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Lifeproof iPhone Tough Case

The LifeProof tough case for iPhone 4/4S offers serious protection from both rough impacts and nasty environments, but I've also found it to be great for everyday use.

The LifeProof case is fully sealed for full IP-68 rating against intrusion from dust or water:

  • It's dirtproof, for protection from even fine micro-particles, so you can confidently use your device on a gritty windy beach, or off-road in a dusty plain.
  • It's waterproof, to 2 meters (6.6 ft), so you can shoot photos underwater, or even listen to music with the waterproof headphone adapters. And you can still use your phone in bad weather or even in the shower.
  • It's snowproof, since even melting snow and ice can't wick in through pooling or capilliary action.
  • It's shockproof, providing shock and impact protection up to a drop of 2 meters (6.6 ft) onto concrete (MIL-STD-810F-516.5).

And LifeProof does all this without ending up with a bulky, clunky case. The iPhone case adds 1/16” (1.5mm) from the center of the phone, and weighs under 1 oz. (28g), so it still travels comfortably in a pocket.

You install the case by sliding the iPhone into the body of the case, face down, so the top power button and side volume buttons and mute switch pop into the associated elements of the case. Then snap on the back, and close the bottom latch over the dock connector. Finally, screw in the headphone jack cover, and your iPhone is hermetically sealed, yet still fully accessible and functional.

(LifeProof does recommend you try out a new case underwater, before you insert the iPhone, just in case.)

There are some trade-offs for this protection, of course:

  • The iPhone display still shows clearly through the screen cover, although you do need to learn to press a little harder, especially to activate smaller buttons. (I've also noticed an unexplained oil-stain-like distortion that grows on the screen over time, which disappears when you pop open the case. On the other hand, there's a nasty gouge that is thankfully in the screen of my case, and not in the iPhone display.)
  • The headphone jack is harder to access if you often use earphones or headphones. LifeProof includes a screw-in headphone adapter, since most typical headphone plugs do not fit into the access above the headphone jack.
  • The power and volume buttons are covered, but still easily usable. The case has a subtle bumpers on the side to protect the buttons.
  • The front and back cameras are covered by an additional window. LifeProof uses double AR-coated optical glass lenses, and I have not noticed any problem with loss of clarity.
  • The case also covers the iPhone speakers, but again I have not noticed a big deal, and LifeProof even claims that it improves bass and mid-frequency using the back of the case as a sub-woofer.

So while I have chosen to not deliberately drop or submerge my personal iPhone, the LifeProof case certainly has done its job in protecting the phone through the travails of normal life, including winter snow, hot and dusty Texas spring, damp and humid ocean and lakeside beaches, and several heart-stopping accidental drops.

The LifeProof case for iPhone 4/4S is available for $79, in black, white, and a variety of bright colors.

Find the Lifeproof iPhone Tough Case on Amazon.com

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