REVIEW – Advances in technology and increased memory capacity means more people carry iPhones that are expensive to replace and that contain invaluable content. The Hitcase is a low-profile case that is compatible with magnetically mounted TrueLUX lenses, and provides protection from water and drops. Read on to see what I think!
What is it?
The Hitcase Splash is an iPhone case for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus phones. It has IP68 waterproof rating to 10ft/3m, a MIL-SPEC Shock rating, drop-proof to 6ft/2m. The case is easy to install and remove but doesn’t add excessive bulk or weight to the phone. The polymer front and rear surfaces provides a protective shell that minimally impacts tactile, visual and audible stimuli and also permits wireless charging. The case is compatible with TrueLUX lenses – interchangeable waterproof lenses with precision-grade optical glass that are waterproof to 10 m and drop proof to 2 m. The lenses come in macro, wide and superwide fields of view.
What’s in the box?
The Hitcase Splash comes with the following:
- installation instructions
- cleaning cloth
The box for the Hitcase has a front flap that opens to reveal the case packaged inside. There is a cut out in the box to allow the TPU material to be touched. The cleaning cloth is mounted behind the cardboard frame supporting the case. It is likely that the box will be thrown out without removing the cleaning cloth unless it is looked for.
Each TrueLUX Lens comes with the following:
- lens caps
- storage pouch with integral cleaning cloth
- IP68 waterproof rating to 10ft/3m
- MIL-SPEC Shock rating, drop-proof to 6ft/2m
- Wireless charging compatible
- DuroSoft™ TPU exterior
TrueLUX Lenses. Each Lens Features
TrueLUX SuperWide Lens Specifications:
- Size: Ø29mm x 17.8mm long / Weight: 22g
- Triple element glass lens
- 148° diagonal FOV in photo mode
- 121° diagonal FOV in video mode
TrueLUX Wide Lens Specifications:
- Size: Ø29mm x 19mm long / Weight: 22g
- Triple element glass lens
- 120° diagonal FOV in photo mode
- 98.6 degrees (Diagonal), 86.1 (Horizontal) FOV in video mode
- Magnification: 0.55X
- Minimum focus distance: 27mm
Design and features
The Hitcase Splash is a two piece case that has a snap-together seam along the side of the phone. The soft rubber rear of the case flexibly fits over and locks on to a hard plastic ridge on the front of the case. This mechanism is similar to the operation of a Tupperware container. Assembling the case only requires that you press to seal around the rim. The directions request that you test the case without a phone inside to verify the construction of the case before inserting the phone. I did this and determined that the case could be assembled correctly without water leaking inside.
The rear of the case has a metallic ring that surrounds the rear camera and a plastic lens cover for the camera. A TPU ring surrounds the camera and the flash and provides extra rigidity so that the rear of the case will not flex in front of the flash or camera.
On the inside of the case, a foam gasket surrounds the flash and camera to prevent internal reflection. The foam gasket also seals against the rear microphone. The microphone seems to work fine when recording video from the rear but picks up less if the rear of the phone is pressed with my finger while recording. Assuming that most of the time recording is performed while holding the edge this should not be a problem. The picture below is the foam on the inside of the case.
The rear of the case doesn’t seal directly against the phone; there is about a 1 mm gap between the phone and the rear of the case. That allows enough room to install a metal plate for a magnetic mount. I have a MOZEEDA Qi Fast Charge Wireless Charger Car Mount with a 0.8 mm insert that fits perfectly. The rear of the case also serves as a speaker membrane for the bottom speaker. A hard rubber surface acoustically couples that case to the bottom speaker. The rear of the case resonates when the bottom phone speaker is active.
The front if the case completely seals the face of the phone. For the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, there is a membrane above the home button to permit fingerprint reading. I could not detect that the membrane slowed the registration of a fingerprint at all. The rest of the screen is a more rigid polymer film. The film sits directly against the screen of the phone so that the tactile response is very close to the feeling of the glass. A small window above the front speaker helps sound transmission. I cannot tell the difference in speaker volume with our without the front of the case attached. The serial number of the unit is printed above a barcode on a sticker along the inside wall.
The buttons on the side work very well. It takes somewhat more force to push them than the phone’s buttons, but there is still a discernable tactile click when they are depressed. Hitcase has appropriated the most underappreciated feature of the iPhone. When the camera app is running the volume buttons can be used to take a picture. Hitcase has painted one of the buttons red to make it more obvious that this is a shutter release. The mute switch is operated by way of a dial. The video below shows how the dial operates with the back of the case removed.
Turning the dial about an eighth of the way will flip the switch back and forth. I found the best results occur when one of the teeth on the inside of the case is at 12 o’clock and the phone is inserted into the case with the switch in mute. If the dial were a bit bigger it would be easier to turn.
The picture above is the inside of the case and the bottom ports. The white box is in front of the microphone.
The picture above is the top inside of the front of the case.
The charger port is usually closed with an o-ring fitted cover. When open it will accept a rounded rectangle plug that is less than 1/4″ tall and about 7/16″ wide. A membrane-enclosed grill next to the charge port permits access to the bottom microphone. Only one bottom microphone is exposed in this way, however, there was no difference detected with or without the case installed by people I had a conversation with. The TPU case around the side provides a secure way to hold the phone and protects the front and back surfaces from getting scratched when the phone is placed on a flat surface.
The TrueLUX lenses attach to the magnetic ring and self align along a ridge on the inside of the magnet base. The one detriment is that they are easily knocked off by sudden movement. Even though the super wide lens will shoot pictures like a Go-Pro it is definitely not as durable as one.
I used the case exclusively for about 6 weeks. I generally keep the phone in my pockets. In this time the front of the case picked up a couple of scratches. Also, there is an array of “dots” that keep the plastic from adhering to the glass below. They show up on the phone in bright light, but not while the screen has an image on it. The screen doesn’t look completely flat because it is a plastic film. Perhaps at the dawn of the age of the folding phone, we should get used to a plastic film screen. (How are cases going to work on these folding phones anyhow?)
The shots below are of the native camera, the wide lens, and the super wide lens from the same vantage point. Notice how the trees bow towards the edge of the field of view.
When using the macro lens the only thing I could tell is that my windows need cleaning.
The shots below are of the native camera, the wide lens, and the super wide lens all taken with my phone mounted to a tripod.
I couldn’t use the Macro to record from the same location because it was out of focus. However, I was able to verify that the graph paper was printed with an inkjet printer.
What I like
- a thin and lightweight case that’s easy to install
- Works with TrueLUX lenses
What needs to be improved
- TrueLUX lenses can fall off
- Mute dial could be bigger
The Hitcase and TrueLUX lenses protect your phone and enhance your camera with rugged yet functional accessories. Be happy you bought the Hitcase before your sad over losing your vacation photos in the hotel hot tub.