There is a very specific and unique sinking feeling one can only experience by dropping their iPhone, and just knowing it’s a goner. If you are using an iPhone and you’re looking for a case that will keep your phone both safe and dry, you might be considering a LifeProof.
LifeProof is one of the most popular and reputable brands of waterproof iPhone cases, with a wide variety of builds and designs to choose from. They are incredibly versatile, and come with a nice variety of features and accessories. But which model is the best? Today, we are going to do an in-depth comparison between the LifeProof Nüüd and the LifeProof Frē to figure out which of these two awesome phone defenders is right for you. We will compare them on 5 of the most key qualities you expect from an iPhone case so you can keep that phone safe from those inevitable mishaps.
The first quality to inspect is the function of the phone case. What makes this case special?
Now the first thing to note is that both of these cases are waterproof. That means taking a tumble into the swimming pool or accidentally bringing it in the shower with you is no problem.
While the LifeProof Frē is reliably waterproof, some of the gaskets are known on occasion to fall out. If you take this case, make sure you’re keeping an eye on them and are aware when they are loose. Barring these circumstances, the Frē will keep your phone waterproof for depths of up to 6.6ft. It also comes with a Touch ID membrane that works rather well. You will, however, have to stick with Apple headphones only if you want to use this case.
With the LifeProof Nüüd there is also potential for water to leak in and cause some water damage to your iPhone if you do not keep the seals clean. If you take this case, make sure you keep your case relatively clean to ensure it remains waterproof. On the bright side, however, it does come with a threaded headphone jack extension to ensure a tight seal. Over all, the Nüüd gives your phone average water protection at 6.6ft underwater. One more thing to note about the Nüüd is that it actually does slightly mute your phone’s sound, making it a bit quieter.
When it comes to functionality, you’ll have to make a choice: the no-nonsense worry-free LifeProof Fre, or the more modular and customizable LifeProof Nuud.
The second quality you will want to consider is the durability of the case. How well-protected is my phone?
One big issue you’ll notice right off the bat with the LifeProof Nüüd is that it does not have a built-in screen protector. It does come with a pretty thick optional screen protector, and this is your only option because it isn’t very compatible with 3rd party screen protectors. If you choose not to use the optional screen protector, your screen will be much more vulnerable to scratching. In addition to this, the O-ring design of the Nüüd makes it a bit less durable than similar cases. However, it is still pretty durable with a drop protection of about 6.6ft.
The LifeProof Frē also is drop-rated at 6.6ft, and doesn’t come apart at all after being dropped. However, it is occasionally known to crack when dropped from higher places, which means that it may need to be replaced (but it can still save your phone from certain doom). It comes with a thick plastic screen protector that pretty effectively wards away scratches. Also, the back of the LifeProof Frē case is known to scratch fairly easily, so that’s something to watch out for.
Because of things like slightly improved durability and a built-in screen protector, the LifeProof Frē is the better choice for durability.
Another thing to consider is the feel of the phone case. How comfortable and easy to use is it?
Both the LifeProof Nüüd and the LifeProof Frē are pretty slim and lightweight compared to other cases in their class. In addition to this, the design of both cases does not particularly get in the way of using the screen. This makes them both naturally usable iPhone cases in their own right.
Since the Nüüd lacks a screen protector, it actually ends up being a bit more usable because of how screen protectors tend to reduce touch accuracy and precision. If you choose to use the included optional screen protector, it may not line up perfectly with the screen and can cause problems. The Fre’s screen protector, on the other hand, doesn’t quite sit flush with the screen. This can reduce sensitivity and usability at times. Additionally, this screen protector can cause a small amount of glare and rainbowing, as well as diffuse the Retinal HD screen (making it harder to see).
Overall, the award for usability goes to the Nuud. It is much easier to snap together and maintain, as well as having better screen visibility.
Variety is the spice of life. If you’re the type to want to add a touch of artistic flair to your phone case, it will be important to note what color variations each case has to offer.
The LifeProof Nüüd comes in only 4 colors: blue, avalanche (white and grey), black, and pink pursuit (white and pink).
The LifeProof Frē comes in 9 different colors for a pretty considerable spectrum of shades to choose from: black, avalanche, banzai (light blue and navy blue), crushed (purple and pink), grind (dark grey and blue), and sunset (dark pink and light pink). It also comes with 2 color schemes with designs on the back: ‘Power Xtra Pink’ and ‘RT Max 5 Orange’. This makes the Frē a clear and decisive winner when it comes to color variety.
Of course, before you make your decision as to which iPhone case you will want to buy you will want to see the price tag.
The recommended retail value of the LifeProof Frē is $79.99, though you can often find one on Amazon or another online marketplace like eBay for $49.99. For the LifeProof Nuud, you can expect to pay $89 normally and $39.99 if you find a deal on the internet. This makes the Nüüd a bit cheaper on the low end, while it is a little more expensive on the high end. However, they are roughly the same price.
If you are on a tight budget, try first to see if you can find a cheap LifeProof Nuud. If you can’t find any deals, the cheaper case will be the Fre.
When all’s said and done, the better iPhone case between the two is the LifeProof Nuud. The usability it brings to the table greatly outmatches the slight durability advantages of the Fre. Whatever the case may be, LifeProof will keep your phone safe from harm.