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Review: Lifeproof Fre for the iPhone 5

I have started using a Lifeproof case ever since I got an iPhone 4S last year. That case went through some sort of punishing activities during my use with the 4S. I would drop it on the ground to show my friends how tough the case is, or throw it during those times I feel frustrated. It accompanied me in the bathroom while I listen to music files or read my tweets while I take a shower, or take underwater photos in the beautiful waters of Boracay Island. It stayed on as my case until I sold my 4S last year to upgrade to an iPhone 5.

I was kinda fickle-minded on getting a Lifeproof Fre for the iPhone 5 because I want to appreciate the sleek design of the smartphone. Alas, my iPhone fell down on the ground and caused this minor damage:

And while I was half-asleep last week, I turned off the alarm of my iPhone 5 and I thought I placed it on the bedside table. Thing is, I forgot that I have moved that table away from my bed the previous night so the iPhone fell right on the floor. Yes, I am guilty for being such a careless owner.

Because of these unfortunate incidents, I’ve decided to finally get a Lifeproof Fre to protect my poor iPhone from its dorky owner. Like my previous Lifeproof case, I was compelled to buy the Fre because it is waterproof, dirtproof, snowproof, and of course, shockproof. It meets the military standards to survive and shocks. More details can be found in their support page.

The Fre isn’t too bulky to carry compared to those other tough cases. It can fit inside my jeans pocket without any discomfort on my leg.

Here’s what’s inside the box:

Lifeproof Fre, Headphone Adapter Cord, Cleaning Cloth, and User Guide

A Friendly Reminder

Now, a friendly reminder from Lifeproof: before you start abusing this case make sure to read the User’s Guide first to understand the instructions on how to install the Fre. After reading the User’s Guide, the case must undergo a “water-test” for an hour. It has to be submerged underwater and to do this, a glass or a cup must be placed on top of the Fre.

After an hour of submerging the Fre, remove it from the basin of water, shake it and wipe it off with a cloth. Remove the case slowly and check if there are any signs of water inside the case. If you noticed, the cardboard with a printed wallpaper of the iPhone was left inside the Fre. This has to be checked if it is wet or not. If there are no signs of water inside the case, then you can go ahead and insert the iPhone 5.

And the Lifeproof Fre is now installed!

Drop Test and Water Test

For the sake of our readers, I have recorded 2 videos of dropping my iPhone 5 with the Lifeproof Fre on the floor and the other on to a sink filled with water.

The iPhone 5 is still working after these tests were made. I don’t want to throw it hard as it may break the tiles of our floor. :)

Are the Functionalities Still The Same?

The first thing I checked after installing the Fre on my iPhone 5 is the touchscreen, and as expected it was responsive like my old Lifeproof case. The plastic that covers the screen does not affect the iPhone’s screen quality, and from afar you will not even notice it. Touching the plastic screen may feel a bit odd at first but anybody will be able to get used to it.

I can say the sound quality is better compared to the original Lifeproof after listening to my music tracks on the iPhone. I’m pretty sure I am not the only one who’s very thankful to the folks from Lifeproof for making a significant improvement on this department. The sound on the earpiece is all good as well as with the mic. I took some photos with the flash turned on and didn’t notice any difference while the Fre is installed.

Lightning Port and Headphone Jack

So far, any lightning cable can be inserted into the port where the hatch can be opened. My previous beef with the old Lifeproof case is that most 3rd party cables cannot fit inside the 30-pin port. It’s either the original cable should be used or a 30-pin adapter by Radtech should be connected first. Definitely, you cannot connect a Lightning to 30-pin adapter unless you have the extended cord type. I reckon a Lightning to MicroUSB adapter would fit inside the Fre’s port.

For audiophiles who want to use their favorite headphones, the headphone adapter cord can be used after it’s plugged in to the port. This is also included in the package.

Warranty

If it’s already durable, does it come with a warranty? It comes with a 90-day warranty but it can be extended to a full-year. Again, you can view their support page for more details on their warranty policies.

Bottomline

I put my trust in Lifeproof to protect my iPhone just like I put my trust in my best friend. Not only it protects my precious iPhone, it actually looks good for a tough phone case. I even see ladies use Lifeproof cases for their 4S and 5 models. My old Lifeproof case did its job well in protecting my iPhone 4S and I am very sure the Lifeproof Fre will do the same to my iPhone 5.

Price: Php 3,990

Availability: Beyond The Box, Digital Hub, Digital Walker

Likes

  • It’s Slim for a Tough iPhone Case
  • Waterproof, Dirtproof, Snowproof, Shockproof
  • Take underwater photos with it!
  • Sound is more audible than the previous Lifeproof case for iPhone 4/4S
  • Good price

Dislikes

  • None
Reggie

Reggie

Reggie is known to be passionate for mobile technology ever since he got his first mobile phone back in 1999. He has written device reviews for Tech & Tuner, Gadgets Magazine, and Mobile Philippines (MPH) Magazine before joining the telecommunications industry. His favorite noodles: Makati Supermarket’s Spaghetti

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