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Lifeproof iPhone 5 Waterproof Case Review

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Lifeproof iPhone Case

As we continuously poor more and more money into our smartphones these days, our phones have become more and more of an investment.  Using a case on my cell/smart phone has become more important to me as I want to keep my “gear” in tip top shape and prevent any potential damage.  Over the past few months, I’ve been testing out the Lifeproof waterproof iPhone 5 case to see how it stands up to everyday wear and tear, bumps and drop, as well as preventing water damage.

Size of case

Lifeproof iPhone 5 CaseThe Size of the Lifeproof  iPhone 5 case is much smaller than you might expect for a waterproof smartphone case.  This case is smaller than the average iPhone case, but it is truly waterproof.  Yes, you might be asking yourself how do you get your cake and eat it too?  When I think of waterproof casing for a smart phone, I generally think of big and bulky.  That is because that is what we have had over the past few years.  And to be honest, there haven’t been a lot of truly waterproof cases.

How they get the case so small and still protect your phone?

WaterproofingInstead of using a lot of material that tends to make your phone the size of a brick once it’s in the case, Lifeproof looked for common pressure points where the phone in its case is likely to encounter damage or pressure from falling or being dropped.  What they did was place small pieces of plastic that are similar to support beams in a house.  These support pieces that rest against the phone take most of the impact in a fall or drop, yet they don’t take up a lot of room or add a lot of weight.  In a house, you have support beams that take the load of what’s overhead, but in between the drywall in most of our homes is dead space and insulation.  Nothing that does a whole lot for the structure of the house.  This is the same in the Lifeproof waterproof iPhone 5 case, there are small supports in key places, but it’s kept to a minimum to save on space and weight.  And while this case might not be as durable as a heavy duty iPhone case, it definitely protects it for about 99% of potential damage.

How does this case stay waterproof if it’s so small?

Lifeproof uses a small yellow rubber band/wire that goes around the edges of the phone case where you snap it together.  This means when you snap the top and bottom of the case together, the small yellow rubber band/wire is smushed in the middle eliminating any air or water from getting into the case once it’s sealed.

Charging, headphones, on/off  button, volume buttons, and more


Lifeproof iPhone 5 Case ButtonsSimilar to other smartphone cases, the Lifeproof iPhone 5 case uses little indentations that push in so you can make a solid contact with the buttons.  The silent toggle button can be a little tricky when you first put the phone in the case, but after a couple uses you should be set.  I originally didn’t have the toggle button lined up with the inside of the plastic and my phone was always in silent mode.  After taking the case off, I matched up the phone’s toggle button with the case and it solved the issue.

To charge the phone, there is a latch that you have to open where you plug your cord in.  It’s relatively easy to open up and close and there is a small piece of rubber on this latch that allows it to stay waterproof when it’s closed.  The headphone jack on the other hand is a little more complicated to open as you have to twist it to open and twist it to close.  It is not challenging for me to open, but I can see someone with mobility issues with their hands and fingers having a tough time, generally the elderly.

Sound quality

It is hard to tell a difference in sound quality while talking on the phone with the case on.  Where the compromise of having a waterproof case arises is when you use speaker phone or are trying to use your phone as a boom box.  The speakers at the bottom phone get a little muffled when you have the volume turned up loud which is kind of a downer.  To help with this, I like to open the charging station slot which allows some of the sound and vibrations to travel outside of the phone.

Picture and screen quality

Lifeproof iPhone 5 CaseWhen taking pictures with the phone I notice no difference in picture quality whether I am taking pictures inside or outside.   On sunny days, I find the screen on the front of the phone can sometimes have a lot of glare.  I’m not exactly sure how you to could fix this, potentially use a difference plastic in the future?

Overall opinion

My overall opinion of the Lifeproof waterproof iPhone 5 case has been very favorable.  The main reasons for this is that it keeps my phone protected for most of what I will be using it for and it is very slim for its functionality and protection level.

For more information, please visit Lifeproof.com

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About Kevin Fonger

If there's an activity or sport, I'll generally try it at least once. My main activities include running, hiking, skiing, cycling, camping, backpacking, and pretty much anything else you can think of. I love writing product reviews as I like helping people find the right gear so they will enjoy their activity that much more.

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