I have a nice camera with a decent zoom, but my surf breaks are too far from shore to capture, and a waterproof housing is out of my price range. Divers, paddlers, swimmers, and anglers who want to document your adventures — take note: the AxisGO is a great solution.
The quality of phone cameras these days is incredible and after doing some research, I discovered that there are a number of phone housings designed to protect your phone during your aquatic adventures. After scouring the internet and reading about the different options, the AxisGO seemed like the best bet in an accessible price range, so I ordered a case for my iPhone 13.
I live in Hawaii and am in the ocean every single day. Although I’ll give any water sport a try, my staples are surfing, standup paddling, snorkeling, and free diving.
In short: When I was in the market for a housing, I was looking for something that wasn’t too bulky to swim with during surfing and diving. I also wanted it to have a decent depth rating, so I could free dive with it and take on shallow-water scuba diving adventures. The AxisGO ($179 and up) ticked all my boxes. Here’s how it performed.
AquaTech AxisGO Housing Review
How to Use a Waterproof Housing
Designed specifically for iPhones, the AxisGO 13 works for the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the iPhone 13 Pro, and the iPhone 13. (AxisGO currently has models for the iPhone XR, 11, 12, and 13, with the 14 coming soon.)
To use, you simply insert your phone into the case. (If you have the iPhone 13 Pro, you first snap in the cradle and then insert your phone.) The waterproof housing provides access to all three lenses on the iPhone 13, and the glass lens port is scratch-resistant.
The housing features a rear touch membrane, which allows you to have full touch-screen access so you can easily use your favorite apps, take selfies, and instantly send your photos to your contacts. The AxisGO 13 supports the latest features of the new iPhone including Macro, Cinematic Mode, and RAW capture.
On the bottom of the housing, there are mounting points to attach the Bluetooth pistol grip and on the front, there are threads to attach the dome, both of which are accessories on offer.
When purchasing the AxisGO, you have the option to simply purchase the housing, a kit, or individual accessories. Accessories on offer are the AxisGO Dome, the Bluetooth pistol grip, a dome cover, a cleaning and scratch removal kit, an action mounting kit, a protective case, and a sport leash. The dome enables you to take stunning over/under shots, and the Bluetooth pistol grip allows you to take photos at the click of a button.
Testing the Waters With the AxisGO
Taking your phone in the water feels very counterintuitive, but with the AxisGO housing, my phone feels well protected. I typically am not a big fan of all the setup it takes to figure out, but the AxisGO was straightforward. There are even videos on the website to guide you through all of the features.
I like that you simply put your phone in the case, snap it shut, and you’re ready to go. The snap makes it easy to know when your phone is fully secure.
The touch screen doesn’t work as well as if your phone weren’t in the case, but you are able to access everything. And compared to other options out there, it works well. Many lower-price waterproof cases won’t have this touch screen feature.
I’m not usually one to purchase add-ons, but the accessories offered by AxisGO definitely enhanced the experience. The Bluetooth pistol grip made it easy to hang onto the housing while swimming and diving, and it was awesome to be able to take photos by simply clicking the button.
And the dome allows you to take over/underwater shots, which for me turned out really cool. I also am a fan of the sport leash because the housing is not buoyant, so it’s important to make sure your phone and housing stay in hand.
There are other waterproof housing options out there, ranging from over $350 to $500 that do have better depth rates of 30-40m, but they also come at a higher price. We do wish the AxisGO had a slightly better depth rate. But for now, the 10m depth rate, price, and performance of the housing make it a great option.
AxisGO Housing: Conclusion
Is the AxisGO Housing for you? With a price tag of $179-219 (less than 200 bucks if you have an iPhone XR, 11, or 12), this housing is hard to beat. That price is definitely lower than a GoPro or Olympus Tough Underwater camera, or other housing options, and is definitely lower than buying a new phone if you take yours out on the water without protection (and drop it).
Overall, I’m a big fan of this housing case! It has all the features I want. It offers fun, compatible accessories, and it’s easy to use. In future models, I hope they’ll improve the depth rating so users can take it on deeper dives. I’m excited to take the AxisGO out more frequently and continue to work on my underwater photography skills.