- Editor Rating
- Rated 2 stars
- Naztech Vault Waterproof Case
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
- Last modified:
- Cosmetic AppealEditor: 40%
- Design & Build QualityEditor: 50%
- FeaturesEditor: 60%
- FunctionEditor: 20%
- Value For The PriceEditor: 40%
The Naztech Vault case for the iPhone 5 offers protection from water and accidental drops.
Protecting your expensive iPhone 5/5s from harmful elements such as water or dust is not always an easy task. Thankfully, there are many cases on the market which offer this type of advanced protection and they vary in price. One of the newer competitors is Naztech who has developed a waterproof case which retails for under $30, far cheaper than most competitors.
We received a sample Naztech Vault case for review and put it to the test to determine whether it lives up to the hype and to see if it can compete with higher competitors such as the LifeProof frē and the Otterbox Preserver Series. Keep in mind this review is based off solely off my hands on experience with our sample Naztech Vault in the blue color option.
After unboxing the Naztech Vault, it was clear that this product falls on the cheaper end of the spectrum as the build quality and overall appeal are mediocre at best. The clear design element looks tacky and the blue rubber material doesn't help. The materials and colors look like they could be taken from a child's toy and do not ooze class like the premium frē or Preserver series cases. In terms of size, the Vault is on par with the Preserver and frē although it is slightly shorter on length.
Had this case been in a black finish, I may have found it slightly more appealing. However, the clear/blue combination just doesn't work for me and it's bad enough that I would choose another case if I were considering buying the Vault. The build materials feel cheap and make me second guess whether I want to trust it with my expensive iPhone when submerged underwater.
The Vault is made up of a two-piece design in which the rear soft blue plastic slides over the hard plastic front cover. This results in an air-tight seal and is a reasonable design on paper. The materials themselves look as though they wont last an extended period of time.
The most notable feature of the Vault is its waterproof capabilities which is something you rarely find in a case priced under $30. The case offers full 360-degree protection including a built-in screen protector (see function segment for more on this element). With the case attached, you receive access to all the necessary buttons and ports although you do lose the ability to use the silent switch which is a critical design flaw.
It is also important to note that the home button is covered by a round piece of hard plastic so there is no TouchID support for the iPhone 5s. Additionally, the rear of the camera does feature a camera cutout, however it is not cut to support the iPhone 5s' new flash design.
Disappointing is the words that come to mind when summing up this case's performance. While it did keep the contents of the case dry during our water test, virtually all other aspects of the case performed poorly.
First off, the case's built-in screen protector is not flush with your iPhone screen making it an awful experience when trying to utilize the touchscreen for normal use. The thin plastic cover is too wide causing it to form a bubble on top of your screen which requires an extra effort in order to have your finger make contact with the screen. You can see this in the photos and videos below. This aspect alone makes the case useless in a real-life situation and is far more of a nuisance than a convenience.
Secondly, the call quality with this case is terrible. I could barely hear the person on the other end of the phone call as the airtight design seemed to drown out the earpiece causing it to weaken dramatically. My call recipient's only noticed a slight degradation in in the ability to hear my voice however when I enabled the speaker, it decline tremendously. They described it as an echoing sound as if the audio was emitting from the speaker and bouncing off the case's enclosure.
The lack of access to the silent switch is a major downfall and very inconvenient as you can't easily turn your ringer off while in school, work, or church. The home button is poorly design as it uses a hard piece of round plastic which sits above the traditional home button. This button has no give to it and feels very unnatural when pressed.
In the end, I found the Naztech Vault case to be disappointing and not a product that I can recommend. The case is unappealing, cheaply made, has critical design flaws (no access to silent switch), and underperformed during regular use. It is a prime example of the old saying “you get what you pay for” as the low price-point directly reflects the case's quality and performance. If you're on a budget, I'd highly recommend waiting to save up a few more bucks then buying the LifeProof frē or Otterbox Preserver Series as you get far more value on the dollar.