Those of you that know me know that I prefer simple things. In fact, up til this spring, I still had a flip phone (military grade, waterproof, and totally unable to post pictures to facebook…). I kill phones with astonishing speed (went through 4 a couple summers back). So you might understand when I didn’t jump on the smartphone bandwagon immediately – it was out of self defense really. That was until I waited long enough to stumble across the Lifeproof case – within a few days I was the proud owner of an iPhone 4. Now, several months later, I am confident that I can carry my phone with my anywhere, snap underwater pics and video, and otherwise use the multimedia wizardry that Steve Jobs packed into this small rectangle. Does it have drawbacks? Absolutely. I’ll take you through all the nitty-gritty. I want to remind you, dear reader, that the opinions expressed here are entirely my own, and I am not being compensated in any way by anyone for this write-up.
In the name of efficiency, I’m going outline the goods and bads as I see them, and then tell a short story to illustrate my points.
First – the bad stuff.
*It was a bit of a pain to put together the first time.
*The charger port makes it so that only standard iPhone chargers can be used to charge the phone inside the case; most other chargers will not fit in the narrow opening.
*The case makes both hearing (slightly) and speaking (more than slightly) muffled during phone calls, and that can be annoying especially if you’re in a noisy environment. You didn’t spend money on a case just to sound like the teacher in Peanuts.
*If you like to listen to your phone via headphones for music or during phone calls, you will need to make sure that you hang on to the special waterproof adapter for the phone jack.
*The clear plastic membrane on the front can occasionally affect touch screen response.
*Eventually, after a lot of use and pocket shove-age, the rubber WILL start to peel off the edges of the case. You can avert this process by inserting the phone charger port first into your pocket.
Now – The Good
* It’s intimidating when you first read through the case description and they walk you through the case testing procedure, but you quickly realize that after submerging the case in water for an hour you feel much more confident about the waterproof-ness of your purchase.
*The case is deceptively slim – at first glance it is easy to overlook that there is a case on the phone at all. I noticed that the case doesn’t appreciably increase the ‘pocket silhouette’ of the phone which is nice for me because that’s where my phone spends its time. I wasn’t ready to commit to the bulkiness associated with otterboxes.
*The muffled effect of the closed charging port is easily overcome by popping open the port cover
*Touch screen response is almost never an issue – not as good as the ‘naked’ phone, but certainly nothing I complain about.
*The tremendous peace of mind gained when your phone is in a case that you trust to be waterproof cannot be overstated. Crashing through surf, getting poured on, dropping my phone in the sink – all situations free of worry about phone survival.
In the end, my experience has been that this case is dependable and reliable. I take all of my pictures with my iPhone, and I need to be able to take my ‘camera’ with me wherever I go. I have enough to worry about without having to keep track of whether my phone might be getting a little damp, and for me the Lifeproof Case has been the answer. Make sure that you purchase the most recent version – they’re making improvements all the time.