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LifeProof is definitely the go-to case when it comes to waterproofing your iPhone. They offer outstanding protection for your mobile devices without the bulk you might expect from other products. This is the long awaited LifeProof Nuud for iPhone 6. In this review we’ll throw it in the snow, drop it, and put it in the washing machine to see if it lives up to the LifeProof name.
My main gripe would be the width that it adds to the phone. It basically turns your iPhone 6 into a 6 Plus and makes it difficult to use one handed, especially with the squared edges. But that’s the price you pay for this kind of protection.
The Nuud series of LifeProof cases was the first case on the market to provide complete waterproof protection while not obstructing the screen. Other cases put a plastic screen protector between you and your phones screen. The LifeProof Nuud however uses a gasket to seal the edge of the case to the screen to keep dust and moisture out. I’ve never been a huge fan of screen protectors because of smudging, rainbowing, and interfering with the touchscreen responsiveness. The idea of waterproofing your iPhone without covering the screen is pretty amazing, but it definitely has it’s downsides. If you plan to purposely get your phone wet you’ll want to take the case apart and inspect the seal for debris that may interfere with it’s ability to block out moisture. I’ve used a LifeProof Nuud case on my iPad Mini for several months and the few times I’ve taken the case apart I have found debris between the gasket and the glass that probably would degrade it’s waterproofing ability. You’ll also want to be careful when disassembling the case that you don’t pull the gasket out of the case. If it does come out just carefully place it back in the groove of the case to reassemble. Otherwise it’s a really great design and ultimately what makes the Nuud series the top pick for a waterproof iPhone case. Of course since there’s no built in screen protector your iPhone is subject to screen scratches. LifeProof does include a screen protector that covers only the parts exposed outside of the case. If you choose to use this you’ll definitely want to install it with the case on. If any of the screen protector gets between the gasket and the screen your iPhone is no longer waterproof. That goes for any third party screen protectors as well. It’s possible that some of the glass screen protectors would still provide a decent enough sill to block out water but chances are they’ll make your device too thick and I wouldn’t recommend using them.
You install your iPhone in the case by placing the bottom of the phone into the front of the case and firmly pressing down. You then snap on the back making sure the entire case is snapped down all the way around. I usually go over it twice just to be sure all the sides are snapped. When finished close the flap for the Lightning port. When installed correctly you should notice the O-ring pressed between the screen and the case.
The case does add a decent amount of width and height to the phone with this plastic bumper, but that’s what makes it shock proof. Thankfully it’s still a very thin case on par with a lot of standard non-waterproof cases.
Taking a closer look at the buttons and ports you’ll find they all provide great tactile response and still click very well. Touch ID works just as well as without a case. There is a plastic membrane covering the home button that looks pretty flimsy, but it certainly gets the job done. Lifeproof chose to not make the opening of the home button completely round because of how close it is to the edge of the screen. Otherwise the small please of plastic between the home button and screen would be very fragile. It doesn’t get in the way at all but takes some getting used to.
Lifeproof claims their cases are waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof, and shock proof. For water testing I decided to run my phone through the washer. This actually tests it’s waterproofing ability as well as some shockproof ability. The case passed this test with flying colors. Most people aren’t going to put their phones through this kind of torture. More than likely it’ll be a spilled drink or a drop in the toilet. But if the case can withstand this it can certainly hold up to more likely scenarios. And the beauty of the Lifeproof case is that when you’re done you can rinse the soap off in the sink.
This case is rated for drops up to 6.6 feet. A much more realistic drop for me is right when I take my phone out of my pocket. And although I’ve never once dropped my phone while texting, the Lifeproof Nuud can certainly handle that as well should it happen to you. I did pick up a minor scuff on the corner of the case and the two pieces also separated. It’s easily snapped back together though.