iPhone 7

Battle of the waterproof cases! LifeProof Fre vs. LifeProof Nuud – Waterproof iPhone 7 Case Comparison

What’s the difference between the LifeProof Fre and LifeProof Nuud?

Get the LifeProof Fre Now!
Get the LifeProof Nuud Now!


LifeProof Fre vs. LifeProof Nuud – Waterproof iPhone 7 Case Comparison

So which LifeProof case should you get? Do you go Nuud or do you go Fre? Because if you go Nuud, you you aren’t as Fre. We’ll elaborate on that in a minute. Here’s a quick breakdown of the two cases based on the detailed reviews we’ve done for the Fre and Nuud.

LifeProof Nuud vs LifeProof Fre Comparison Table - iPhone 7 Cases

(Click for the full tables)

Both of these cases are drop rated to Mil-Std 810g and waterproof up to 2m. Both are LifeProof cases so broken cases will be replaced fairly easily. So what’s the difference? We’ve got four of them. How did we come up with them? From doing in-depth reviews for both cases. Check out those videos if you need more info for each product. The 4 differences are in no particular order and after going through those differences, we’re going to give you a few tips to help you choose the right case for you.

Get the LifeProof Fre Now!
Get the LifeProof Nuud Now!

Difference #1 – The Nuud has no screen protector

Nuud has no screen protector - LifeProof Fre vs. LifeProof Nuud - Waterproof iPhone 7 Case ComparisonThe obvious difference is that the LifeProof Nuud has no screen protector and the LifeProof Fre does. If screen viewability is a high priority, you might go with the Nuud. The Fre’s screen protector will diffuse the iPhone’s screen and if you’re picky, you might even notice the gap between the screen and the case. However, the higher edges on the Nuud reduces the chance that you’ll get to your control panel on the first try.

What do you go with? The nice glass feeling or the ability to turn on the flashlight right away?


Difference #2 – What happens if you fall?

Fre is safer for the iPhone - LifeProof Fre vs. LifeProof Nuud - Waterproof iPhone 7 Case ComparisonThe Fre can be attached to your body through a wrist strap which is great when you’re using iPhone 7 in compromising positions. You’re not going to lose your iPhone if you accidentally let go of the device.

In the same scenario, the iPhone 7 in the LifeProof Nuud will do it’s own thing. Basically, if you trip and fall with the Nuud, your iPhone is going to fly away. If you trip and fall with the LifeProof Fre and you’re using a wrist strap, your iPhone isn’t going anywhere.

We can’t think of many situations where we’d want our LifeProof Nuud to go flying off and doing it’s own thing while we’re hiking or swimming.


Difference #3 – Wouldn’t you want a case that handles well?

Fre handles better - LifeProof Fre vs. LifeProof Nuud - Waterproof iPhone 7 Case ComparisonThere is a big handling difference between the LifeProof Fre and LifeProof Nuud. Previous versions of the Nuud handled quite similar to the Fre but over the last few iterations, the Nuud has taken its own design.

For the iPhone 7, LifeProof opted for a smooth-backed design. The back feels like a smooth, polished river rock. And it handles like a smooth, polished river rock. Now the edge of the case is quite rubbery which is nice so the handling isn’t completely compromised.

On the other hand, the LifeProof Fre has a lot of texture and handles very well when wet.

Difference #4 – One is safer for your iPhone 7

One is tougher - LifeProof Fre vs. LifeProof Nuud - Waterproof iPhone 7 Case ComparisonThe last difference is the protection that each case offers your iPhone. Both the LifeProof Nuud and LifeProof Fre for the iPhone 7 are drop-rated and waterproof to 6ft or 2 m. On paper, they look like they would provide the same level of protection but the Fre is tougher.

Why? Because it comes with a screen protector. Which is quite tough as we found out with the iPhone 5 and 6 versions of the case. For example, if you were to drop a LifeProof Fre, face first on a gravel parking lot, you’re iPhone is going to be fine. The same test with the LifeProof Nuud would result in a $180 dollar screen replacement.

We will note that LifeProof use to include an optional screen protector for the Nuud but the iPhone 7 versions didn’t come with one.

How about the iPhone 7 sound and call quality?

From a sound perspective, the Fre sounded just a bit better but both cases will suffer a bit of muting, like every waterproof case out there. In general, you will be able to take calls with the case if you install it properly.

We can’t stress the fact that the sound coming from your iPhone in a LifeProof case is going to be far from perfect. In our quiet testing area, both cases muted the sound coming from the iPhone by at least 15%. Other environments will offer other distractions which will make it harder for you to hear the device.

Which LifeProof case should you get? Depends on what you want to do!

So which case should you get? If you go Nuud, you you aren’t as Fre. Why? Because you won’t be able to do as much with the Nuud. The exposed screen can’t take a face first drop onto an uneven surface like the Fre can.

We would get the Fre case if we knew we were going to be doing a lot of outside activities. Being able to keep our iPhone attached to us while we take pictures in precarious positions makes more sense to me. The Fre also provides the most protection between the two cases.

LifeProof Fre vs. LifeProof Nuud - Waterproof iPhone 7 Case ComparisonIn our opinion, the Nuud doesn’t make much sense. It is a tough, drop-rated case that exposes the part of the iPhone that breaks the easiest. It’s like having a window less bullet proof car? It’s like having a band aid with a hole cut out where the wound is?

Why would we get the Nuud? The most obvious reason would be the lack of screen protector. We’re guessing you’re a person that can’t stand having anything between your finger and the iPhone but still need the protection. If this is you, the Nuud is going to be better than the Dog and Bone Wetsuit.

The other thing would be the actual texture of the case. For our scoring system, we rate how much texture a case has to gauge it’s one-handed usage. Now the back of the Nuud is incredibly slick but that’s on purpose. We know Otterbox, which owns LifeProof, also does this with the clear Otterbox Symmetry. It feels VERY smooth, it feels like a polished piece of plastic. The longer we used the Nuud, the more we appreciated that design feature.


Have questions for our LifeProof Fre vs. LifeProof Nuud – Waterproof iPhone 7 Case Comparison? Please ask them below, or on our Facebook page or our About Us page. To stay up to date on everything we’re doing, check out our Twitter and Instagram feeds!

LifeProof Fre vs. LifeProof Nuud. Which is the best waterproof iPhone 7 case?
LifeProof Fre vs. LifeProof Nuud. Which is the best waterproof iPhone 7 case?

LifeProof Nuud vs. LifeProof Fre. Which waterproof case should you get? We've come up with four differences to help you see the difference between these two products.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. LookForAndrew

    March 11, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    What might be a good idea in these reviews is to also include how the companies handle failures of their cases and what customers can do in these instances.

    LifeProof markets their product as protection from the elements, but does not actually protect the phone. I submitted a warranty claim due to a defect in the Fre that I will note in a second, and they stated they do not cover damage to the phone. What? Then why did I buy the case?

    I still buy and recommend their cases, but I now tell people to contact any company that makes these claims to find out what they do if there is a failure.

    The specific issue with the Fre is the small window on the back allowing you to see the Apple symbol. Over time the glue that holds this window to the plastic casing breaks down. A lot of this is from the charging of the battery going hot-cold-hot-cold. This window also comes apart from people who hold and play with their case in certain ways.

    The end result is that the separation now lets in all the materials the case is supposed to protect against. Like water. Note that the separation of this window in a multitude of cases is not noticeable unless you are constantly removing the case and inspecting.

    This was the cause of damage to my wife’s iPhone which they only offered to replace their faulty case.

    This does not happen with the Nuud as the design as you note is different. I currently still use the Nuud on 3 of my iPhones and on my iPads.

    I hope this helps others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top