Protection Vs. Functionality, what do you value? Find out what we discovered in our Naztech Vault + Review
[toggle title=”Watch the Naztech Vault + Review on YouTube”][/toggle] The Naztech Vault + for the iPhone 5S is definitely a tough iPhone case, sitting at a protection level higher than your standard LifeProof and Otterbox case but suffers in terms of accessing your iPhone 5S when installed inside the case.
The Naztech Vault + will protect your iPhone against water up to 16ft (5m). This is more than twice the water protection that LifeProof and Otterbox offers for their cases. In fact, based on the dozens of cases that we’ve reviewed in the last couple of years, there are only three other cases that offer the same level of water protection (Catalyst, HitCase Pro and Optrix XD5)
This expectational protection is offset by how hard it is to access your iPhone inside the Naztech Vault +. The iPhones touchscreen is difficult to access through the screen protector and the flash for the camera is completely covered with an odd pinhole thing.
For this Naztech Vault + Review, we give the case a score of 3.9 Eh’s out of 5. There are many cases that are better than the Naztech Vault + but if you’re looking for a case with exceptional protection, you may want to consider the Vault +.
|Naztech Vault +|
(out of 5)
$69.95 USD (iPhone 5/5S)
|Top Buy Buttons|
- Great water protection (up to 16 ft)
- Great access to the Touch ID sensor
- Well designed case (in terms of water and shock protection)
- Tougher than your standard LifeProof Case
- Screen protector scratches easily
- Screen protector does not sit flush on the iPhone
- The gap between the screen protector is significant
- Weird cutout (or lack of for the flash)
|Potential Problems||Potential Problems:|
- The screen protector is going to get very scratched up over time. The scratching is quite noticeable
- Naztech Vault + is quite light and doesn't add much bulk to your iPhone
|Install||Ease of Installation (4/5):|
- Generally easy to install. We recommend that you don't cut your finger nails before installing this case
- Easy to tell if the case has been properly installed
|Build Quality||Build Quality (3/5):|
- The materials of the screen protector seems poor (because of its susceptibility to scratches)
- Case seems to "absorb" colours. I.e. Keeping it my jean pocket stained the case blue for a few days
- Case takes damage fairly well
|Shock Protection||Shock Protection (5/5):|
- Protects your iPhone from drops up to 6.6 ft
- The Naztech Vault + will provide extra protection as it wraps your iPhone with two layers, the sled that the iPhone sits in and the rubber bumper that wraps around the entire case
|Water/Dust Protection||Water/Dust Protection (4.5/5):|
- Provides exception water protection at 16 ft. This is more than double your standard Otterbox or Lifeproof case
- Successfully tested in the kitchen
|Screen Protection||Screen Protection (4/5):|
- Thick plastic screen protector
- Despite being one of the things that brings the score of this iPhone case down, the thickness and gaps do provide a bit of extra protection
|iPhone Functionality||iPhone Functionality (3.5/5):|
- Getting to your iPhone buttons is easy through the Naztech Vault +
- The membrane for the Touch ID is the best that we've used for all iPhone 5S cases
- Access to the headphone jack and lightning port is tight so non-Apple products might not work
- Sound coming from the speakers at the bottom of the iPhone is extremely muted
- Sound coming from the earpiece speaker is generally not effected
|Screen Usability||Screen Usability (3/5):|
- One of the worst cases for screen usability
- Gap between the screen protector and iPhone is really noticeable
- Screen protector doesn't sit flush so one part of the case is easier to use than another part
- Great access to your swipe menus on your iPhone
|Screen Viewability||Screen View-ability (4.5/5):|
- Scratches on the screen protector are very noticeable when iPhone screen is on
- Reflections coming off the touchscreen are "wobbly"
- Glare coming off the iPhone is pretty bad
|Bottom Buy Buttons|
Design – The Naztech Vault + is an odd looking case
The Naztech Vault+ is a different looking case. On our Facebook page, Jesse Murillo and Anson Chiu seemed to have mixed reactions about the look of the case and we totally agree. Though after using the case for a while (Aaron took it sea kayaking) the Naztech Vault + started to grow on me. The case has a lot of texture which is nice in wetter situations and having the front housing cover being completely rubber also helps. The back is fairly slick as it’s hard plastic but that makes it easier for you to slide it into a pocket.
The Vault + is a little bigger than the LifeProof Fre but this added bulk doesn’t seem to add much weight. The case is installed a little differently as the front of the case wraps around a sled that the iPhone sits in. We believe that this design feature of the Naztech Vault + results in a stronger, more waterproof iPhone case.
installing the case is fairly simple as well and despite not having anything that “snaps” together, running your hand around the edges of the case will tell you if it’s properly installed or not.
Protection – Provides better protection than your average LifeProof and Otterbox case
As we mentioned above, the Naztech Vault + is a incredible waterproof iPhone case allowing you to submerge your device up to 16 ft (5m). This definitely means that your iPhone can easily become an underwater camera.
I terms of shock protection, the Naztech doesn’t explicitly state how shock proof it is but we dropped it from a height of 6 ft and our iPhone screen didn’t shatter. The Vault + essentially provides the iPhone with two layers of protection (the front rubber housing and the plastic sled).
In terms of screen protection, the Naztech Vault + has a thick plastic screen protector. Though it is fairly difficult to use due to the gap between the iPhone’s touchscreen we believe that this screen protector is tougher than your average waterproof iPhone case.
Functionality – It’s tough to get to your iPhone through the Naztech Vault +
This is where the Naztech Vault + falls flat on its face. Accessing your iPhone inside the case is below par when compared to other cases. The camera flash is covered with this pin-hole that turns your camera flash into a spot light so your photographs are going to be a little different.
The plugs that cover the headphone jack and lightning ports work quite well but they will only work with Apple accessories. You will have a difficult time using anything that is slightly larger than your Apple headphone jack or lightning cable. Naztech does include a headphone jack extension which would allow you to use 3rd Party headphones. The buttons on the Vault + are quite easy to use and the mute switch is a little different as you can turn the whole switch 360 degrees.
Sound coming from the Vault + isn’t bad from the ear piece speaker but it’s very muted when coming from the speaker at the bottom since there isn’t a cutout for them.
We will mention that Naztech’s implementation of their membrane for the Touch ID is the best that we’ve used on an Touch ID compatible waterproof iPhone case. From what we can see, the size of the membrane must make a difference as it feels very similar to the LifeProof and Otterbox membranes.
Accessing your iPhone touchscreen is a little annoying for two reasons. The first reason deals with the gap between the screen protector and the touchscreen which is quite significant. In the center of the case, there is approx. 1mm of space which really deadens the sensitivity of the touchscreen.
The second reason also involves the gap as it is not consistent throughout the entire case. You will be required to press differently on different parts of the case.
In terms of screen viewability, during our testing period for our Naztech Vault + Review, we discovered that the screen protector scratches very easily. With the iPhone on, its a little more difficult to see the scratches but over time, they will become noticeable even when the device is on. The glare on the screen protector isn’t bad but it definitely isn’t helped by the fact that the touchscreen is flush so you have these “wobbly” reflections.
As we mentioned above, you need to decide what’s more important, having a case with some of the best water protection with reduced iPhone functionality or take your 70 bucks and spent it on another case with less water protection but better access to your iPhone.