Quick Review: LifeProof iPhone Fre and iPad Nuud

By David Boyd

Lifeproof freLifeProof has been in the case game for a few years now. They advertise their cases as being water, dirt, snow, and shock proof. I caught up with the folks at LifeProof at CES this year and took a look at what they had to offer now. They graciously sent me some review samples to put through the paces. This review has been a long time coming, but I wanted to be fair and honest with it, so I used both cases for over a month before deciding to jot down my thoughts. Well, here it goes…

LifeProof ShockBoth cases are very similar, so I’m lumping them together in one review. They are available to be purchased online and in retail stores. The iPhone Fre retials for $79.99 and the iPad Nuud goes for $99.99, or $129.99 with the cover/stand option.  The prices are kind of hefty, but when you consider what all these cases protect your device from… it’s actually not too bad. I consider it an inexpensive insurance policy.

Now that the sticker shock is out of the way, let’s move on to the meat and potatoes of the review. Both cases are made from a lightweight plastic, but don’t let that fool you, because these guys are designed to military specs to withstand drops. The Fre case has a piece of clear plastic that cover the screen of the iPhone, but the Nuud case has no screen protector. This bothered me at first. I mean, it just doesn’t feel normal to submerge your iPad under water without having it 100% enclosed in something. However, with the design of the Nuud case and the watertight seals along the case edge, the Nuud works just a directed with keeping your iPad protected. This is actually very nice because you get to keep the look and feel of the iPad display as Apple intended it to be. I found that using the iPhone in the Fre was very good, but at times, the touch screen was not as responsive as it would be with nothing on it.

Lifeproof Nuud

Both cases did a fantastic job keeping my devices safe from water and dirt. If they ever got a little dirty, just a quick rinse in the sink took care of the problem, and with no damage to either device. Both cases can withstand depths in water to just over 6 feet, but I never went for a swim with them. I did give them a good dunk in the bath tub, and had no issues. One important thing to remember is that the touch screen will not be receptive to your touches when under water. If you want to take video or photos when under water, you’ll have to launch that app first, and then when under water, you can use the volume button to take pics or start/stop the video.

I live in Texas so I can’t really test the snow proof capabilities to the cases, but I figure if they can handle water, they should be able to handle snow just fine. Now the shock proof capabilities on the other hand have been tested. I didn’t go crazy, but I did manage to drop both from about waist height and they survived just fine with no damage. I would suggest that if you buy the Nuud case, you go ahead and spend the extra money to buy the cover/stand to go along with it. If you happen to drop your Nuud without that in place and it lands screen first on a big rock or something down below… the screen will still crack. Put the cover on your Nuud and you won’t have that issue. If you do experience any drops, it is also recommended to check all the seals on the case to make sure the case didn’t separate or have any cracks develop before you submerge it in water.

Overall, I really liked both cases. They both provide excellent protection to your devices giving you some peace of mind that you’re safe from whatever unknown is in your future. I would highly recommend a LifeProof case to any of my friends. Job well done LifeProof.