Hello, my name is Stacey and I am a dropper…a phone dropper that is. If you hand me your phone, I have butter fingers and am guaranteed to drop it.
- My friend, Maureen, once let me use her phone at her Superbowl party, what did I do? Dropped it on the kitchen floor. Thankfully, it survived.
- I once fell down demonstrating my awesome 80s dancing skills (or lack of) at a New Years Eve party and managed to break both my personal phone and my work phone at the same time.
- I once dropped another work phone I had on the tile face first when I was actually headed out the door to go buy a case for my phone. (I replaced this one with my own money & never admitted it to work. Boo.)
Ridiculous…and that is only a count of the few major phone destruction’s that I remember. I know there have been more. A lot more.
Needless to say, when I bought my new iPhone last March, I didn’t leave the store without a case on it. I’ve been using the Otterbox case ever since, and it’s worked great. Just a few months ago, I actually bought a replacement Otterbox case when Amazon had an awesome one day $20 offer (usually retails around $50). I had slightly ripped the outter case of the Otterbox on accident. That’s just how rough I am with my phones.
I’ve been happily using my Otterbox case up until just a few weeks ago when something exciting arrived in the mail…a new iPhone case from Lifeproof! They sent me the case to try out (and to keep, yay!) for the upcoming mud races I was registered for. The first one was the Rugged Maniac, and the next one is the MuckRuckus, which is this Saturday!
(2010 MS Mud Run – picture taken by a spectator near the finish line.)
One of the negatives of doing a Mud race is I never have any pictures of me actually doing the race! True, the races DO have photographers on the course, but it’s pretty rare they actually get a picture of me mid-event. This Lifeproof case would allow me bring my iPhone with me to take my own pictures and video with. Sweet. If you look at my Mud Run race recap from last year, there’s no actually pictures from me doing the race. I borrowed all these pics either from the organizers website, Facebook or from friends. My friend said she got pictures by putting her camera in a zip-lock bag. This just makes me nervous.
Lifeproof sent me a belt clip to use with the phone too, but I chose not too use it. The belt clip is actually surprisingly sturdy. It even has a “safety” feature where it won’t release your phone unless a button is pushed and twisted. This keeps the phone from being accidentally snagged & pulled out of the clip. Knowing ME…the whole clip unit would be yanked off and I’d lose both the phone, case, and clip in the bottom of a mud pool..and not realize it until ten minutes after it happened.
They say the case makes your phone dirt proof, water proof, snow proof, and shock proof. Pretty impressive.
As for the hole you plug your headphones into – there is a cap that you leave screwed into that hole all the time.
If you want to listen to your phone w/ headphones, you unscrew that part, screw in the little black wire they provided. The piece that was screwed into the phone can be clipped to the wire so you don’t lose it. You then plug your headphones into the black wire. Ideally you could plug in waterproof headphones to this so the entire system is waterproof.
Vegas was not as excited about this as I was.
After sorting through everything in the box, the first thing I did was read through the instructions.
It gave detailed instructions of how to test the case before you actually put it on your iPhone.
Next I headed to YouTube to see what other people thought…
Here’s the first video I watched.
That Snazzy iPhone guy? Pretty thorough and covered a lot of information. (Does he REALLY need to use the word “Groovy”?)
First he tests the iPhone case in a sink of running water. This seems pretty smart, but I honestly decided to test the case first with NOTHING in it. I put the case in the sink and turned the water on. Filled the sink up with water and held the case down submerged in the water under a heavy bottle. If water got in during this, there was NO way I was using the case, let ALONE during a mud run! Thankfully, all was dry inside the case.
Second the snazzy iPhone guy dropped the case from about 6.5 feet in the air onto a concrete patio. The case falls off, iPhone bounces out, but everything is fine. Seems to me either he had the case on wrong, or it did what it was supposed to do.
Third, he drops the case in a swimming pool. It’s like 5 or 6 feet deep. (Does anyone think it took him a ridiculous amount of time to scoop the phone out? The sound of it scrape, scrape, scraping the bottom of the pool was nails on a chalkboard.). It did look as though a bit of water got in the case. Really not that much, but still any water at this point would be bad. My thoughts? He should have done the pool test BEFORE he dropped the phone from 6 feet in the air onto concrete. I wonder if he ruined the integrity of the case dropping it on the concrete, and then it wasn’t officially “lifeproof” when he tossed it in the swimming pool.
LifeProof has also published some videos that they made to demonstrate the quality of their product. They have their spokesperson Dusty to demonstrate various activities people typically do (& don’t do) that would damage a phone. In this video she drops her phone on the ground (as you would expect), she also spills ketchup on it, washes it off in her soda cup, and hurls it down the street like a bowling ball.
I highly recommend searching “lifeproof” on YouTube. There are tons and tons of video blog reviews of the case.
I also found the LifeProof website to be pretty helpful. They have several videos I highly recommend watching if you are interested in this case. Their videos range from how to open the case, how to successfully do a water test, how to install the case, how to take care of the case and so on.
It’s pretty slender. I was using the Otterbox case before, so this was REALLY slender to me. The buttons are fairly easy to select, which is nice. The Lifeproof case is made out of a smooth plastic material and not a sticky, rubbery type. This means it slides in and out of your pocket easily.
The drawer on the bottom flips open so you can plug the charging cord in. One thing I didn’t realize was that this case ONLY works with Apple brand charging cords. The reason is that most other ones are too big to fit in this area. I have a ton of ‘fake’ chargers I bought off Amazon for $2, and none of them work with this case. Thankfully I had two actual Apple brand chargers which is just enough. I keep one at work and one at home. I usually grab one or the other to use in the car. This isn’t an issue with the Otterbox. That case has a wider opening and could accept a variety of charger brands.
So I successfully tested the case in my sink. Since the case arrived the night before the race, I didn’t have much time to play around and thoroughly test it. I just had to go with it. I’ll be honest – I figured I was going to be buying a new iPhone after the race. I mean, if this case really held up to such muddy wet conditions, why wouldn’t everyone have one? Why does everyone brag about the OtterBox which is also a great case but NOT waterproof. (FYI, the Otterbox was the case I was using before this arrived, and worked great for me. ). I do need to point out that the Otterbox is around $50 and the Lifeproof retails for around $80. I’m sure this price difference impacts a number of purchasing decisions.
So yes, I was pretty darn scared the case wouldn’t work. Plus, I HATE to look stupid. If the case didn’t, I was going to look really dumb and everyone would be like “dadudaduuuh. Told you so.. ” Ugh.
So we started the race. Half the time I held it in my hand. During a few obstacles, I needed both my hands free, so I shoved it in my sports bra. This was surprisingly comfortable. Usually when I run or do athletic activities, I’m hesitant to just shove my phone in my bra because I sweat and it might get on the phone. A previous flip-phone of mine (pre-smart phone) saw a slow, slow death from this, so I was hesitant to do this with my iPhone.
When we were running the course, I had several people remark “I sure hope that phone is waterproof..” (uh, duh..) and “Is that your phone?”. I just smiled and said, “Yes, of course it’s waterproof. I have a Lifeproof case!”.
Halfway through the race, I realized the pics looked blurry & weren’t turning out. This was entirely user error. There wasn’t water inside the case, there was mud caked on the outside of the case! The next water obstacle we had, I washed the case off. After that, we were good to go again.
So after the race, I enjoyed a beer and sighed with relief that I did not in fact have to buy a new iPhone. The case worked just as they claimed!
A few weeks after the Rugged Maniac, I ran the Gate River Run 15k. The weather was slightly questionable, and I was happy I didn’t have to worry. If it sprinkled or rained, my phone would be fine. It is SO nice to be able to run with my phone and take pictures during the race!
So what if you’re not a runner? Should you still consider this case?
The other night making dinner, I realized another benefit to the case. I had a recipe pulled up on my phone while cooking and didn’t have to worry about spilling anything on the case. I just rinsed off the case when I was done.
- Ever been waiting on an important call.. but need to to take a shower? You can just take the phone in there with you.
- Want to take a bath? Great, bring your phone and catch up on some blogs or 30 Rock on Netfix or Hulu.
- I just started swimming again. I can just put my swimming schedule on the iPhone (in the notes section) and put my phone next to the pool. Other than someone possibly stealing it, I really don’t have to worry about it. (Heck, I could technically swim WITH the phone & waterproof headphones if I wanted to)
Overall, functionality of the phone is decent with the Lifeproof case on. I notice some lag when I swipe the screen (mostly when I’m trying to delete an email in Gmail). I also need to tap slightly harder, but not that much differently. Otherwise, all the buttons work fine.
I definitely think this case lives up to the hype. Whether you’re a runner or not, there are benefits to having this case. If you’re not entirely concerned with it getting wet, messy, or falling in a toilet, then the Otterbox which is cheaper is probably fine. I personally will stick with Lifeproof!
**Lifeproof provided me the case for free in exchange for my honest opinions. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and not influenced by Lifeproof. I risked my own iPhone (and pride) to test it in these races. If it hadn’t worked, I would have looked pretty darn silly.**