A friend recently tried to purchase a LifeProof case for her iPhone 4S and, after joining in on the hunt, this author learned how popular these cases have become. Major online retailers had delays for these cases up to 3-4 weeks, but Walmart had a few either sealed in anti-theft, thick plastic boxes or on locked shelves. However, the aforementioned stock at Walmart was in the “wrong” color combination for my friend and, after talking with a store associate, I learned that the retailer always has trouble keeping LifeProof cases on the shelves. My search for the day ended without any spoils, but the LifeProof case remained saliently on my mind.
At home, that night, I flicked the TV on to HGTV’s “Renovation Raiders.” Lo and behold, the host, Amy Matthews, had a LifeProof case on her iPhone — one of the ones we had been searching to find!
This review is of the very popular LifeProof frē (similar to the case my friend desired; $79.99) but for the iPhone 5. Immediately, it was clear that this case was dramatically different in its approach to protecting a device. The competition’s strategy is to add multiple layers to the outside of the device, thereby, making the case noticeably more weighty and bulky. Ingeniously, LifeProof has combined those layers into a single case. This revolutionary design makes for a lighter, sleeker and easier case to install on a device. Moreover, the frē still provides the following:
1. Scratchproof – features built-in screen protector
2. Waterproof – up to 6.6 feet/2 meters underwater
3. Drop Proof – protects against drops also up to 6.6 feet/2 meters in height
4. Dirt Proof – fully sealed case with covering for all ports and the iPhone’s camera lens
5. Snow Proof – guards from ice, sleet, and snow
With a case that completely covers the phone, this author had concerns that the speaker may be hindered. But, thankfully, LifeProof utilizes ClearVoice clarity technology allowing for excellent sound quality. Seemingly, LifeProof has addressed any potential issues well, even providing a unique adapter for headphones that maintains the integrity of the case (i.e., uses a seal and screws into place).
Accessories for the frē include a belt clip ($29.99) and car mount ($39.99), the latter adheres to a car’s windshield via a suction cup. Additionally, LifeProof uses the exceptionally lightweight characteristic of the frē to produce accessories for the physically active individual, including the bike mount ($39.99) and the Lifejacket ($39.99). The Lifejacket is a highly visible, orange shell that covers the LifeProof iPhone case. It provides buoyancy in the off chance that the included lanyard and wrist strap are not enough to hold onto one’s phone. While this accessory, of course, is too bulky for daily use, it is indicative of the novel direction LifeProof is pursuing with their products and accessories.
Thankfully, after some investigation, my friend and I were finally able to track down a LifeProof for her iPhone 4 at a BestBuy across town. And, now, the lasting impression of LifeProof’s desirability will remain with this author (and for good reason, especially after my hands-on review).
Sometime fads are short-lived or nonsensical, however, the popularity of LifeProof is fully logical. Its company makes a great product and the market demands more. Thus, the sixth “proof” is clearly Foolproof, as one could not go wrong with purchasing an amazing LifeProof product.
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