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Hands-on with the Pelican Marine waterproof case for Apple iPhone 6s Plus

While Samsung has water resistance in its phones, Apple iPhone owners still require a case for this protection. Pelican is known for its rugged cases and brings its experiences to the iPhone.

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Topic: Mobility
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1 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Pelican Marine waterproof case for the Apple iPhone 6s Plus

As a professional engineer, I haul test equipment around the world and all of that equipment is packed into foam-lined Pelican cases. Pelican is a name I trust with expensive equipment so when I saw Pelican announce a new Marine line of cases for the Apple iPhone 6s Plus at CES 2016 I knew I had to take one for a spin.

While Samsung and others start focusing on including water resistance in phones, Apple hasn't yet made that move so you need a good case to provide protection from the elements. The new Pelican Marine case, model 07040, brings all of Pelican's protective DNA to the iPhone.

Since I don't always need to provide rugged protection for my iPhone, I look for cases where I can install and remove my iPhone without complication. The Pelican Marine has five layers of protection provided in two halves. You simply put your phone on the back half and snap the front half in place.

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2 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Retail package for the Pelican Marine

There is an integrated screen protector, with support for 3D Touch, a polycarbonate front shell with rubber edges, a silicone rimmed rear panel with two plastic layers. There are clear plastic protective windows for the flash and camera with buttons for volume, ringer switch, and power button. There is a sealed door for the Lightning port while the speaker opening is covered. Pelican does have a sound chamber area that redirects the volume up towards the front through a protected opening. This makes the case a bit longer, eliminating the use of many Lightning cables and 3.5mm headphone jacks. Audio sounds fine through the case though.

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3 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Pelican Marine package contents

There is a headphone jack cover, that requires you to screw off the cap. It took some effort for me to manipulate the screw cap, but I never listen to wired headsets when I am using a phone in these types of environments so won't use it on a regular basis. I am also not a fan of having to use an extension cable, provided in the box, to use your headphones due to the depth of the bottom case.

The case is only available in black with red appearing in the back internal silicone liner piece. The Pelican Marine case is rated to the IP68 level and in my testing has performed flawlessly. I may be using this setup to record some snorkeling in the Caribbean soon too.

I live and work in an environment where I need my phones to have some protection from the elements. While the iPhone doesn't have such protection, it is fantastic to see the Pelican name on a case for my expensive iPhone. I've trusted Pelican with expensive equipment for years and trust them now with my iPhone 6s Plus.

The Pelican Marine case is available now for $89.95. While that is expensive for a case, Pelican is a trusted name in protection and the case also comes with it's two-year guarantee. As summer approaches and people head out to the lakes, beaches, mountains, and more it's a good time to think about protecting your iPhone.

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4 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Inside upper back of the Pelican Marine case

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Pelican branding inside the case

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Place your iPhone 6s Plus down on the back

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Bottom of the Pelican Marine case

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Front lower part of the Pelican Marine case

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Pelican Marine and iPhone 6s Plus in hand

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Secure bottom covers of the Pelican Marine

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An O-ring seals the headphone jack

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Clear covers protect the camera and flash

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Left side buttons of the Pelican Marine

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Pelican Marine and iPhone 6s Plus in the water

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15 of 15 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Back of the Pelican Marine case in the water

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