Posts tagged: LifeProof

LifeProof Reveals Nuud Case for iPhone 5

Lifeproof iPhone nuud waterproof case for iPhone 5

Big news today out of LifeProof… they have revealed a new waterproof case for the iPhone 5, called the nuud. This is a product line extension of their popular iPad case that does not have a protective screen over the front glass. That is right: a waterproof case with no front screen. They achieve this by creating a seal around the perimeter of the screen using a gasket, and locking it down by sealing two pieces of the case together.

Lifeproof nuud waterproof iphone 5 case tweet

Not a lot of details so far but pricing is rumored at $89, $10 higher than the Frē iPhone 5 case.

This is a great improvement as it is a super protective, waterproof case without the bulk and dodgy screen protector of other cases. LifeProof is definitely out on the forefront of technology here… it will be interesting to see how the competition follows.

LifeProof Extends Frē Waterproof Case to iPad Mini

LifeProof Fre waterproof case for iPad mini

Coming off the heals of being acquired by OtterBox, LifeProof has extended their Frē product line to the iPad mini. The waterproof and protective case shares many design and style characteristics of the Frē iPhone 5 case but the size and controls have been adopted to the iPad mini. It features the same thin plastic that cover’s the devices screen, and a similar plastic on the back which allows the logo to be visible. This creates a smaller, almost transparent physical profile and allows for a lighter design.

The case carries over similar design elements from the iPhone case including seal, buttons and structure. However, it appears they have made some design improvements on the ringer switch (now a sliding button), the headphone input cover (now an overmolded rubber lanyard) and the camera port (stronger design). The case is rated to the same 2m depth rating as well as a 1.2m (4 foot) drop test rating. Importantly, the case is incredibly thin at 15.9mm, which only 3mm thicker than the iPhone 5 case.

The iPad Mini was released back on November 2nd, 2012 so this case has been a long 7 months in production.

LifeProof Fre waterproof case for iPad mini front back and side

Initial Specifications

  • Height: 8.5 inches (215.9 mm)
  • Width: 5.8″ (147.6 mm)
  • Thickness: 0.6″ (15.9 mm)
  • Weight: 4.64 oz (131.5 g)
  • Depth Rating: 2m
  • Dirt Proof: IP-68 rating
  • Drop Rating: 1.2m / MIL STD 810F-516
  • Camera: front and back
  • Screen Protector: thin plastic (front and back)
  • Volume buttons: Yes
  • Ringer Switch: Yes
  • Headphone: Yes
  • Waterproof Headphone: with adapter
  • Home Button: Yes
  • Charging Port: covered, opens with case on
  • Sealing System: O-ring sandwiched between top / bottom piece
  • Materials: Injection molded plastic, plastic screen, some soft overmolded plastic

OtterBox Acquires LifeProof

OtterBox Purchases LifeProof

Huge news today.

Rather than compete against them, OtterBox has flat out purchased Tree Frog Developments, Inc. which is the parent company of LifeProof. The two companies will combine to focus on protective gear for electronics. No word yet on a purchase price but given LifeProof’s success it is likely steep. LifeProof will become an “OtterBox company” and operate wholly for the foreseeable future. No immediate changes are planned for products.

Check out the press releases at OtterBox and LifeProof.

OtterBox acquires Lifeproof tweet
This comes on the back of both massive delays and questionable profitability of the waterproof OtterBox Armor Series. Perhaps the design task was too much for OtterBox or outside of the realm of their expertise. Or perhaps they saw LifeProof growing too fast and gobbled them up before they expanded to non-water cases.

Either way, a major shift in the industry has occurred. We are still trying to get our heads around it.
 

LifeProof Releases Replacement Front / Back iPhone 5 Case Pieces

LifeProof iPhone 5 Fre replacement front piece white

If you have lost / broken / disfigured / destroyed / tarnished / or otherwise compromised one half of your Frē waterproof case for iPhone 5, you are in luck. LifeProof is selling front / back pieces for this case individually as replacements. Alternatively, you can use these extra halves to mix and match the color of your case to create a unique combination.

Both the front and back assembly are available in black or white colors and will work and fit together with any LifeProof Frē out there. The front / back replacement pieces are priced at $39.99 and $29.99, respectively. Ironically, buying the two replacements totals to about $70, which is $10 less than the iPhone 5 Frē case is selling for on the LifeProof website.

Now when will there be a clear back for the Frē iPhone 5 case?

LifeProof iPhone 5 Fre replacement back piece black
 

iPhone 5 Cases: LifeProof vs. OtterBox vs. DriSuit

LifeProof Fre OtterBox Armor Drisuit Endurance iPhone 5

Waterproof Case for iPhone 5 Showdown:

LifeProof Frē vs. OtterBox Armor vs. Drisuit Endruance

With the market for waterproof cases for the iPhone 5 in full swing (albeit the Catalyst + Survivor Escape Capsule late to the party) a full comparison of features, sizes, advantages and specs of the major players offerings for protecting your iPhone 5 is warranted. Of course, this includes the LifeProof Frē, OtterBox Armor, and DriSuit Endurance for iPhone 5.

Reviews of LifeProof Frē, OtterBox Armor, and DriSuit Endurance.

 

Size Comparison

lifeproof_fre_waterproof_iphone_5_case side shot
Size is important for everyday use of a waterproof case. Too big and it is cumbersome to use, too small and it isn’t well protected. Thickness is an important dimension here: surprisingly, the DriSuit is the thickest by far at 20mm (0.79in), nearly twice as thick as the slender Frē. The cases are comparable in terms of width, and in terms of height the OtterBox Armor is the largest.

Height (mm) Width (mm) Thickness (mm) Weight (g)
LifeProof Frē 137.5 67.1 12.2 29.8
OtterBox Armor 140.2 75.5 17.8 111
DriSuit Endurance 132.1 71.1 20.1 n/a

In addition to physical dimensions, case weight is a major concern for most people, as you will be constantly carrying around your phone in the case. The weights of these cases vary wildly. LifeProof is slim and trim at just under 30g, and the OtterBox Armor is a behemoth at 111g. This is much heavier and all around more solid. That said, weight and size somewhat translate into protection, and when your phone falls it is that weight that is absorbing part of the shock instead of your phone. We imagine that the Drisuit will clock in at around 90g, like their original Scuba Suit version for iPhone 4/4s.
 

Depth Rating and Drop Test

Another important metric is how well the case protects your phone from dirt, water, and other drops and spills. This is one way to measure protection and durability, or how well the case will protect your investment. Each manufacturer rates and tests their product to a certain depth at which water will not ingress. It is possible to take the case greater than this depth but not guaranteed by the manufacturer.

Depth Rating (m) Drop Test (m) Dust Proof Crush Test
LifeProof Frē 2 2 IP-68 n/a
OtterBox Armor 2 3 IP-68 2 tons
DriSuit Endurance 2 2 IP-68 n/a

It is clear here that the OtterBox is the strongest of the bunch, as it should be given its size. It has a better drop test rating and more defined crush proofing (2 tons!) than any of the other cases. But that comes at a price (weight). All cases carry the IP-68 standard which puts them on par with depth ratings for water at 2m, or 6.6ft. Please note that the Survivor + Catalyst Waterproof Case for iPhone 5 will have a depth rating of 3m when released.
 

Materials, Screen, Closure System and Seal

otterbox armor iphone 5 headphone charging port cover

Materials Screen Closure System
LifeProof Frē molded plastic, some softer overmold thin, clear plastic top/bottom snap together with small o-ring; clasp covers the charging port with gasket
OtterBox Armor molded plastic, metal clasps, colored soft overmold protective flaps and seals thin, clear plastic top/bottom pieces connect via living hinge; small square o-ring around perimeter. 2 metal clasps then clamp unit together
DriSuit Endurance thicker plastic, plastic clasps, interior overmolded sealing gasket, clear overmold for buttons and front camera/sensor Fluidic Touchscreen Membrane which functions underwater Bottom cap comes off and has waterproof gasket around perimeter. Fits into top piece, while 2 low profile cams on side pull these pieces together, sealing the case.

Almost everything on these cases is injection molded plastic, the differences are mostly in durometer, type of plastic and color. Notable exceptions include the metal clasps on the OtterBox Armor and the soft pad on the charging port door on the LifeProof Frē. LifeProof has the thinnest plastic, both on the case and screen, while DriSuit uses surprisingly thick materials which add in protection. The Drisuit Fluidic Touchscreen Membrane may be a bit slower than other options for everyday use, with the advantage that it works in/under water while the others do not.
 

Cameras, Headphones, Charging Port

lifeproof_iphone_5_fre_bottom

Front / Back camera / Flash Waterproof w/ Headphones Charging Port
LifeProof Frē Yes / Yes / Yes yes; unscrew cap, then use adapter provided opens with phone in case
OtterBox Armor Yes / Yes / Yes No remove bottom overmold and second seal to access
DriSuit Endurance Yes / Yes / Yes Yes, small built in waterproofing connection must undo and remove bottom cap of case

All cases allow for both front and back camera, which includes flash. This seems to be an industry standard nowadays. DriSuit has the best waterproof headphone usage as the connection comes waterproof standard – no extra pieces or adapters. LifeProof is next best with a small adapter that seals into the case and creates a waterproof seal for your standard headphones. OtterBox does not offer any waterproofing options for headphones. For Charging, LifeProof is easiest as you open one waterproof clasp. OtterBox requires you to peal away to overmolded pieces, while DriSuit requires that you undo and remove the bottom cap of the case.
 

Color Options

LifeProof Fre iPhone 5 waterproof case colors 2013

Available Colors
LifeProof Frē Black, White, Blue, Earth, Red, Cyan, Magenta, Lime, Yellow, Olive
OtterBox Armor Arctic, Neon, Orange
DriSuit Endurance Black; White planned and possibly others

LifeProof offers the most color options, but perhaps the OtterBox colors are a bit more aggressive or edgy. DriSuit only has a black model out but like their 4/4s case, we can expect variations in the future.

 

LifeProof Drops Price of Frē to $59 on Amazon

LifeProof Fre iphone 5 case with headphone adapter


Less than a month ago amid increasing competition, Lifeproof dropped the price of their Fre waterproof case for the iPhone 5 from $79 to $69. Days later, not long after its release, Otterbox dropped the price of their Armor Series from $99 way down to $70 and then to $60 in an effort to be the low price leader.

LifeProof has fired back, undercutting the low Armor price by $1 and dropping the price of their case $10 to $59.99 on Amazon. This puts them at the low end for iPhone 5 cases as of 4/24/13:

  • LifeProof $59.99
  • OtterBox Armor: $60
  • DriSuit Endurance: $59
  • DriSuit Guardian: $59
  • Catalyst + Survivor: not out yet



Keep an eye on the two on live prices below… we doubt the price war is over.
 

 

LifeProof Frē Shipping in Olive Drab Green

Lifreproof Fre for iphone 5 now available in Olive Drab Green

After announcing the Olive Drab Green version of their iPhone 5 waterproof case just 12 days ago, LifeProof has stock and is ready to ship.

This concludes a run where they have announced and released a series of color options for the Frē case. We will now wait to see where they take this. Perhaps a clear back case for the iPhone 5?
 

LifeProof Releases Frē Case in Yellow

LifeProof Fre waterproof case for iphone 5 in yellow

LifeProof color releases are coming fast and furious here…

After announcing the yellow waterproof case a little over 2 weeks ago, LifeProof began shipping a yellow case for the iPhone 5 today. It is in stock on the LifeProof website and selling for the full $79 retail price.

This brings the total number of color options to 9 for the Frē iPhone 5 case:

LifeProof Fre iPhone 5 waterproof case colors Apr 2013

The colors currently available for the iPhone 5 case are:

  • Black
  • White
  • Cyan
  • Dark Flat Earth
  • Red
  • Teal
  • Magenta
  • Lime
  • Yellow
  • Olive Drab Green (coming soon)

 

 

LifeProof Releases Frē Case in Lime

LifeProof Fre Waterproof Case for iPhone 5 in Lime

LifeProof announced today via their Twitter feed that their Frē iPhone 5 case was officially available in a Lime green color scheme. The waterproof case was immediately up on their website for a price of $79.99, while other colors of their case are being discounted on Amazon.

LifeProof has been on a tear lately releasing exotic new colors for the iPhone 5 case. The Lime version represents the last to ship (following Red and Light Blue) from this post, and we are awaiting on cases to ship in Yellow and Olive Drab Green. When these final two ship, that will bring the total number of colors for the LifeProof Frē to 10.

What’s next after that?
 

LifeProof Frē Now in Olive Drab Green; Sexy Time

LifeProof waterproof case Fre iPhone 5 olive drab green released

LifeProof is continuing their tactical military color theme from their previous model and are releasing an Olive Drab Green version of the Frē waterproof case for iPhone 5. While the picture above isn’t completely clear, we believe it is the third (and maybe first) case pictured. This second case appears to be their Dark Flat Earth color.

This is in the wake of more and more and more colors being released for the Frē

Getting Tactical, alright!

Why olive drab green? Regular olive isn’t good enough?

Marketing.

We weren’t even sure what “drab” meant, so we looked it up in the dictionary and saw that it meant: “slattern”.

Then we weren’t sure what “slattern” meant so we looked it up:

Slattern definition



We definitely understand that, and where LifeProof is going with their marketing.

And we approve.