Optrix by Body Glove Review

Rating:

For the adventurous, for the daring, and for those who need to capture every moment of it, there exists a product that transforms your iPhones into a rugged, waterproof, and drop-proof camera.

Enter: the Optrix, by Body Glove.

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What’s Included?

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Out of the box, you’ll unwrap a translucent hard plastic shell that houses your iPhone 6, which can be opened via a very secure latch, revealing a plastic backing shell for an iPhone 6. In addition, there are four lenses that can attach to the hard plastic shell, via a threaded screw-like mounting ring.

Once you snap the plastic backing shell onto your phone, it fits snugly into the hard plastic shell, and you must put a lens on to make the case waterproof. The owner’s manual suggests testing the case for its waterproof ability upon unboxing, as well as any time the case is dropped. The testing process involves placing an object (I used a sheet of paper towel) inside of the hard plastic shell, attaching a lens, and submerging it for approximately 30 minutes in water. After wiping it down, open the case and see if the insides are wet, and you can quickly verify the waterproof capabilities of the Optrix.

There are also a few accessories available, that aren’t included, like a selfie-stick or monopod, a tripod, a chest mount, and a bicycle mount, should you need any of that functionality with the Optrix. In general, they were not very intuitive or comfortable to use, so they were not a large part of this product review.

Judging the Case

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It’s not every day that you get a very rugged and durable case for the iPhone that also doubles as a mount for miniature camera lenses. Unfortunately, regardless of how good that idea sounds, the Optrix falls short with regard to actual execution.

The plastic backing shell feels relatively cheap and flimsy, not offering much protection compared to other similar cases on the market, and also feels like it scratches the phone along the sides. Given that it’s a requirement for proper alignment inside of the outer shell, it’s a must-use part of the Optrix.

On the other hand, the hard plastic outer shell houses the phone snugly, and appears to offer quite a bit of protection. Showing no signs of wear after a few short and medium height drops (1-5 metres), it’s easy to understand just how durable the Optrix case can be. The Optrix outer shell is thick, seals closed with a hinge and latch, and allows you to operate the phone while inside.

That said, the case does comes with a few design flaws. The Optrix does allow you to use your phone while it is inside the case, but the usability goes out the window with touch becoming much less responsive, and Touch ID capabilities are removed completely. In addition, the hinge system of the case completely blocks the front-facing camera of the phone, rendering certain accessories (read: selfie-stick / monopod) as much harder to use. Lastly, in order for the case to become waterproof, a lens MUST be attached, which seems like it would be relatively risky to carry around casually for fear of breaking the lens or the threads for attaching the lens.

Overall, the case seems to have good intentions, but is marred by poor design decisions that make it much less usable. Having a rugged case is great, and having attachable lenses is great, but it seems to run into issues the minute you try to have both.

What About the Lenses?

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The lenses included with the Optrix case may be only the redeeming aspect of the case. While they’re not tremendously game-changing, they do perform as advertised and can really give your phone a new set of superpowers while taking photos. Included is a low-profile lens (for when you want to just have a regular camera with the case on), a zoom lens, a macro lens, and a wide-angle lens.

In general, all four lenses are sturdy and well built, with only minor shearing and distortion present for the macro and wide-angle lenses. While the zoom and macro lenses are functional and perform as advertised, my favourite of the bunch was the wide-angle lens, because it provides a significant change in the field-of-view for your iPhone 6.

 

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Unfortunately, the lenses rely on the hard plastic outer shell of the Optrix to be mounted on the phone, making it much less portable and usable than intended and taking away from what could have been a fantastic addition to your phone.

The Bottom Line

This product is perfect for: people who wish to use their iPhone to capture their outdoor adventures while keeping the iPhone safe and sound.

Key things to be aware of: a camera lens must be mounted on the Optrix in order to make it waterproof, and the front facing camera is rendered unusable by the case.

Final review score: 3/5. The case itself is rugged and durable, working as advertised, but is relatively poorly designed and far too clunky for casual usage.

The Optrix, by Body Glove, is a wonderful sounding product on paper. Waterproof, drop-proof, and allows you to take better photos using the attachable lenses, but really falls short of ideal in practice. If you intend to use it only for when you wish to record your outdoor activities, it might be worth a look, but the overall product quality is just not where it should be.

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Jon Lim

Jon Lim is a professional developer, writer, and an avid technologist. He has written creatively for the past 16 years, and professionally for 4 years.

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1 Comment

  • Janice January 20, 2017 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Alternative case suggestions? Thanx.

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