I’ve had my iPhone 4 for a little over a year now, and since getting it I’ve been searching for a case that I really like, just using a placeholder case to keep it protected until that time comes. Ideally a good case would be nice looking, slim(I like to slip my phone into my back pocket of my jeans when I don’t need to bring my purse along), and protective of my phone. We were at Best Buy, just looking around one day, and my parents came to me with these Lifeproof cases. They had four different ones with them, one for each of us. For my brother they got a blue and black one, my dad got himself an orange and black case, my mom purple and black, and for me they grabbed a pink and gray case. At first glance, they looked awesome. They were slim, sleek, and covered the entire phone. They even had a screen protector built in.
The box claimed that the Lifeproof cases protected one’s phone from four things. They called these the “Four Proofs”. Water, dirt, snow & shock proof.You could take them with you everywhere, no matter what, even up to six feet below the water. We all bout them, handing over the $80 each for these “amazing” cases. When we got home we all started the unboxing and installation process. First we had to go online the Lifeproof site to watch the videos and read the directions for installation, as the case came with none. According to Lifeproof, before putting the case onto your phone you’re supposed to do the “Water Proof” test to make sure that the case is indeed waterproof. This is done by putting the case together(sans the phone) and submerge it in a tub of water for an hour. When time’s up, take the case out and it should be dry inside. Indeed it was, so the case seemed like it was going to actually be worth the money. But we couldn’t install it yet.
First we had to clean the inside of the case to make sure it was free of all dust and hairs, then to remove the ZAGG screen protectors from our phones, as the cases apparently wouldn’t work properly with them on. Then cleaning the phones themselves thoroughly. This process alone took quite a while, because every time we thought everything was clean, someone spotted a hair or dust particle. Finally both case and phones were cleaned up. Now we could actually put the phone in the case. The process was simple enough, fit the phone into the front of the case, making sure it’s snug, and then snapping on the back, starting at the top and working down towards the charging port.
So now the phones were in the cases, safe and sound from everything outside of it. It looked nice, elegant, sturdy even. But then everyone started noticing little things here at there, like how after having to open and close the case a few times (first for the water test, then a couple times after that when we had gotten it closed up and saw something inside the case on the screen), the case seemed to not want to close all the way towards the bottom. I also realized that although Lifeproof said that the case would even make your music and phone louder in general, even though it was “life proof”, the case made everything very muffled sounding. This was most recognizable when I experimented how things sounded with and without the charging port door closed(which, upon testing, the sounds were much louder without the door closed). But the most annoying and frustrating problem we all had with our cases were the screen protectors. Lifeproof claimed that even with the screen protector, using your phone’s touch screen would feel like using a completely bare screen. This was anything but true. On each of our cases, there was what people call a screen “bubble”, which is basically air trapped between the screen and the case. This made using the screens extremely difficult and annoying to use. And, as someone that uses their iPhone to text a lot, this case made me want to throw it across the room in frustration. It took so much pressure just to press the keys to unlock the phone, and then using the screen keyboard was a nightmare. No matter what I tried, the bubble would not go away. And, apparently, this is a very common issue as there are forums upon forums of this problem, YouTube videos on “how to fix it”, etc. Yesterday we returned all of our cases, got new screen protectors, and new *usable* cases for our phones. I’ll give my current case and screen protector a few days before reviewing it here. 🙂
Overall, the Lifeproof case is incredibly overpriced for it’s quality, cheaply made, and the site and packaging is quite misleading. NEVER buy this case. I spent $80 on this, plus threw away a perfectly good ZAGG screen protector(which I believe at the time was $25? I don’t quite remember the price, but for a screen protector it’s not exactly on the “cheap” side). Oh and did I mention how the screen protector on the Lifeproof case is super easy to scratch? Save yourself a headache and steer clear of these cases. If you want lots of protection, go for the Otterbox models. If you need average protection from the now and then drop, I recommend a Griffin case. And for your screen protector, invest in a ZAGG cover(might want to buy two so you have a backup as they are slightly tricky to apply, or find someplace that can do it for you).
I hope this saves you all a lot of time, money, and frustration when it comes to looking for a case for your iPhones. And remember, always do your research and read lots and lots of reviews for ANY case, screen cover, anything for your phone. This will keep you from going back and forth from the store, going from store to store returning and buying different products.