PROS: There are still no waterproof case specifically for iPhone X. The drop protection of the case is also the toughest iteration of the LifeProof Fre
CONS: The design and feel did not change from the previous iterations. The case is prone to wear and tear, especially the screen protector.. The screen protector also cheapens the OLED screen of the iPhone X.
The LifeProof Fre generally looks the same as the iPhone 7 and 8 versions of the case. The front of the case has a rubbery edge to it. The back on the other hand have a textured PC back. We’re always fooled by the back of the LifeProof Fre case. We always think itʼs going to be slick but the textured PC back keeps the iPhone stable on a flat surface.
Not much has really changed on the inside of the case. The iPhone X primarily sits in a rubber bumper on the front of the case with the waterproof seal attaching from the back. We’re pleased with the fit of the LifeProof Fre though thatʼs never really been an issue for us.
However, it should be noted that the LifeProof Fre will show wear and tear over time quicker than a normal case. The plastic screen protector isnʼt as scratch resistant as a glass screen protector. Don’t be surprised when your most used areas on your iPhone's show signs of scratching.
This issue is most prevalent on non-iPhone LifeProof Freʼs since iOS doesnʼt have a swipe-unlock feature. With that being said, iPhone X users have to swipe up to unlock so it wouldnʼt be out of the ordinary to start seeing a bit of scratching along the bottom of the case.
Overall, the texture of the LifeProof Fre is quite nice. It will handle well in all circumstances.
The iPhone X’s LifeProof Fre fares worse than previous generations due to the new gestures feature. The removal of the home button on the iPhone X means that your fingers spend a lot of time on the screen. Because of that, youʼll end up noticing that the screen protector doesnʼt always sit flush on the iPhone Xʼ screen.
We were unable to find dead spots on the screen which is a plus. However, we did notice that certain force touch features seemed more sensitive than before. The gap is most noticeable at the bottom of the iPhone X, But luckily, it still doesnʼt affect the sensitivity of the home gesture under normal usage.
The biggest problem on the LifeProof Fre is the ability of the screen protector to turn your wonderful OLED screen into a pixelated mess. This is a complaint that we’ve had for every LifeProof Fre that weʼve reviewed. Maybe LifeProof has a reason why they wonʼt change it. We havenʼt figured the reason out but itʼs becomomg more of a problem then before. It cheapens the iPhone X experience.
Appleʼs latest iPhone is stupidly expensive. Offensively expensive in our book. But it does have several notable features with the OLED screen being one of them. If you get the LifeProof Fre, youʼre going to notice how crappy your screen is going to look. Now if protection is your primary concern, this wonʼt matter But still worth noting.
The LifeProof Fre for the iPhone X, like itʼs predecessors ensures that your iPhone will always be heard. On a naked iPhone, covering up the speakers on the device will do a decent job of muting the iPhone X. With the iPhone in the LifeProof Fre, sound reverberates throughout the entire device so as long as you donʼt have it muted, you should be able to hear the device.
The LifeProof Fre is an average protective case. The first LifeProof Fre we reviewed was for the iPhone 5 which would protect the iPhone from a 6 ft drop and 6 ft worth of submersion. Back then, half of the cases we reviewed provided 4 ft worth of drop and water protection for 30 mins. We considered the LifeProof Fre back then a tank.
Now a lot of cases are offering 10 ft drop protection with 33 ft worth of water protection. This makes the LifeProof Fre lack in comparison with the others when it comes to protection.
From our perspective, donʼt get the LifeProof Fre as a vacation case. If youʼre looking for a case to capture awesome moments in the ocean, lake or pool, go with a HitCase or ProShot case instead. Personally, weʼd only get the LifeProof Fre if we worked outside all the time. However it should be noted that LifeProof added back the wrist strap attachment point in the LifeProof Fre. In the off chance that you do plan on going swimming with the LifeProof Fre, you can have your iPhone safely attached to you.
To test the water protection of the LifeProof Fre. we did an empty case water test. We filled our sink with 6 inches of water and left the LifeProof Fre for about 30 mins. But the test resulted into nothing happening to the case,
When it comes to drop protection, the one thing we were most curious to see is if the case will stay together. For the iPhone 6 review we had, the LifeProof Fre cracked at the top. With the iPhone 7 and 8 versions, the case came apart after 2 drops which isnʼt great. The LifeProof Nuud and Next came apart after a couple of drops as well so we were expecting the LifeProof Fre to do the same.
The LifeProof Fre took every drop on the sidewalk in front of our house like a champ. We were honestly surprised to see the LifeProof Fre stay together after all the mishaps. This is surprising if we take into account the previous LifeProof Fre cases for the older iPhones.
We know we rag on the screen protector a lot on the LifeProof Fre. But the LifeProof Fre is thick enough that we can easily drop it face first onto river rock and not worry about our iPhone getting smashed.
All these little things is the reason why we say the LifeProof Fre is my baseline for waterproof cases.
Lifeproof product comparison
We find it fascinating to watch LifeProof evolve over the last couple of years as a company known strictly for their waterproof cases have ventured into non-waterproof cases. The other two offerings for the iPhone X include the LifeProof Slam and the LifeProof Next.
The LifeProof Slam is marketed to be a tougher than average case thatʼs infused with Urban Air. While the LifeProof Next is basically a water resistant LifeProof Nuud. Itʼs definitely hard to compare these cases but we’re going to try anyways.
Between the LifeProof Fre and Next, the LifeProof Next offers slightly better water protection than the average slim case. We do like thicker edges of the case and ultra smooth back as it makes for an interesting handling experience. The edges are so wide that the case offset the slick back a bit which is nice.
When it comes to the LifeProof Slam, we probably wouldnʼt touch it with a 7 ft pole. It handles worse than the LifeProof Fre. The buttons are extremely tough to use and the clear back on the case will scratch extremely easily. Itʼs an odd choice by LifeProof, incorporating a clear back on a case thatʼs marketed to take a couple of hits. The only saving grace is that the case is relatively thin so if keeping your iPhone X thin, the LifeProof Slam might be worth getting