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Old 11-15-2012, 10:25 PM   #16
Bazgab
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Have had both an Otterbox Defender and a Lifeproof case. I like the Lifeproof a good deal more but it does have some drawbacks.

My issues with the Otterbox Defender:
1) Bulky for carrying in pocket
2) Rubberized exterior makes pulling the phone out of pockets a hassle
3) Rubber exterior degrades very quickly, the flaps covering the mic jack and the charging port starting ripping off within a few months.
4) Looked dirty most of the time, screen protector looked more smudged than the Lifeproof given similar situations and usage.
4) Everyone has one, pretty sure 90% I know with an iPhone have an Otterbox Defender.

My issues with the Lifeproof:
1) I have to use the screw-in 3.5mm headphone adapter to plug in any kind of ear buds, kind of a hassle.
2) The speakers are muffled by the case if you are playing music out loud or using speaker phone, opening the bottom port fixes this though. I have never had people tell me I sound muffled though, but I have heard some people have that issue with the Lifeproof.
3) A lot of docks and some interface cables do not function with the Lifeproof due to the smaller opening on the bottom, but there are adapters.

To me the cost was not an issue as I got a black Lifeproof case on sale on Amazon for roughly the same price as an Otterbox Defender. If I had to pay the normal price I would probably not think so highly of it. I much prefer the feel of the Lifeproof screen protector, it is weird at first but it has a slight tactile feel that I have grown to like. I think it is similar to how I prefer a mechanical keyboard with its light, positive feedback.

Bazgab screwed with this post 11-15-2012 at 10:31 PM
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:53 PM   #17
YetiGS
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Lifeproof is exactly what they say. It makes your iPhone waterproof, dirt proof and . . . well whatever the rest is. My phone has been in a Lifeproof case (well, 2 of them) for a couple of years now. I think it's that long, I was one of the first to get one, so since then.


Yes, there are compromises to be had. The speakerphone doesn't work quite as well, but it works fine for me. You have to choose your charging cables carefully, it only works with short body chargers. That said, I was able to find one that worked fine when I was in an airport and realized I left my charger at the hotel. If you don't use Apple ear buds (or other ones with slim plugs) you need to use the adapter. I use the Apple ear buds so no issues.


But, there is a HUGE upside. My phone is waterPROOF. I frequently drop it in my beer to get free drinks at bars. I take pictures underwater. When I'm riding and it starts pouring rain, I laugh. When I ride in horribly dusty conditions, I laugh. (Honestly though, when I dropped my phone with the charger cover open in the dirt I was pissed. ) And the case truly is slim. Especially compared to the Otterbox, which I had until this one came out.


I have zero issues with visibility of the screen. Sunlight, dust, etc. The screen is just as visible as without the Lifeproof case. I have zero issues using my phone either. It works just as well outside the case as in it. I'm on my second cover (I had to replace the original because I managed to rip one of the GoreTex speaker covers) and don't understand why people say they scratch easily. I routinely drop my phone in the dirt, crash and fill my pockets with sand, and mine is not scratched at all.


The only drawback I've encountered is that the sound/mute switch does have a tendancy to turn to "Off" without me wanting it to. I've gotten over that. I do not use docking stations, etc. but I can see how that would be an issue.


And no, I do not work for Lifeproof. I have paid full price for my case(s). I just really like the product.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:06 AM   #18
Wargasm
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I've had Otterboxes for blackberries and iphones, while they are good they suck trying to get them out of your pocket, and the little rubber flaps tear off easily. The Lifeproof case is a harder plastic so it slides in and out of pockets easier, but there is the port problems. The adaptor for the earphones is cumbersome, and the charging port hole is just big enough for the stock apple charger, or one the exact same size. The earphone plug hole has a little screw to seal it, you get two, but they are small and easy to lose. The thing that bugs me most is that when bending over or squatting with the phone in my front pocket causes the home button to depress, which after a bit causes the voice control to activate, which means the phone tries to do whatever random interperatation of the surronding noise it hears, which could be anything. I've discovered my phone playing music, called a random number from my phone book or done some other weird thing. This is really annoying, but for the protection it provides not bad, I just have to change my habit of putting my phone in my pocket face in. It's protected it from quite a few drops, and a complet submersion after dumping my big in a deep rutted river crossing.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:00 AM   #19
Jamm
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Otterbox Defender is great

I've never had the lifeproof but have used the Defender for my iphone for well over a year with zero issues. I use the phone pretty hard each day so at a minimum the the charging flap is flexed daily sometime more. The headphone flap propbably get messed with twice a day. They both fit back into position snuggly with no tears.

I've dropped my phone more times than I can count, several from distances +15' with no issues. YMMV but for me the Defender has paid for itself over and over. It's not a pretty case and won't stay shiney since it's made of a rubber compound. Think of you car tires as the wear, maybe if you used Armor All it would look pretty but it's not my bag of tea. The rubber does make it harder to get in and out of the pockets but if you don't wear the "skin tight look at my ass" type of jeans it's not an issue. Those that worry about it's looks and how fast they can speed draw it out of their pants should probably be looking into getting a murse.

I'm a big bone'd type of construction guy so I wear carpenter jeans a lot. The Defender fits perfect in the tool pocket and is easy to get to without the worry of dumping all the change out of the normal pocket.

To each his own, you just have to decide what criteria fits your lifestyle the best.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:19 PM   #20
Britome
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I love my lifeproof cad on my 4s and the mount which I put on the stem of my mirror. The beat system by far, IMHO.

I'm not going to the 5 yet because I don't want to be bent over on the price for lifeproof 5 cases. Crazy ass! I'll wait a bit because I won't have an iPhone without the lifeproof.

The big watch out is the chord. It is the weak link. Put an extra one in your tank bag and always screw the phone onto the chord and not vice versa. The twisting breaks connections.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:37 PM   #21
soloyosh
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Had a Ballistic case. Dropped the phone down the bleacher stairs at the WSB race at Miller. Phone was fine. I'm thinking aqua-tek s if I need something waterproof. Also has an extra bat and a solar charger.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:37 PM   #22
AdventureDave
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MSC steering dampers

Another (dear) alternative is the msc/rallemoto billet iphone case. Not waterproof, but the video is pretty funny if you want to see how strong they are, dropping from a speeding car etc.

http://rallemoto.com/contents/en-us/d60.html


Cheers

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Old 11-17-2012, 05:32 PM   #23
MeanMoe
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I've been using a Lifeproof case based on the recommendations found here. I've also have some of the issues noted. One additional hassle is that the screen cover doesn't fit quite close enough to the screen so it clicks as if the key clicks were on. Not really a problem, just an annoyance.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:44 PM   #24
YetiGS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanMoe View Post
I've been using a Lifeproof case based on the recommendations found here. I've also have some of the issues noted. One additional hassle is that the screen cover doesn't fit quite close enough to the screen so it clicks as if the key clicks were on. Not really a problem, just an annoyance.
Do you have one of the earlier cases? My first one did that but Life Proof said they fixed it. My current case has zero issues.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:33 AM   #25
FLARider1
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My 4S is less than a year old and I have gone through 2 Otterbox Defenders. I have now switched to the Lifeproof box and so far I am very happy. I rarely use the speaker phone or use it as a music source so the whole headphone doesnt bother me. Best thing is that its thinner for carry in my pocket, not sticky/dirty rubber, screen doesnt seem to get as nasty, its water proof AND shock proof. Which I would have switched earlier!!!
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:20 PM   #26
Jamie Z
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Bought a Lifeproof case for the iPhone 5 today before I even had the phone.

So far in just a few hours the case has made me very unhappy.

My first impression on opening the package is that the case is rather flimsy. No matter, there have been numerous positive reviews of the case, perhaps that's just my perception.

The instructions direct you to perform a water test before using the case. Without the phone, you assemble the case and submerge it for one hour. I noticed after just a few minutes under water that my case had water in it.

Further inspection revealed that the seal which is supposed to cover the charging port on the iPhone was missing. My first thought was that it wasn't a big deal. I can exchange the case tomorrow since I purchased it locally.

In the meantime, I figured I might as well use the case, even if it isn't water proof. The screen cover doesn't seem to fit very well. There's a tiny bit of airspace between the cover and the glass itself requiring a little more pressure when using the phone. I guess I could get used to it, but I did quickly notice that icons near the edges and corners required noticeably more pressure. The difference on such a sensitive device is very small, but it's noticeable.

And then I made a phone call. The person on the other end kept complaining that I sounded muffled and could barely hear me. I removed the phone from the case, and that fixed the problem. I thought maybe the ports for the microphone were still wet, so I blew them out even though they appeared clear and let the case sit idle to dry out completely. A few hours later I made another phone call with the same result. "What? I can't hear you. You sound like you're in a barrel. What's wrong with your phone?" Again, taking the case off the phone fixed the problem.

Perhaps I got a defective case (aside from the missing seal), but this thing thing has not impressed me.

I've used an Otterbox Defender on my 3GS for the past couple of years. It's rather bulky, but I've had not complaints about its performance. I think tomorrow when I return this Lifeproof, I'm going to trade it for an Otterbox. The iPhone 5 Defender is quite a bit less bulky than that for the 3GS, so it should be an improvement as far as slipping it into a pocket.

And the headphone jack is almost a dealbreaker. I have a set of headphones that have a very slim jack, and even they are too big to fit. Looks like it's Apple headphones or nothing unless you want to use that silly extension.

Jamie
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:03 PM   #27
Bazgab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Z View Post
And then I made a phone call. The person on the other end kept complaining that I sounded muffled and could barely hear me. I removed the phone from the case, and that fixed the problem. I thought maybe the ports for the microphone were still wet, so I blew them out even though they appeared clear and let the case sit idle to dry out completely. A few hours later I made another phone call with the same result. "What? I can't hear you. You sound like you're in a barrel. What's wrong with your phone?" Again, taking the case off the phone fixed the problem.
This is a known defect with some of the cases, usually have to return it for a new one, luck of the draw I guess.

I know it is personal preference and others have voiced their displeasure with it, but I like the airspace between the screen protector and the screen. Took me a few days to get used to it but I swear once I did it was more sensitive than the protector on the Otterbox. I do not notice any extra pressure needed to hit icons closer to the corner either, again looks like the QC department screwed up on catching your case, bummer.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:12 PM   #28
Jamie Z
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Today I returned the Lifeproof and got an Otterbox Defender. I already like it much, much more. The build quality feels like a higher standard. It seems to fit the phone better. The Lifeproof has somewhat of a flimsy feel and the screen protector was bowed out. The buttons on the Defender are more precise. My only nitpick about the Defender is that the Silence button is hidden behind a rubber door which you must open and poke your finger to move the switch. It's not something I use frequently though, so I don't foresee too much inconvenience.

Perhaps as Bazgab suggested, I just got a defective Lifeproof, but even that makes me a little nervous about using it.

The Defender is a little more bulky than the Lifeproof, but my feeling is that it better protects the phone from impact. of course, it's not waterproof, but so far that hasn't been an issue for me.

Not only that, but the Defender is more than $30 cheaper.

Jamie
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:36 PM   #29
YetiGS
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Really tested mine last night. My wife was putting the turkey in a 5 gallon bucket of brine. I left my phone sitting on the counter next to the bucket while I went to grab the lid for the bucket. Wife knocked the bucket of brine over, right onto my phone and then sent it flying across the room when she tried to grab it out of the way! Phone was soaked and flew about 15' but is still fine!!
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