Cheapest Universal Mobile Phone Underwater Housing for Diving Unbox Part 1

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Those who always dreamed taking down their phones underwater, this cheapo Bluetooth Universal housing from Seafrogs might do...
Ever watch the movie The People vs Larry Flynt?. There was one scene where Larry (played by Woody Harrelson) took a stab at Playboy sharing "8 million people buy it, but nobody is reading it...Playboy is mocking you"...

Who is this magazine for anyway?

Searching for underwater camera equipment will yield gear with atmospheric price tags. Most sites who have positioned themselves as the 'de facto' source of underwater photo equipment kind of subtly share if you don't have the dough, you don't get laid (from a photographic point of view lol).. but somehow, I can agree with Larry that the masses just want to be truly entertained, or in my field, just take casual snapshots underwater, (which I believe is a billion strong market if you think about it).   

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A quick two week delivery from Aliexpress
Around two years ago, I did a quick review on the Weefine Bluetooth Underwater Housing paired with a Huawei which I found quite brilliant, finally, a system where even if you change phones, you can still take your upgraded smartphone underwater while maintaining your underwater case which was quite future proof (doesn't fit phones larger than the Samsung s10). There were stability issues but paired with the Dive+ app, it became a great option for casual underwater content creators, but the price was still quite steep, but the quality was there. A few months after that review, I saw a Seafrogs clone of it...roughly a quarter of what the Weefine cost and one boring night online, snatched one for USD120+ online and it arrived surprisingly just two weeks later, straight from the China factory, delivered by the Philippine Postal service (yes it still exists).

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It was solid enough to warrant an initial thumbs up in quality, having held hundreds of plastic and aluminium housings.

China products are a hit and miss, let's face it, but the price is low enough to risk toying with it so here I am, taking a closer inspection what a usd120 underwater-universal-bluetooth diving case for cellphones has to offer and found the build quality to be acceptable and is sure to clear the 30 meter mark. (I've held over a hundred different underwater imaging equipment from go pros, sjcams to the most expensive dslr systems).

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All the buttons are 'Shutters', read further below
Now that we gave the workmanship of the housing a thumbs up, I tried finding an app which connects this housing to phones, seen archives of supposedly a BT Shutter Pro App which isn't there on google play anymore plus reviews shared it stores horrendous pics via app (I wouldn't know, the app is a goner) but the main difference between this housing is it can connect directly to your phone's camera app, was generally stable enough, but the only thing that works is the shutter. There is no way you can zoom or adjust any settings on your phone. 

The buttons you see on the image shared above simply doesn't work. Playing with it for close to two hours, your main shutter button may fail to record images on your phone, the supposed zoom buttons and video record functions are buttons you press to be able to take images instead of your main shutter release. In summary, all buttons provided on top are all shutter buttons, if one fails, try another, till it captures an image on your phone... a big LOL (this was a direct connection to camera phone app, do message me if you do find a working camera app for this cheap housing).

The metal magnet in the middle connects your mobile phone to your housing, yes similar to how you hang your phone  in your car via magnets, must add padding for secure fit.

How then do you mount your phone within the housing, Seafrogs supplies a metal plate sticker which you attach to the rear of your phone then simply stick your phone to the round magnet of the housing. I think diy foam cut outs are needed to plant the camera firmly, but the magnet is strong enough to hold your phone in place. 

Built in red filter, probably great to use starting 15 feet till 30 feet 

Who reads manuals anyways, seriously, well, it was sh*t as usual

So what else do we get from the box, you get a spare o-ring, a hand strap, cleaning cloths, an anti fog thingy and that was it, they forgot to provide the most important thing which is grease for the o-ring (that rubber thingy which keeps water out)

There was no vacuum pump included (while it has a vacuum port), it is offered as an option, this feature for me is only for obsessive compulsive peeps, but its a phone so yeah, peace of mind is top priority...

p.s. there is proper grease for every o-ring for underwater gear, I'm using generic grease for now for this one but do check your manufacturer and use only specified grease for your o-ring, unmatched lubricants can make your o-ring swell similar to overcooked spaghetti rendering your underwater housing useless. 

Unbox Summary...

I've yet to take pictures with it but here is the lowdown

1. It's extremely well built for its price, yes it's plastic but looks rigid enough to survive depths less than 100 feet. (I've yet to figure out if it's positively buoyant, most seafrog housings are)

2. Connects your phone to housing via Bluetooth (think future proof) No dedicated app though (bummer), 

more advanced shooters will get turned off by having no other control and alternating between 5 buttons-all shutters (via direct connect to phone) but am sure a billion people who just want casual underwater shots using their phone will find it good enough to part with USD120. 

3. Magnets is what sets your phone in place...DIY foam padding a must, (cut out from an old mat will do, folded cardboard too to keep it in place in case of sudden jolts)

4. Seafrogs missed including "GREASE" for the o-ring, the most important thing since as shared, different greases may bloat your o-rings.

5. For Advanced Shooters
Macro lens and wide angle attachments are not available, but since it's a clone to Weefine/Kraken Aluminum housings, pricy third party mounts are available... personally will DIY something to hold at least macro lenses in place.

6. Treat this gear as a Toy, not something which will give you stellar pics, I personally view it as my Cheap Camera challenge contraption :)

Will probably take this down for a dive within the week or next, don't know really but if you want to see how it performs and some test shots from I don't know what phone yet, do subscribe so you get an alert of the upcoming underwater test.

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