The Lifeproof Next has something for everybody!
Lifeproof Next Review - Not quite waterproof but still quite tough
Thank you for making the a LifeProof Next case. We personally like it a lot and would chose Lifeproof Next between the Otterbox Pursuit any other day
despite Lifeproof scoring lower,
For our LifeProof Next review, we’ve given the case a score of 3.9 Eh’s out of 5 which is 0.1 lower than the 4.0 Eh’s out of 5 of the Otterbox Pursuit. From our perspective, the handling and wear and tear of the LifeProof Next is going to be an issue.
Design - The Next seems vaguely familiar
The LifeProof Next is a thin but wide case. The thinness helps with the handling of the iPhone in one hand but the width of the case is going to be an issue for the larger Plus-sized iPhones.
The LifeProof Next fits together quite well. The case follows the curvature of the iPhone which mean it sits well in your hand. The LifeProof Next weighs a bit more than your average case, But that’s to be expected since it offers way more protection than your average slim iPhone case.
One of our biggest gripes about the case is the fact that the LifeProof case will slide around like an air hockey puck. With that being said, most cases that slide around tend to handle poorly but LifeProof has included a rubber bumper around the edge of the LifeProof Next case which helps the handling greatly. The rubber bumper with the solid fit makes us feel confident that our iPhone will be safe.
The second gripe we had about the LifeProof Next is the wear and tear it will incur over time. The case looks great out of the box but the clear back will show fingerprints easily and accidental drops will scuff the clear back. Which is a shame because a clean Next case just looks awesome.
Overall, the design is quite similar to the LifeProof Nuud for the iPhone 7’s. We have a feeling that LifeProof isn’t going to technically make a Nuud for the 8’s though you can use the 7 case on the 8 without an issue.
The LifeProof Nuud and LifeProof Next have the same slick, smooth, clear back and the rubber bumper around the edge of the iPhone. The LifeProof Next is a little thinner than the LifeProof Nuud but has the same width.
We were wondering what the fate of the LifeProof Nuud would be after reviewing the iPhone 7 version as we didn’t feel compelled to use it anywhere. The LifeProof Nuud might have been waterproof but you can’t take it swimming due to the lack of wrist strap attachment point. Our guess would be that LifeProof thought the same way as us and designed the LifeProof Next to have the best features of the LifeProof Nuud without the water protection.
Protection - How tough is the Next really?
The LifeProof Next is drop-rated of 2m or 6.6 ft and is suppose to block dirt, dust, snow + debris. Unlike the LifeProof Nuud, the LifeProof Next is not waterproof at all. But the LifeProof Next does come with several water resistant features which includes a seal along the front of the case and a seal along the camera cutout.
To test how good the LifeProof Next seal is; we took our iPhone 8, put on the LifeProof Next and dumped the iPhone into a sink filled with water. Within seconds, water had started to seep between the camera cutout and the lighting port. Now it wasn’t a full blown disaster. The LifeProof Next will actually reduce the amount of water reaching your iPhone. You may not think this isn’t going to help but it will make a difference if you accidentally drop it in salt water.
Next thing we tested was the fact that LifeProof claims the LifeProof Next blocks snow. We found some snow and tossed our iPhone with a LifeProof Next into it. We weren’t expecting anything to happen to the iPhone 8 or the case but it did occur to us that snow will eventually turn into water. And we know what water will do to the LifeProof Next.
When it comes to dust and dirt, we found out that the seals are doing a good job keeping larger particles like dirt out. When we tested for dust, the only solution we could come up with was to take some flour, put it in a Ziplock with an iPhone in it, shake it around and see if any flour got past the seals. Some flour were able to get past the seal.
When it comes to drop protection, we tested the LifeProof Next with an iPhone 8 in it and dropped it from over 6 ft. The iPhone is fine but each 6 ft drop resulted in the case coming apart slightly. This was the same issue we had with the LifeProof Nuud. So technically, the case does protect your iPhone, just make sure snap it back together after each accidentally drop.
Now if you’re still concerned about the drop protection, even if the front bumper was to come off, your iPhone is still going to be sitting in the back frame. It’s actually quite difficult to remove the iPhone out of the LifeProof Next.
When it comes to screen protection, the LifeProof Next provides above average protection between the case edge and the screen. LifeProof is able to do this because of the extra width of the case. When it comes to the type of screen protector, you need to go with a non-edge to edge screen protector.
The edges of the LifeProof Next will press against an edge to edge screen protector, causing it to pop off the iPhone. We have a Uolo 3D shield on a black iPhone and it doesn’t work with the LifeProof Next. We have a Rhinoshield Impact Screen protector on the white iPhone 8 and it fits the LifeProof Next well.
With all things considered, the LifeProof Next is going to do a decent job keeping bad things from your iPhone 7 or 8.
Functionality - The iPhone actually sounds good
In terms of accessing your iPhone in the LifeProof Next, our only concern is the mute switch being tougher to access. Given the thinness of the case, we’re not really sure what else LifeProof could have done. The iPhone 7 version of the LifeProof Nuud also had this tiny mute switch.
The buttons on the LifeProof Next are quite nice and have a good response. The cutout for the lighting port is big enough for even the largest cable that I have, the old Amazon Basics cable.
The LifeProof Next doesn’t get in the way of the camera and using the flashlight will light up the entire case which might be handy for people who use the flashlight as a call alert.
Both the Otterbox Pursuit and LifeProof Next are quite similar. Both are a notch below a waterproof case but definitely tougher than your average slim case. We’ve done a full review of the Otterbox Pursuit so check it here for more info.
Both cases have a seal around the screen and camera cutout. The seal on the LifeProof Next looks a little cleaner than the foam on the Otterbox Pursuit. Both cases have dust filters for the speakers so most of your iPhone is going to be protected.
Now, we personally like the LifeProof Next better because of how it looks. The Otterbox Pursuit looks like a typical Otterbox case with it’s hard, textured plastic and TPU while the LifeProof Next looks sleeker. Sure it doesn’t handle as well. But the smoothness of the case is on purpose. Lots of cases have smooth backs but there’s always a bit of texture and it feels like the manufacturer is trying to solve the handling problem but fails to do so. LifeProof just said, it's going to be smooth. And so it’s smooth. It feels quite nice.