Another great iPhone case by LIFEPROOF .
Notes: As anyone who knows me can attest, I get up to some odd adventures and can be rough on equipment, which is why I tend towards what I would call adventure proof ( not to say idiot proof) equipment. O.K. I also may not have enough sense to get out of the rain, monsoon, or do something stupid on or near water. The LIFEPROOF iPhone case relieves me of the nagging thought about what equipment I may be putting at risk at least in terms of my phone and whether it will survive what I just decided was a good idea and/or fun. I have also reviewed the LIFEPROOF NUUD iPad Case and the iPad Case Strap Set all of which got high marks for being durable, quality items that stood up to all our tests and filed use for over one year so far.
As noted in their literature this case is waterproof to 2 meters (about 6.6 ft) and can survive a drop from the same distance, and is sealed against ice,dust,snow and other insults to your equipment.
Appearance: Nice slim design, unlike many of the so-called ” ruggedized” cases – almost none of which having the durability of this case or its waterproof characteristics. Clear optical glass cover over camera. A rather stylish minimalist look and feel rather than the chunky overkill of some of the other cases out there, and also doesn’t stick to everything like some of those more rubberized or rubber-covered cases that drag everything else out of your pocket once you get the phone loose . Buttons are easy to find and responsive, good quality plastic screen cover to protect the screen but still enjoy your phone it in all its glory,
First Impression: Decently made with silicone gasketing similar to what you find in cars, airplane engines, and other mission critical applications. Cover/shield is an integrated flexible polypropylene plastic that will not show scratches easily,with notches/cutouts for controls. Microphones and speakers are not blocked or covered over by case itself, it uses flexible water proof membranes recessed out of harms way, and the headphone jack has an adapter that screws into the case to maintain waterproof integrity
Directions and Instructions: While a bit of a challenge to install, I love their obsessive thoroughness to make sure you get it right. First they test EACH case at the factory for waterproofness,then they make you test yourself and the case to make sure you can do it right. They provide very detailed instructions on-line on how to assemble the case (minus your iPhone) than submerge it in your bathtub (or similar container of water at depth) to make sure you can snap it together without it leaking. Assuming you do this correctly, then you put your iPhone in the case and you are ready to go ! I will point out thought that to register the case for the full one year warranty you must provide the serial numbers from both the front and back of the case SO DO THIS FIRST before you put your case together ! Also if you intend to use the Touch ID you must program it before you put the phone in the case. You will also want to obsessively clean both the glass on the phone and check the case for any dirt of smudges before you snap it together or you will have to open it up again after you notice something stuck under the cover.
Testing: While we haven’t tasted the case to failure point, we are quite impressed with it so far. Just like their iPhone 4 case that preceded it, and the iPad case we still use we have dropped it into water, washed it with cheap gin when it got dirty and strolled around with it in the rain, mud and carried it into some fairly ugly environments with no ill effects to either the case or the iPhone itself. This case is head and shoulders above any other case for durability, water and spill protection and overall durability and protection. In its newest somewhat lighter iteration the frē case continues to put many other cases to shame. Many cases are good for general, light duty use, but for environments where it MAY – read probably sooner of later – get wet, dirty or meet with some misadventure) this is one case to rely on. Remember iPhones have an indicator that turns pink if they get wet and Apple has little sympathy. First time you drop a phone into a toilet, take the wrong amusement ride, or get the phone ( and /or yourself) soaked somewhere with a non waterproof case you are done. The case allows you to carry on with life with minimal worries as long as you follow maintenance and care directions. Slim design makes it easy to carry and store without sacrificing protection unlike some of the bulkier cases out there.
Bitch List: Maybe a little more rubber like coating to make me feel better about drops. This case seems almost naked compared to my other cases that I have had in the past. This is a very minor fault given the overall quality and design of the case and probably more just my perception than anything else. No armband or belt clip available yet for this case which makes it a little harder to carry around.
Other: They have a lot of other equipment and options for the case such as various mounts for bicycles, arms, a life ring for aquatic environments ( read boating and dropping it over the side), and other items like ruggedized solar chargers and integrated case with battery packs coming out one of these days (hopefully soon!).
Final Thoughts: If you want the best and most protective case out there that is still reasonably thin and lightweight Lifeproof continues to have one of the best cases around. While expensive compared to other cases you get what you pay for and more. One of the problems with the iPhone is that they can get ruined so easily. They just aren’t that durable compared to some of the older style ruggedized phones out there. With this case you can carry your iPhone almost anywhere you would go with one of those phones in any conditions – rain, snow dust, bars, parties, whatever and still get all the functionality and cool factor that was the reason you got an iPhone in the first case. The protection that an iPhone sacrificed for style over those ruggedized bricks is compensated nicely by this slim but durable case. The peace of mind and utility it brings you is well with the cost. Protective cases for your gear are like parachutes – don’t buy cheap ones – they may work most of the time, but most isn’t good enough. Ask my friend who dropped her phone into a large pitcher of Bloody Marys.