SeaLife SportDiver lets you shoot underwater with your smartphone

SeaLife SportDiver SL400
(Image credit: SeaLife)

Submerging a smartphone in water normally calls for an emergency dunk in a bowl of rice – but now, the SeaLife SportDiver housing promises to change all that.

A clever underwater housing designed specifically for smartphones, the SeaLife SportDiver fits most Android phones and iPhones from the iPhone 7 right up to the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Even the best underwater housings for phones are normally quite basic things, and those for cameras are often expensive. The SportDiver provides an affordable but durable way to keep your phone safe on a dive and allow you to take stunning pictures beneath the waves. 

The list of phones compatible with the SeaLife SportDiver housing is pretty long, and the housing can be adjusted a little to fit around the contours of specific models, using the supplied . You can use the compatibility guide here to see if your phone will fit. 

The housing weighs 641g, and is constructed of polycarbonate, stainless steel, aluminum, and optical-grade glass. According to the makers, it offers near-neutral buoyancy in water, making it easier to grab in the event of a fumble. It features a large shutter lever and rear control buttons, and also comes bundled with a removable underwater color-correction filter, which can be attached and detached underwater without compromising the protection. 

SeaLife says that two AAA batteries will last in the housing for around 50 hours of continuous use. It also features triple 1/4-20 tripod mounts to support the attachment of lights, including SeaLife's own Sea Dragon underwater light.

In conjunction with the housing, SeaLife has also released the SportDiver app for Android and iOS. The app interfaces with the housing and allows you to use your phone's advanced camera controls, as well as making it easy to switch between photo and video. 

The SportDiver housing retails for $299 - or for $649 with a SeaLife SeaDragon underwater light.

A look at the shooting screen on the SportDiver app.  (Image credit: SeaLife)

(Image credit: Sealife)

The app can also provide a power-save mode that turns the camera off and dims the display following a period of inactivity; it can be woken up with a touch of any button. It saves images to the phone's camera roll automatically.

The SeaLife SportDiver housing can be bought on its own, or as part of a bundle with the SeaDragon 2500 underwater light. We'll have to see how it stacks up ourselves to see if it merits inclusion in our rundown of the best underwater housings, though if this is something you're interested in, you may also want to check out our guide to the best waterproof cameras

Read more
Best waterproof cameras
Best underwater housings
Best underwater drones

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 

His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.

He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.