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LifeProof case iPhone 5s Review

LifeProof Frē iPhone 5 Case  July 8, 2018 – 07:16 pm
LifeProof Fre Waterproof

Otherwise, you get raised buttons that allow you to use all the iPhone controls, while a sealable door and plug cover the Lightning port and headphone jack along the bottom edge. The headphone jack is fairly narrow, but LifeProof includes an adapter that extends the jack beyond the case. Rounding out the package is a microfiber cloth and a replacement headphone jack plug.

Initial setup for the Frē is a bit more intense than with your run-of-the-mill case. It's one of the few fully waterproof cases, you can dunk it under water up to 6.6 feet for up to 30 minutes, but it must be water-tested before you begin using it. This is easy enough; simply assemble the case without a phone inside and fully submerge the case in water. (Detailed instructions on setup and testing can be found on LifeProof's website.) The case is also dustproof, snowproof, and shock proof, meaning it can withstand drops from up to 6.6 feet. I dropped it from about 4-feet high in the PCMag Labs and the iPhone 5 was left unharmed.

Performance and Conclusions
My initial water test went perfectly, and not a single drop penetrated the Frē's seal. Lifeproof claims its speaker ports enhance sound, but in my tests the case muffled audio a bit, especially on speakerphone calls. Transmissions through the microphone were also a bit muted. The lens opening on the back is covered in anti-reflective glass, which did not distort photos or wash out the phone's built-in flash. Touch gestures do not register when the phone is fully submerged, but you can start the camera app up before going under and use the hardware Volume Up button to snap photos or start video recordings.

LifeProof has once again managed to create a rugged iPhone case without the bulk typically associated with such robust protection. The Frē is thinner and lighter than cases from Otterbox and other rugged competitors, and none offer full waterproof protection either. The plastic screen cover and muffled audio are a bit of bummer, but it's forgivable considering the level of protection you're getting. The LifeProof Frē is a good choice for the adventure crowd and is compact enough to be used as an everyday case for clumsier iPhone owners.

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