body surfing. Thanks to the adjustable lanyard, I never even worried about dropping it. In fact, when I returned to my towel, I was surprised to find myself absent-mindedly tossing it casually on the sand. After an hour of heavy use, I clearly trusted it. It performed as advertised, by the way. The wide-angle lens made for some dramatic shots and my phone emerged as pristine as it went in. Now, about that wide-angle lens; you're gonna love it or you're gonna hate it. If you intend to mount your Hitcase Pro on a helmet or maybe the handlebars of a bike/motorcycle/personal watercraft, you're going to be a lover. If, however, you were hoping to take photos or movies up close and personal, you're likely not going to like it. It's clear, however, that this is not an oversight on the part of Hitcase as they've been making these cases for the iPhone 4/4S for a while, and while a non-pro version is available for that model, the only option available for the iPhone 5 is the Pro version (built-in wide-angle lens). I'm going to trust that they did their research and know their market. Still, I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't point it out here.
The Hitcase Pro comes with hardware that enables you to quickly and securely mount it to a helmet or a standard tripod. However, Hitcase also sells a tubular mount (for handlebars) and a chest mount (yes, you read that correctly). All of them install securely in seconds thanks to the rail system built into the case. As a nice finishing touch, Hitcase also offers a free iPhone app called Vidometer, which overlays speed, altitude, shock, and G-force on top of your videos.
The Hitcase Pro will give you full access to most of your iPhone's physical controls and ports. Specifically, while you can turn it on/off, adjust the volume, make phone calls, etc., you can't access the mute switch or the camera's flash, which is completely covered. Lastly, it's important to note that you can use headphones by removing the waterproof plug that covers the port. However, doing so will render the case non-waterproof.
While rugged/waterproof iPhone cases tend to be boxy and boring, somehow the Hitcase Pro manages to look stylish. Perhaps it's its slightly asymmetrical shape or maybe its edgy looking etchings and grooves, but the end result is something that I wish I could carry every day. That's the highest praise I can think of for a case as rugged as this one.
The Hitcase Pro is an extremely rugged and waterproof case designed for the most active segment of the population. It delivers on all of its claims, and in so doing, effectively supplants most sports cameras on the market. Don't plan on carrying this one everyday, though. The wide-angle lens, no camera flash, limited headphone access, and the inability to mute your phone will keep this dog firmly in the yard, where it was born to be.