** WARNING **
If You’re not a proud owner of a pretty iPhone, you might be disappointed that this product isn’t available to you (No love for us Android folks…) but you should read on anyways because we wont stoop to that level
Waterproof phone cases are nothing new. A quick search will bring up at least a dozen different products without putting much effort in. Take a quick look at some of the hits and you’ll notice that they are all more or less some incarnation of a plastic bag. That’s not to say that a plastic bag is a bad thing, its actually quite brilliantly in that it is so simple; it does its job, and keeps the phone dry and afloat. I’d imagine that’s a potential life saver for anyone who spends significant time out on the water, maybe even quite literally if you find yourself over board (but only if you happen to have Verizon).
That said, I don’t really want to bag my phone if I only MIGHT need some waterproof protection over the course of my day.
You might ask, what about a more practical, aesthetically pleasing solution for my everyday travels? well, to that question I could only reply that I have failed you… I simply cannot find a case that provides any measure of waterproofed protection that isn’t a glorified ziplock bag. And we all know if Google cant find it, it just doesn’t exist. (UPDATE: I have found a couple of other cases that aren’t bags.. gonna try to follow up with reviews of some of those *crosses fingers**)
But thankfully there are those out there with knowledge beyond our own (here’s to you, Tim). Over this past holiday season, a good friend of mine happened to have ordered just such a case, that provides protection to your beloved phone from a watery grave, and that case would be from LifeProof.
Hopefully you can forgive us for getting excited and posting a pre-review again, but we get a little giddy any time we are expecting to get new things in to test , mostly because its really only picking up recently. We’re expecting to get a sample for review, but wanted to give you a little preview to reflect on.
The first thing you will notice about this case is that it is not a bag. In fact, it looks pretty much like any other case, and is no bigger than any plastic clip-on case you can pick up at the mall. But looks are indeed deceiving. The LifeProof case packs enough protective design features inside its shell to necessitate its own diagram.
The case packs a number of features to combat intrusion of dust, dirt, grime, and of course water, and between the waterproof screen, ‘acoustic vents’, sealed mic port and buttons, and the gasket around the case seam, your iPhone isn’t going to be seeing any of it while inside this veritable submarine (and the folks at LifeProof are confident enough to show you here). The plug for the headphone jack can also be removed to allow you to plug in a pair of waterproof headphones if you are the type who likes to relax underwater and listen to some tunes (Yellow Submarine?)And if that weren’t enough, they throw in a hefty amount of impact protection for good measure.
LifeProof also offers accessories to help integrate your phone into your extreme activities a little better, with a handlebar mount for bikes (and motorcycle!), a nifty clip-in arm band, and a belt clip attachment.
The only flaw I see in this case, and really, its not so much a flaw as a limitation of its use, is that it doesn’t float like a bag-style case (as verified in one of the demo videos on LifeProof’s site). The armband above does offer you an option to lock the phone in to make it VERY unlikely that the phone will fall off, but once you take it out of the band to use all bets are off. If you were thinking about using this as a safety net for boating, water-skiing, or any other event where your phone might go solo into the water, you may want to reconsider – unless of course you want to go diving for a really expensive dive weight.
All in all this case is pretty exciting! We’re looking forward to playing with it and giving you a full hands-on to let you know how well it lives up to the marketing.