The LifeProof Fre is probably the best overall waterproof iPhone 7 case
LifeProof Fre iPhone 7 Review – Sure the iPhone 7 is water resistant but the Fre makes it WATERPROOF!
The Lifeproof Fre is the 15th LifeProof product that we’ve used and reviewed over the last 4 years. We thought that the iPhone 7 Fre was a re-hash of the iPhone 6 version but a closer inspection reveals several upgrades to the iPhone 7 version.
Surprisingly, the LifeProof Fre is the best sounding case out of the current crop of waterproof iPhone 7 cases we’ve reviewed. The iPhone 7 handles well in the case. But we came across a durability issue after our durability test. The biggest gripe that we have? The screen protector still diffuses the iPhone screen.
For our LifeProof Fre iPhone 7 Review, we’ve given this case a score of 3.7 Eh’s out of 5. The Fre is better than the Dog and Bone Wetsuit, is on par with the Dog and Bone Wetsuit Impact but falls short of the Ghostek Atomic 3.0. BUT that doesn’t mean it’s a bad waterproof case. In fact, the Fre will be a great case for most people. The Atomic 3.0 has several unique features that bump up the score which might not matter for most people.
Design – Looks the same, feels the same. Is it the same?
For design, the LifeProof Fre at its thickest point is one of the bigger iPhone cases out there. You won’t notice the bulk as the thickness isn’t consistent through the entire case. We initially thought that LifeProof had recycled the iPhone 6 case for the iPhone 7 but that’s not true. LifeProof has definitely changed the design of the Fre. The speaker cutouts now channel sound forward as well. There is also an attachment point for a wrist straps. LifeProof also decided to add an actual spot for a wrist strap. The mute switch on the iPhone 7 case seems to be a bit more responsive.
The case generally fits well together and the handles great. There is lots of texture on the case so it won’t slide around. The LifeProof Fre is quite light especially when compared to the Ghostek Atomic 3.0.
The LifeProof Fre will show wear and tear a bit more than other case because the back scratches easily. Taking a fingernail to the back of the case will leave a mark. This is something happens with the iPhone 6 version of the case.
Protection – 6.6 ft or 2m. The standard amount of protection
When it comes to protection, the LifeProof Fre offers average drop and water protection at 6.6 ft or 2m. The edges of the case are decent and will keep the screen off a flat surface. The initial water test didn’t produce any errors but the Fre broke after two drops in our durability test.
Prior to this LifeProof Fre iPhone 7 Review, we tested the durability of four different waterproof cases. The Fre didn’t fare as well as we hoped. The first drop resulted in the case coming apart slightly while the second drop resulted in the corner actually chipping. This wasn’t surprising to use since the materials of the iPhone 7 case seemed like the iPhone 6 version which split easily.
Was the case waterproof after the damage? Oddly enough, the case was still waterproof after this chip. This was surprising to me.
At the beginning of the review, we mentioned that this was going to be a decent case for the average person. We say this because of the exceptional warranty LifeProof has with their products. We’ll be able to send in a claim for a new case. For the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 claims, we received our cases within a couple of days of our claim.
Functionality – Sounds the best but still far from perfect
Basic functionality of your iPhone is the best out of the four waterproof cases we’ve reviewed so far. The Fre has the best sound based on our pink noise test and general usage
To clarify, the LifeProof Fre is the best sounding case but it is a waterproof case so call quality and sound will be worst than a naked iPhone. We can’t stress this enough!
The buttons of the iPhone are stiffer than most cases. Viewability, like every other LifeProof Fre case we’ve reviewed, is below average. The diffusion of the screen protectors takes away from the Retina HD iPhone screen. We didn’t see any rainbowing on the screen which is nice.
The port cutout is large enough for 3rd party cables. Camera access was decent though fingerprinting on the lens might be annoying for some people who are selfie-mongers.
The Fre does offer a bit more versatility than other cases as the texture makes it easy to use when wet. The ability to attach a wrist strap is great for people who are planning on swimming with your iPhone.
LifeProof actually omitted a wrist strap attachment point on the iPhone 6 version which was odd to us. We’ve been knocked over by enough waves to know that anything that isn’t attached to our bodies will get lost.
What did she say about the LifeProof Fre?
(This is our attempt at seeing things from a female perspective):
- “Looks awesome but not a work case”
- “Colors are appealing for a tough case”
- “Perfect for fitness ladies with outdoor hobbies”
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