It goes without saying these days: premium smartphones are getting thinner and lighter, and are packed with more surprising tech with every release. And of course the price tags continue to rise — at the high end of the market at least.

A few years ago there was a surge in water-resistant phones that could shake off a dunking and survive a knock or two. But then the manufacturers’ priorities seemed to shift. They placed more emphasis on the camera, screens and lens space, and less on hardiness.

Consumers lapped up the innovations, but decried the compromises that came with it. So once again the trends shifted, back to a little more resilience.

The iPhone 7 is Apple’s first water-resistant device, and the S7 was Samsung’s most resilient device yet as well.

But what options do you have if want to put your device through more than the IP67 or 68 (a measure of water and dust proofing) level it is qualified for? There are many solid waterproof cases on the market for storing devices, but these often render them unusable — because they are locked away for their own protection.

Paddlers, divers, hikers, skiers and surfers might be keen on a Seawag bag then. Seawag’s slogan is “designed to enjoy water”, and the company makes seriously waterproof bags for smartphones, tablets and cameras. Properly sealed in, devices are safe to about 25m under water, and protected from snow and dirt too.

In Seawag bags, devices remain useable. The touchscreen works through the clear bag plastic so you can snap pics at the bottom of the pool, on a dive, or even send texts and, in the case of some models, make calls underwater.

The bag is only as good as the seal on it, so this needs to be kept clean and free of sand, which could affect it.

It is available through merkado.co.za for R596.

Seawag waterproof bag
Cool factor: ****
Usability: ****
Value for money: ***

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