The polycarbonate case gives divers a range of functionality that one does not find on a regular dive computer. The basic functionality includes air, nitrox and gauge modes, automatic altitude compensation, a surface interval clock, ascent and nitrogen loading indicators, a safety stop countdown, and visible alerts for dive depth, NoDeco and maximum operating depth.
These are all functions that you’d normally find on a recreational dive computer. What sets the iGills SE-35 apart is the range of functionality that the iPhone enables. The case retains the use of the camera (which is controlled via one of six buttons on the front of the case.) The iPhone also provides a gyro-stabilized digital compass and GPS. While you can’t use the GPS to navigate underwater, you can use it for geotagging photos and logging dive events in the free digital dive log app.
That app’s is a nice little bonus. It automatically creates dive events and groups photos and videos in albums based around specific dives. It supports iCloud, and can be configured to automatically share dive photos — once you’re above water, of course.
All things considered, the SE-35 looks destined to sell. At a pre-order price of $330, it’s not exactly cheap, but it seems a reasonable price to pay for the extra functionality and hassle-free dive logs.