Review – LifeProof “Fre” Case for iPhone 5

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LifeProof’s new iPhone 5 case has been released and is called the “Fre”.  While the marketing (and name?) are certainly retro and a bit out there, the product seems quite solid and similar to initial reports.  They have tightened up the overall design, holding onto the best features and making adjustments due to changes in the iPhone 5 compared to the 4/4s models.

Overall, the dimensions have changed to mirror those of the iPhone 5.  At 14mm thick, the Fre is in fact slightly thicker than the LifeProof iPhone 4/4s case, even though the iPhone 5 is a few millimeters thinner.

LifeProof iPhone 5 Fre Dimensions

Perhaps the largest changes are on the bottom of the case, in relation to the charging dock and the headphone input.  The charging dock is much smaller (thanks to Apple’s Lightning dock) and the headphone input has now moved to the bottom.  The familiar screw insert is found on the Fre case, which is somewhat of a pain but is functional.  It still requires an adapter for waterproofing while using headphones or using non-Apple brand headphones.  Apple headphones can be used without the adapter but the system is vulnerable to water ingress.

 

LifeProof iPhone 5 Fre Waterproof Case Bottom

Here are specs from the LifeProof website:

Dimensions: 5.4” x 2.6” x 0.5” / 137.5 mm x 67.1 mm x 12.2 mm

Weight: 1.05 oz / 29.8g

Water Proof: Fully submergible to 6.6’ / 2 m for 30 minutes

Dirt Proof: Sealed from dirt & dust particles – meets or exceeds IP-68 Ingress Protection Rating

Snow Proof: Sealed from snow & ice – meets or exceeds IP-68 Ingress Protection Rating

Shock Proof: Withstands drops from 6.6’ / 2 m – meets or exceeds MIL STD 810F-516

Testing: Each of LifeProof’s cases are water tested before arriving at your door.

 

Overall, a great case but not a lot of changes from the iPhone 4/4s model. It remains the best on the market for everyday protection for whatever you can throw at it.