Monday, March 4, 2013

It’s more than a just protection for your phone….

Last week, the good folks at LifeProof contacted me and asked me to test one of their “brand new" LifeProof iPhone cases, and they wanted my opinion on the “new” LifeProof Life Jacket.  Let me first tell you guys, I am pretty tough on a cellular phone. Most of the time I am either toting my phone in my pants pocket on a fire/medical call, or I have it on me in the woods or on the water. So I think I can do a good test on a phone case. The iPhone is a phone that must be protected from the elements and any surprising falls. These types of phones are prone to damage. A reasonable price of $100 will cover a replacement screen is expected if you don’t protect your phone from falls.  On LifeProof web site ( ) and all their advertising it says the cases are waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof, and shock proof. Well guess what, I believe I can test all those words in one week of testing.

The LifeProof products I received did not come with instructions; but once you go to their web site, there are a lot of videos to help you install your phone into its new case. The case itself consists of two pieces that are constructed with polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a durable material. Although it has high impact-resistance, it has low scratch-resistance and so a hard coating is applied to polycarbonate eyewear lenses and polycarbonate exterior automotive components.  The two-piece case will snap around your iPhone on either side. It is important when assembling the case to be careful and take your time. When doing this you must make sure the internal latches are locking together. All the latches must connect to make the phone case 100% waterproof and dust proof. Snapping the case together did not seem to be an issue, but taking it apart requires a bit more time and effort. I really felt after putting the phone in the case, there is no reason to continually be disassembling the case. LifeProof does state you can open and close the case about 50 times before its latches might become too worn to ensure your device’s protection.

Once your iPhone is in the case, you should ensure that the “Charge Port Door” is completely closed & locked. LifeProof does have a mechanism that folds over the iPhone to protect you’re charging connectors. You can open that door whenever you need to connect your charger or sync your iPhone. The door is also made with the polycarbonate material which will keep it study and strong. You are going to have to open this door thousands of times during the life of your phone so strength and durability are very important to this feature.  To keep all the dust, dirt and grime out of your iPhone's headphone jack, the LifeProof case includes a cover that screws into the opening of the jack.
You can access all of your iPhone’s features when your phone is in the LifeProof case: The cameras remain exposed, and all the buttons can be accessed through the case. The volume, sleep, wake, and Home buttons are easy to access with a touch. The ringer & silent switch is a bit tougher to access because of the case’s strong constructed material. It might take you a few tries to get your iPhone to mute the sound, but it can be done.
LifeProof claims their cases remains are water-tight down to 2 meters of water, and it can survive drops onto smooth concrete from the same distance. The LifeProof cases are able to withstand temperatures between -40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. I don’t believe I will be testing this feature right now!  Overall, this case is very light for the protection it offers. Well, I tested it and they are true to their word. This case is tough, durable and meets my test with flying colors.  

If you are an outdoor's person I highly recommend buying another idem from LifeProof, and that is the “Life Jacket."  With the Life Jacket accessory, your iPhone will actually float. The “Life Jackets” is an incredible handy extra for those who take their phone out on the water. The big orange Life Jacket wrapped around your phone (which should already be in a LifeProof case) you will not have to worry about it sinking to the bottom of the lake or ocean if your phone should go over the side of the boat. This “Life Jacket” will keep your phone safe and secure, which means it shouldn’t get wet or even sink into the water.
I value my electronic device's way too much to use a cheap $10 case you can buy online. Spend a few extra dollars and get a dependable LifeProof iPhone case. The cases retail for $79.95, but you might be able to find them on sale. The Life Jacket can be purchased for $39.95, and it will save you the heartache the next time your phone falls into the lake.

Thanks for reading…… BRANCH

About the author: Tom is a freelance outdoor writer and full time Firefighter, Paramedic/Lieutenant in Georgia for the past 28 years.  He has been working and consulting in the Outdoor Industry for over 18 years and is currently creating and managing a pro fishing team, developing new products, promoting products through demonstrations, designing packaging, and he participates in different forums, radio & television shows.  Tom and his wife, Kim are volunteers with Operation One Voice. They live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab “Jake”.


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