The LifeProof Case for the iPhone 4/4S is without doubt one of the most ambitious rivals to the Otterbox Defender Series I've seen. This case claims to be water proof, snow proof, dirt proof and shock proof, but packs a design no thicker than the average shell case. So we've put it through its paces and reveal all.
Let's start with the cases design. It's built in two individual pieces which snap together over the iPhone. The rear piece is made from a ultra rugged plastic and the front sports the screen protector wrapping rubber along the edge. The overall build feels quite substantial, even though its ridiculously light and thin, considering it's claims.
Style hasn't been forgotten, clear admirable attention to detail has been spent during the design process. Topped off with many skews of colour too. The colours are vibrant and bright, distracting from the ruggedness image many other cases seem to like maintaining.
Despite the case covering every external feature of the iPhone, you can still use all of them. The volume buttons, mute switch and sleep/ wake button are covered by the cases rubber imprints. They're soft to press and 100% accurate. The bottom of the case has clip that covers the recessed 30 pin dock connector, the cutout revealed underneath is only big enough for inputs the exact same dimensions as the Apple 30 pin dock connector. So no use of docks without an adapter.
My biggest niggle is the auxiliary input. Because the LifeProof Case is designed to be used as your everyday, not just occasionally like some other rugged cases are. The impracticality of carrying around an adapter to be able to use headphones and earbuds seems like a huge annoyance. It works but isn't suited for when on the go. I'm sure LifeProof could incorporate a smaller adapter within the case. And then there's a little screw, which is easily lost, that has to be input whenever you're not using the adapter.
Usability is hurt by the screen protector, a smidgen of clarity is the greatest impact, possibly caused by it not being as glossy as the bare screen, but a small price to pay. The big price to pay is the border being totally covered by the plastic coating running around the screen protector. I hate it when the bezel is totally covered, it hinders the usability. Using the iPhone in landscape or portrait is very comfortable though, the case is also soft and doesn't dig into the palms.
Waterproof cases usually don't allow you to make phone calls because the microphones and speakers are covered. That's not the scenario here, with two inbuilt technologies ClearVoice and a Sound Enhancement System. I'm not totally prepped on what these are or how it works, but it does. Call quality isn't crippled as you would expect and makes the case that bit more appealing.
I can confirm the case is waterproof. The claim is up to 6.6ft/ 2 meters, so swimming is in the question but it's the ideal sort of case to use when relaxing in the bath. Of course being protected by water means snow and ice is also resisted against, as claimed. Also no dirt or muck can touch the iPhone either.
One of the biggest and most compelling reasons investing within a rugged case, is the drop protection. This is no exception, it's shock proof and apparently designed to military standards, whatever they actually are. I can confirm the specified 6.6ft/ 2 meters drop allowance is true. Actually drops from 4-5 meters, the case has no trouble shrugging off.
The LifeProof Case for the iPhone 4/4S is a fantastic protective case. The compact design makes the protection unbeliveable and a superb everyday case. The auxilary input flaw shouldn't be quickly over looked though.