[REVIEW] thejoyfactory BubbleShield

OK. So this post will follow a different format than my past reviews. Read through it, and you will see why. 

So, after I reviewed the SmartSuit Mini by thejoyfactory, they were kind enough to send me a sample of another product to try out — the BubbleShield Reusable Waterproof Shield.

At first, it seemed like the perfect product! Especially for a minimalist backpacker, since it takes up virtually no space and weighs practically nothing, yet it can literally save your phone, tablet, or eReader!

So I wrote up a review that covered what I liked and didn’t like (but mostly what I liked!) about the BubbleShield during my ~2 weeks of using it.

The First Draft of my Review...

The First Draft of my Review…

But I wanted a more complete review — something that showed just how awesome I thought the BubbleShield was, and what it is capable of. So I got out my camera and took a couple photos for the review.

First I had my Samsung Galaxy Note phone in the BubbleShield to test how the sound played through the BubbleShield while watching videos (Very Well!) and the usefulness of using the touch screen capababilites of a device through the case (not so great — it’s kind of like… well… using trying to type on your device while it’s in a ziploc bag).

The Kindle Touch fits nicely  in the BubbleShield and is easy to navigate through menus.

The Kindle Touch fits nicely in the BubbleShield and is easy to navigate through menus.

Then I put my Kindle Touch inside the BubbleShield. It worked much better, because there isn’t much need for the touch screen — just a touch here and there to turn pages. And then I wanted a few final pictures to show that the BubbleShield actually IS WATERPROOF! So to the sink I went…

SONY DSC

Wow, look at that incredible waterproof-ness !!

Looks good, right? Like it’s doing exactly what it’s made for? YES! It did, for about 20 seconds. And then, I heard a little *poof* sound. It sounded like air was escaping from somewhere. I immediately turned off the water and checked that double seals on top were both pressed together tightly. They were. Then I checked the rest of the case. Here’s what I found:

A large gash formed in the bottom of the shield. It was not under any stress, and this is the first time I used this particular shield.

A large gash formed in the bottom of the shield. It was not under any stress, and this is the first time I used this particular shield.

In the time that large rip happened, air escaped and water flowed in. The water that came into the BubbleShield immediately ruined my Kindle Touch. 

I still can’t understand how the BubbleShield so suddenly split open. The Kindle wasn’t submerged — I was just holding it under the sink water. Was it merely from the weight of the tap water running over the top of the BubbleShield? If so, how can they expect it to hold up in a rain storm? As frustrated as I was with the failed waterproof test, I was happy that I didn’t run the test with my Galaxy Note inside of the BubbleShield.

Another thing to note — thejoyfactory had sent me 2 BubbleShields to test (as they are made to be reusable, but also disposable). I had used one of them for the 2 weeks prior to taking these photos, but the one used for the water test was COMPLETELY BRAND NEW at the time. I had just taken it out of the box 10 minutes before the product failed and self destructed. 

So, what is thejoyfactory’s comment on all this? 

This happened on March 13th. I emailed them immediately to let them know. It is now the 17th, and I still have not heard back from them. I will update this review if, by chance, they respond to my email. They had previously shown good customer service and I have no reason to expect anything less this time, especially since it involves a huge manufacturing flaw of their product.

I give the thejoyfactory’s BubbleShield 1 out of 5 stars:

1star_1

I’ll give it one free star because I love the idea behind it. But… since it wrecked my Kindle Touch, I highly recommend against buying this product. I hope this is an aberration in thejoyfactory’s product line. I guess this review just goes to prove something we already knew — that all bubbles pop sometimes! (even ‘bubbleshields’!)

Update: 

On March 18th, I received a very cordial and polite reply from thejoyfactory. They said “Thank you once again for testing our BubbleShield. We are sorry to hear that you have run into problems with the sample unit we sent, and that you attempted to contact us but did not get a prompt response.  It looks as if you may have received a defective BubbleShield, which is very rare. We would be happy to send you another BubbleShield to replace the one that was damaged.”

Well, it’s safe to say that I’ve learned my lesson from my first trial run with the BubbleShields. I will definitely have another go at them when the new review units come in, but I won’t be placing too much trust in them, and I surely won’t let them be my only line of defense in a rainstorm (other people have mentioned to me that they use ZipLoc brand freezer bags sealed tightly.

I’ve also heard other people highly recommend “Aquapac” products. (Check out their website HERE).

So, the search for the perfect waterproof sleeve/case continues! Leave a comment below (and subscribe!) if you have one to recommend!

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