Cases that boast being waterproof are great however the problem is, most of the time, they resemble that of a Ziploc bag. LifeProof has come along to break that stereotype with their LifeProof Fre Case for the iPhone 5. How does it stack up? Does it get washed away? Find out in the full review after the break!
The LifeProof Fre is definitely not a Ziploc bag/pouch for your iPhone 5. With its smooth lines and non-gloss finish it looks great and does not attract much lint at all (always a huge plus).
An important thing to note about the LifeProof Fre is that before you even install the case, you must put it through a water test. In order to complete the test you must seal the case without your phone inside, submerge it underwater for 60 minutes with something like a cup on top to keep it submerged. After the 60 minutes, if there is no water inside, you are good to go.
Installation of the case was simple and without incident. What you will have to be careful of is make sure the seal is complete along every side of the case. You will hear a distinctive click sound when the case snaps together. Removal was also just as simple with the provided small slit on the bottom portion of the case. With the use of a small coin, you are able to quickly twist and separate the front and back portions of the case.
A unique change in design for the LifeProof Fre case was the addition of a small window for the Apple logo to show through on the back portion of the case. It is nice to protect your iPhone 5 but it is also nice to show off some of that new slate finish as well.
No issues were seen when using the camera due to the fact that the alignment was perfect and with the non-gloss finish of the case, flashback did not occur. All the buttons and ports were perfectly aligned however it is important to note that you will need to use the included 3.5mm extension cable in order to use headphones with the case. This extension is needed to keep the iPhone 5 sealed even when using headphones. The extension also allows you to store the included 3.5mm plug when you are using headphones so you do not lose the small plug (always an issue with cases with small port covers that are removable).
Call quality was not an issue in our tests as subjects reported no muffled or blocked audio. The only true issue we had was that the speakers did cause a bit of a hollow effect when the case was installed.
Overall the LifeProof Fre Case for the iPhone 5 is definitely a winner in our book. LifeProof effectively combined build quality, impact protection, and waterproof capability into one case. If it were not for the speaker issues we reported earlier, the LifeProof Fre case would have obtained a 5 star rating. If you are looking for an all in one case that will provide you with great protection and the ability to watch Netflix in the pool or shower, the LifeProof Fre is definitely the way to go.