Product Comparisons

LifeProof Fre vs. LifeProof Nuud – iPhone Cases

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LifeProof produces iPhone cases for iOS devices. At MobileReviews-Eh.ca, we’ve tested various Fre’s and Nuud’s for iPhones, iPad Minis and regular sized iPads and the results are always the same. LifeProof iPhone cases rock despite the fact that some might fight that the cases feel a little cheap. What we’ve found is that the materials that Lifeproof uses in their cases last longer and hold up against better than most other cases.

LifeProof Fre vs. LifeProof Nuud (iPhone 5/5S)

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Now from our perspective, the biggest difference between the LifeProof Fre and the LifeProof Nuud is the screen usability. The LifeProof Nuud offers unrestriced access to the glass touch surface of your iPhone whereas the LifeProof Fre has a plastic screen protector that covers the entire touch surface. So the question really is, do you like the touch screen of your iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S that you would hate to have it covered?

At MobileReviews-Eh.ca, we base our reviews on actual usage. Every video that we produce is based a product that we’ve used on a daily basis. We’ve come up with our own scoring system, the Eh? Rating System, to provide you, the reader/viewer, a consistent way to compare cases that you’re interested in. For the LifeProof Fre, we scored it at 4.3 Eh’s out of 5 and its one of the highest rated cases that we’ve used. The LifeProof Nuud scores a bit lower as it isn’t as the screen usability suffers a bit because of the lack of screen protector, The Eh? Rating Score is 4.1 Eh?’s out of 5. We’ll elaborate on that below.

In terms of Design (which comprises of Weight/Builk, Ease of Installation and Build Quality), the LifeProof Fre and LifeProof Nuud score almost the same. The biggest difference between the two cases from a Design perspective is that the LifeProof Nuud is slightly thicker than the LifeProof Fre and that’s due to the thicker front panel that hides the waterproof o-ring for the touch screen. Both Lifeproof iPhone cases are fairly light, especially when compared to other rugged cases.

Installation of both cases is quite simple as you have to place a coin between the bottom and top parts of the case and twist. There aren’t any fancy latches or screws to install. For both of our cases, we’ve taken them apart dozens of times (due to all the videos that we’ve shot) and the cases maintain their shape.

The cases also takes drops fairly well as the rubber bumper absorbs most of the impacts. As we mentioned above, the LifeProof iPhone cases are deceptively light but offer decent protection and the back panel of both cases seem to take wear and tear very well.

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Both the LifeProof Fre and the LifeProof Nuud iphone cases offer waterproofing up to 6.6ft and shock resistance up to 6.6 ft as well. Now, we’re sure that you’re able to figure that out from reading the technical specs on their website but we can assure you, that the numbers that LifeProof uses are absolutely true. We’ve done both drop tests and water tests for both iPhone cases and we can tell you with great confidence that your iPhone will be safe in these cases.

One of our viewers asked us question regarding how waterproof the LifeProof iPhone cases were after taking them apart about 1/2 dozen times. We did a quick test and we can assure you that if you are using a LifeProof case for special occasions (i.e. going on vacation) the case will protection your device after many installations.

Now the last thing we’ll mention is that both of these cases are fully sealed from both dust and snow

The Functionality category is the one that offers the biggest differences between the LifeProof Fre and LifeProof Nuud. As we mentioned above, the biggest difference between the two cases is the screen protector. The LifeProof Fre has one built in whereas the LifeProof Nuud does not (it does come with a optional screen protector which is one of the best that we’ve used.)

With the LifeProof Fre iPhone case, accessing all the menus of your iPhone is quite simple. With the introduction of iOS 7, swiping from the bottom of the iPhone brings up the Command Center which is a handy function that allows you to access a variety of features found with the Settings of iOS 7. The screen protector on the LifeProof Fre allows you to easily swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the Command Center.

Accessing this feature is a little more difficult with the LifeProof Nuud iPhone case as the lip between the screen of the iPhone and the case is about 1/4 inch which makes accessing the Command Center of iOS 7 a little more difficult. We’re not saying it can’t be done but it’s going to take a bit more effort to push your “thumb meat” between the case and the screen to access this time-saving iOS 7 feature.

In terms of view-ability of the two LifeProof cases, the Nuud comes out on top given that there is no screen protector (there is an optional one you can install). Now, some of our viewers have complained about a “rain-bowing” effect from the LifeProof Fre cases. We’ve come across it with the various Fre cases that we’ve used but it doesn’t bother us from a day-to-day usage. We have noted that there is less “rain-bowing” on newer Fre cases.

The last thing we’ll mention is that the LifeProof Nuud is about $10 more than the LifeProof Fre for the iPhone. These cases aren’t particularly cheap as the LifeProof Fre starts at about $79.99 but surely that’s a small price to pay when compared to a new iPhone?

With all that being said, you can’t go wrong with a LifeProof case. They’re well built, provide great day-to-day protection of your iPhone and aren’t too bulky. At MobileReviews-eh.ca, we can say with confidence that both of these cases are worth the higher price tag.

Full review of the Lifeproof Fre Case for the iPhone 5 – click here

Full review of the Lifeproof Nuud Case for the iPhone 5 – click here

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Liz B.

    June 3, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    How can I tell whether a FRE case for iPhone 5c was manufactured after March 2014? My local Verizon Wireless store claims there’s no way to tell whether the cases they’re currently selling were made before or after.

    • Aaron Ho

      June 3, 2014 at 10:45 pm

      I don’t think you’ll have to worry about the 5C since it was the first of the “C” series of phones. The problem with the 5S cases is that LifeProof used the backs from the 5’s for the 5S’s.

  2. Sarah

    November 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Does the finger print ID work for both?

  3. Loren Kennell

    June 11, 2015 at 12:08 am

    The nuud cases come with the optional screen protector which isn’t an anti shock one (which is thicker)….what if you put an antishock screen protector on with the nuud case would it still make is water tight or is this not recommended? Would like to hear your thoughts on this or if anyone has done this before.

    • Aaron Ho

      June 12, 2015 at 1:53 am

      If the case closes, it will probably stay waterproof but it might come apart easier if dropped. We tried a thicker screen protector with our Nuud’s for the 6 Plus and it didn’t work out. https://youtu.be/E5IGIHEcqU4

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