iPhone 5(s) and SE

LifeProof Fre Review for the iPhone 5S

The Lifeproof fre case for iPhone 5S is a decent iPhone 5s hard case that will protect your device from everyday life. However, there are two flaws that we feel that really diminish the quality of the case, especially when you consider that they deal with the TouchID sensor and Two-Tone flash of the iPhone 5S which are brand new features in Apples latest iPhone. We’ve been in contact with LifeProof and we’ve been told that the case that was shipped to us was indeed an old model. For the Lifeproof Fre review for the iPhone 5s, we give this rugged iPhone case a Eh? Rating score of 4 Eh’s? out of 5.

The LifeProof Fre Case for the iPhone 5S is a waterproof, dirt-proof, snow-proof and shock proof iPhone 5s hard case, all features that are promoted within the LifeProof brand. The case also features an integrated screen protector. LifeProof designs cases to protect smartphones and tablets from the environment. We’ve reviewed several different LifeProof cases and the results are always very impressive.


-Slim and light weight

-Great access to the entire screen of the iPhone

-Case material is tough


-Hole for the Two-Tone flash is lacklustre

-TouchID access is flaky

-Rain-bowing (however minimum) still exists

-Noticeable glare on the screen protector

-No wrist strap included



Lifeproof is a case maker that focuses on creating ruggedize, waterproof cases for iOS devices and the Galaxy S3. We’re quite fond of Lifeproof at Mobilereviews-eh.ca as their cases rate well and are a joy to use. It will be interesting to see what happens with Lifeproof as they were acquired by Otterbox in early 2013 so hopefully they maintain their ability to create high-quality cases.


The Lifeproof Frē case for iPhone 5S is slightly smaller than the Nuud. It is fully shockproof and drop proof as well as waterproof. It comes in two pieces that snap together easily creating a tight seal around the case. The screen protector is made out of one piece providing easy access to the entire front screen of the iPhone 5S.

The different products from Lifeproof can be found here: Lifeproof iPhone 5S cases

The LifeProof Fre case for the iPhone 5S received a score of 4 Eh?’s out of 5 in Design category across the board. The design is well though out; both pieces of the case fit together easily, there are no rough edges and the case feels very solid in your hands.

This rugged iPhone protective case is lightweight with no added bulk. Many of our viewers complain about how cheap the case feels, given that the case is bit more expensive then other cases, but we believe that’s a function of LifeProof designing a great case with strong and lightweight materials.

The installation of the case is quite simple as you pry back the back, install your iPhone into the case. As with any tough-case installation, its important to normalize the pressure between your iPhone and the case to ensure that you have a good physical connection.

In terms of Build Quality, LifeProof has found the perfect ratio of rubbery-textured parts and smooth parts. The LifeProof Fre for the iPhone 5S provides enough “grip-ability” but is slick enough to have easily slide in/out of pockets.

There’s a reason why LifeProof calls themselves LifeProof. The Lifeproof Fre for the iPhone 5S will definitely keep your iPhone safe on a day-to-day basis.

In terms of drop protection, we put the LifeProof Fre case for the iPhone 5S, through a series of “normal” drops from waist height, head height and the max height of 6.6 ft as specified by LifeProof. The rugged case stayed together and the iPhone did not suffer at sort of physical damage (that we can see anyways).

Lifeproof Fre Case with Touch ID – Drop Test – iPhone Cases

Water wasn’t a problem for this case either as it spent a few minutes at the bottom of a swimming pool. Now we would have taken this case into the ocean but at first glance, the LifeProof Fre does not have a place where you can attach a wrist strap to. We’ve discovered that you can remove the attached nub from the case and use that hole to thread your wrist strap through.

Lifeproof Fre Case with Touch ID – Waterproof Test – iPhone Cases

The entire front of the Lifeproof Fre iPhone 5S protective case is one plastic piece. It is one of the thinnest plastic screen protectors out of all the tough iPhone 5S cases that we have reviewed. The edges are raised a little bit providing additional protection for the front of the iPhone 5. The front screen protector will protect your iPhone from scratches and from drops.

Almost all functions and features of an iPhone 5s can be accessed in the LifeProof Fre. It handles very well, its slim and light-weight design makes it easy to carry. All of the buttons and ports are easily accessible and the iPhone 5 native functionality is preserved.

The volume switch and buttons on the outside of the phone can easily be accessed. The Touch ID feature can be finicky while inside this iPhone case and you can’t reprogram your Touch ID with the iPhone installed in the case.

With our LifeProof Fre case, the hole for the Two-Tone flash was too small. In fact, the backing of our LifeProof Fre case was exactly identical to the backing of a LifeProof Fre for the iPhone 5. Our conversation with LifeProof indicated that we received the older model of the LifeProof Fre case for the iPhone 5S and as we’re writing this, our “new” model is on-route.

The effect of having a hole too small for the two-tone flash results in flash photography results in a strong cool-warm contrast across the entire photograph. Now most people won’t notice this but we think it’s something to take note.

Lifeproof fre case for iPhone 5S - flash - iphone cases

Lifeproof Fre with Touch ID – NOT compatible with Flash – iPhone Cases

For a shock-proof and water-proof iPhone case, the LifeProof Fre provides unparalleled access to your iPhone screen. You can easily access the command center as well as the notification centre on your iPhone without any problems. Typing isn’t a problem either as the edges of the case run along the edge of the phone, not the edge of the touchable area of the screen so access the keys “q” and “p” are not a problem.

In terms of the screen view-ability, the LifeProof Fre for the iPhone 5S suffers from a bit of glare and still produces a raindbowing effect. When we first reviewed the LifeProof Fre for the iPhone 5, we were impressed with the screen protector but over the last year, we’ve come across several other screen protectors that put it’s to shame.

We’re happy to say that the rain-bowing effect on the Fre is minimal but it is still there so if that’s something that bothers you, this might not be the case for you.

With all things considered, this is a great case for the iPhone 5S. There’s a few things that may be deal-breakers for some people but on a day-to-day basis, this is one of the best shock-proof and water-proof case for the iPhone 5S.

Lifeproof Fre case for the iPhone 5 —> Click Here

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