Can you Fre the Power?
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Today we’re going to do a review for the LifeProof Fre Power, a waterproof iPhone 6 case that has a battery pack.
According to LifeProof, the Fre Power has a 2600 mah battery which allows you to use your iPhone twice as long. There is a level of added bulk that comes with a waterproof battery case so its not as “Fre” as you think it might be. With all that being said, this is a great case if you need protection and power. There is one fatal flaw to this case which really pushes us away from this case but there’s a little mod that we will show you to minimize my issue with the Fre Power.
For LifeProof Fre Power review, we’ve given the case a score of 3.8 Eh’s out of 5 which is a tad higher than what we thought of LifeProof Fre’s but not as high as the LifeProof Nuud. If you’d rather read the rest of this review, head over to our website and if you want to see how this case compares against other waterproof cases, check out our comparison tool or if you’re trying to choose between the regular LifeProof Fre and the Nuud, check out that comparisons review we’ve done!
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Design – LifeProof Fre Power = Brick?
In terms of design, this is a massive iPhone case though its not as big as other tough cases like the Ballistic Hardcore and its sleeve. It also adds a bit of weight to your iPhone but this should be surprising given that this case comes with a spare battery and is pretty tough. It will turn your slim iPhone into a brick.
Installation of the case is quite simple as you snap two pieces together. We did find it a little tougher to install than the other LifeProof cases though the the general design of the latch and headphone jack cover remains the same as other LifeProof products. Taking the case apart is simple as well as you can either use a coin or your fingernails, if you’ve grown them out enough.
In terms of the build quality, the Fre Power feels better built than the other LifeProof cases. It feels solid though we believe it will show wear and tear quicker than other cases. This is something that we’ve said for all the LifeProof cases as the rubber bumper has a tendency to tear during tougher drops.
Protection – Let life happen…your iPhone can take in this case
In terms of protection, the Fre Power is shockproof up to 6.6 ft and waterproof up to 6.6 ft. We did a full torture test for this case so if you want to see us hurt the iPhone, check that video out.
Unlike the LifeProof Fre and Nuud, the Power looks like its made from a block of plastic which adds to the solid, brick feel to the case. If you look at the Fre, you can see that the back is about the same size but the Power has these thick plastic bumpers that surround the iPhone. I’m guessing that with the added weight of the battery, LifeProof really needed to bump up that portion of the case.
For water protection, LifeProof sticks with their brightly covered o-rings along the edge of the case and at the bottom of their latch. We generally didn’t have any issues with the waterproofing but if you do get the Fre Power, keep an eye on the o-rings as if they get dirty, your going to lose your iPhone water if you submerge it.
Functionality – iPhone functionality suffers a bit in the LifeProof Fre Power
In terms of accessing your iPhone inside the case, there’s some really great things about the Fre and some not so great. In general, it handles just as well as the regular LifeProof Fre but the buttons are tougher to use and smaller. The Touch ID membrane works quite well and the cutout for the flash is actually large enough that no noticeable clipping will occur.
Sound coming from your iPhone is quite unique. Unlike other LifeProof cases that have the sound out the bottom, the Fre Power has sound coming out the back through these two slits. Covering up the slits will essentially mute your iPhone. In terms of call quality, there is a bit of vibrating through the ear piece speaker which is annoying but if you’ve never used a waterproof case, that’s normal. The mic on the bottom, like the speaker is moved to the back as well.
No before we talk about the battery, we’re going to cover the screen protector. There is a tiny gap between the screen protector and the iPhone but its not noticeable and because the screen protector covers the whole iPhone, you can get to every part of the iPHone’s touchscreen.
In terms of screen viewability, we’ve basically said this about every Fre product that Mobile Reviews Eh! has reviewed which is how much the screen viewability sucks. The worst part of is the diffusion of the iPhone’s Retina HD screen which really sucks the joy out of using your 1000 dollar iPhone. Things that should look like solid white end up looking “speckly”. However, our annoyance with the screen isn’t significant since the spare battery pack really makes up for the usefulness of this tough iPhone case.
The 2600 mah battery will basically add another days worth of battery under normal day use. If you ration your battery use, you could probably get 3-4 days of use with the Fre Power. The battery charges fairly quickly and like all other battery cases, you can switch between charging and not charging by pushing on the only button on the back which also tells you how much power is left.
Unlike some of the earlier Morphie case, the Fre Power allows you to sync your iPhone through the case using a Micro-USB cable. LifeProof includes a micro-USB cable and we’d suggest that you hold onto that cable since its optimized for the Fre Power case. We did notice an improvement in the charging rates when we used their cable when compared to the generic cables that we have kicking around.
Now, one of the fatal flaws with this case is the fact that you can’t attach officially add wrist-strap to the case. This may seem trivial but what’s the point of a tough case? So that you can take your iPhone into interesting places while minimizing the fear of it breaking. Being able to attach the device to your body would also minimize the risk of losing your iPhone as well.
Now, there headphone plug is attached to the case bit it is semi-removable so removing it from the case will reveal a place where you could string a wrist strap. It’s not terribly solid but it will suffice for most things (please watch the end of the review video to see how we’ve attached the wrist-strap.
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