Just In – Lifeproof frē iPhone 5/5s Case and Bike Mount

by Brian Mullin on February 17, 2014

The
LifeProof frē case (iPhone 4/4s, 5C,  5, 5S and Samsung Galaxy s3, S4)
is waterproof, snowproof, dustproof and shockproof, and protects the
smartphone from abusive encounters with the environment and anything
else you can toss at it. The upgraded iPhone 5/5s series case, now has access to their Touch ID and every function, button and port.

The
phone inserts tightly into the two-piece case, and then gets squeezed
in snugly when the halves are closed together, and it takes some decent
compression to get all the edges snapped completely shut and seal the
waterproof gasket. Once everything is closed up tight, the case is
immune to the average hazards tossed at it.

The
bike mounts (only available for the iPhone’s) is made from a tough
high-impact resistant plastic, and it snugly cradles the iPhone case on
its back, corners and top edge, without any undue movement. It clamps
down with an easy to use handlebar clamp that has three rubber size
adapters for varying bar thickness. The mount has been upgraded from its
previous incarnation, and has a better spring clamp to hold the phone,
and a wider cutout for the 5 series camera and double flash. 

The
mount fits a wide range of bike and motorsport bars, so you can
take your iPhone on and off road, and into adverse conditions and
environments. The synchronicity of the case and mount, allow you to use
cycling GPS apps and normal mobile usage while riding a bike, extending
the usefulness of your iPhone. It can be mounted any almost any
position, though most likely it would be the typical horizontal or
vertical layup.  

Impresions
I
have used a first-generation Lifeproof case for my iPhone 4, and found
it to be rugged and abuse proof, and can offer some serious
protection from drops, dirt and water, while still allowing full access
to the buttons, touchscreen, camera and phone. This upgraded frē case
gave those same attributes, but the touchscreen has a much better
tactile response than its predecessor. I could text and do any activity
quite easily, and it felt on par with a normal screen protector, though
obviously not as good as a naked screen. The interface to the iPhone 5s
Touch ID worked most of the time, but it wasn’t perfect, and I think I
averaged around 80-90 percent.

In really bright light conditions, out in the full sunshine, the screen
is a bit too glossy, and can make it more difficult to view things, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. The
speaker and microphone covers utilize a Gore-Tex membrane, and they
work surprisingly well, while still retaining their water and dirt
protection qualities.
The buttons all worked admirably, though they were slightly stiff on there actuation.  To interface to the headphone
jack, there is a watertight screw port, and a special adapter to run
accessories, such as waterproof headphones. To use the power or docking
port, you just flip the bottom closure flap down, and it’s accessed, and the iPhone lightning connector fits perfectly. 

I dropped the phone from 3 feet in the air, and it certainly seemed to
offer considerable protection, but I didn’t test the extreme
waterproofness (take it under water), so I’ll take their word on it. I
got the unit into some hefty rain and snow storms, and plenty of dirt
and mud have been thrown up on it, and it has been none the worse from
the abuse.

Conclusions

The slim case is rugged and abuse proof, and can provide some serious
protection from drops, dirt and water, while still offering full access
to the buttons, touchscreen, camera and phone. The touchscreen is too
glossy, making it somewhat difficult to view in bright light conditions,
and it can be tougher to engage icons and text (compared to a naked screen), but the additional
protection is worth the compromises, especially if you use the phone in
adverse environments. It’s not cheap at $79.99, but I liked the case,
and really appreciated that I don’t have to worry about babying my
precious iPhone, as I know it’s well protected.

The case retails for $79.99 while the mount goes fo $39.99.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 5.4” x 0.49” x 2.74” / 132.2 mm x 12.45 mm x 69.6 mm
  • Weight: 0.96 oz / 27.2 g
  • Water Proof: Fully submergible to 6.6’ / 2 m for 1 hour
  • Dirt Proof: Sealed from dirt & dust particles – meets or exceeds IP-68 Ingress Protection Rating
  • Snow Proof: Sealed from snow & ice – meets or exceeds IP-68 Ingress Protection Rating
  • Shock Proof: Withstands drops from 6.6’ / 2 m – meets or exceeds MIL STD 810F-516



For further information visit: http://www.lifeproof.com/en/

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