Screen protector? Skin? And a waterproof case? No problem!
Ghostek Atomic 3.0 Review – It’s like a jacket for your iPhone 7!
Looking to use a screen protector with your iPhone in a waterproof case? The only choice you have is the Ghostek Atomic. And we say that in a positive manner. The Atomic is such a useful waterproof iPhone 7 case!
The Ghostek Atomic can be installed in seconds, will protect your iPhone from bending, can handle 10+ foot drops and take a plunge in the sink/toilet. The buttons on the case are the best we’ve used on any waterproof case but the gap in the screen protector is quite noticeable. Call quality isn’t great either.
For our Ghostek Atomic 3 review, we’ve given this case a score of 4.1 Eh’s out of 5. It is currently #2 on our top waterproof iPhone 7 case list. The stand out feature of the case is the versatility it offers the iPhone. We’d consider this case over the LifeProof Fre, Dog and Bone Wetsuit Impact and the Pelican Marine. If you want to see how all these cases stack up against each other, check out our comparison tool for iPhone 7 waterproof cases.
Design – Improvements over older versions but still a beast of a case
The design of the Ghotek Atomic 3.0 for the iPhone 7 has been updated from the iPhone 6 versions. The most noticeable difference is the improved mute switch as well the hard polycarbonate shell on the back. The improved back ensures that you won’t damage the back of the iPhone like we did with the HitCase Shield.
The Atomic 3 is one of the larger and heavier waterproof cases for the iPhone 7. The entire case fits well together and feels incredibly solid due to the aluminum frame. We will note that a bad drop might result in the rotary switch come flying off which isn’t great. This happened in our durability test for the Atomic.
The Ghostek Atomic doesn’t slide around easily and the handling of the case is above average as the large rubber bumpers on the corner helps keep the iPhone stable in one hand.
Wear and tear is better than the previous versions as the rubber covered corners won’t show as much damage from drops. It is still an aluminum frame so it will still show a bit of wear and tear if you drop it.
Protection – Way tougher above land then below
For protection, the Ghostek Atomic is tougher on land than it is underwater when compared to other cases. The Atomic can take a beating from 10+ feet drops on even surfaces, get tossed around in snow and survive direct drops onto concrete. The Atomic is rated to IP68 as well but only for 4 ft for 30 mins which is sufficient enough for a beach day with a bit of underwater photography but we personally wouldn’t take the Atomic snorkelling.
Another benefit of the aluminum frame is the face that your iPhone isn’t going to bend in the case so if that’s a concern, you need the Ghostek Atomic.
Functionality – Accessing the iPhone takes a hit in this case
Accessing the physical buttons in the Ghostek Atomic is the best out of any waterproof case. The buttons preserve the “click” of naked iPhone which is great. Ghostek has made the rotary switch much larger which improves the access to that part of the iPhone. This is a noticeable improvement over previous versions.
Call quality and sound isn’t great as the Atomic scored the lowest out of all the waterproof cases we’ve used to date. Sound coming from the ear piece and bottom speakers were muted and call quality was quite poor. We’re guessing that the gap in the screen protector is causing the sound issue.
This sound issue is one of the reasons why we wouldn’t recommend this as a day-to-day case. However, if you’re planning on using it as a day-to-day case, we;d recommend getting a pair of wireless headphones. Like a pair of Ghostek SoDrop 2.0’s!
Subsequently, the ease of installation is going to help with call issues as you can quickly, in a fit of frustration, remove the front cover of the case.
Stop! Don’t take off that skin or screen protector!
From a versatility standpoint, the Atomic will fit an iPhone with a screen protector and a skin. No other waterproof case allows for this. This means that you can easily take your normal day-to-day iPhone setup and add water and extreme drop protection in seconds. For other cases, you’ll need to take everything off in order to use it with the case. We can’t imagine many people trying to reuse a cracked screen protector or used skin (though you can) on a regular basis.
Another way to look at this versatility is to compare it to dressing for a winter hike. Generally, you’d wear multiple layers so that you can adjust how warm you are. The Atomic is one of those layers. Normal waterproof cases are similar to a big, down filled jacked. It’s going to be warm for the first 10 minutes of hiking and unbearable to wear the rest of the time. Getting an Ghostek Atomic for your iPhone is like another layer.
The only gripe that we have with the Atomic from a functionality standpoint is the gap in the screen protector. Even with a screen protector installed, the gap is noticeable. You will end up pressing a bit harder to access the screen and the occasional double tap will occur. This is another reason why we say the Ghostek Atomic isn’t a great day-to-day case.
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