As someone who loves spending time outdoors and enjoys being in the water even more, I'm a massive fan of the Apple Watch Ultra 2. It's a brilliant outdoor watch and especially well-suited for divers. If you wish your iPhone were equally capable of tracking your scuba or freediving sessions, aren't you lucky as the upcoming Oceanic+ Dive Housing allows you to do just that. And it costs only $485.95. Bargain.
It's not like there aren't enough ridiculously expensive iPhone accessories out there, but the Oceanic+ Dive Housing caught my attention for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it's more than just another waterproof case for your iPhone; it's a full-fledged dive computer that works seamlessly with your Ultra, allowing you to take photos with your smartphone and sync them with your dive parameters in the Oceanic+ app.
It makes sense for Apple and Huish Outdoors, manufacturer of the Oceanic+ Dive Housing and designer of the Oceanic+ app, to roll out such an accessory now. Among other nifty features, the second generation Apple Watch Ultra extended the operating altitude range to -500-9000 meters, allowing the wearable to go deeper and higher than ever before. Most importantly, it added a freediver mode, which is admittedly a more accessible activity than scuba diving (the first-gen Ultra could 'only' do scuba diving).
But I hear you saying, "Matt, this isn't quite enough to justify the price tag!" I agree, but there is much more to the Oceanic+ Dive Housing than just the ability to take terrible underwater photos using your iPhone. The case also has advanced photo and video features, including colour correction filters, the ability to capture RAW and compressed media, white point correction for depth-adaptive adjustments and enhanced colour accuracy, so your dive photos and videos wouldn't just look like a blue smudge.
And if the fact that you can turn your iPhone into a dive camera wasn't enticing enough, the Oceanic+ Dive Housing has a few more tricks up in its sleeve. It works on its own and provides information about your dive without an Apple Watch, thanks to the integrated depth and temperature sensors (you need the wearable to add heart rate to the mix, though).
One of my favourite little details is the automatic vacuum pump with a seal check. This integrated leak detector is quite handy, as the maximum operating depth of the case is 196 feet (60 meters), and it would be quite awkward if seawater started seeping in through the edges when you're that deep.
While you might think the Oceanic+ Dive Housing might only work with the latest iPhone 15 Pro Max, it's compatible with iPhones SE 2nd Gen and newer Apple smartphones. It's available for pre-order now for $489.95 in North America only directly via Oceanic. Orders placed now will ship in late October. The accessory is also available in Australia via Submerged Nation for AU$ 979. Sadly, it's not available in the UK (yet).