If you’re looking for a secure and thin rugged case, both the Seidio Obex and the LifeProof Fre are the top choices to protect your iPhone.
The Seidio Obex and LifeProof Fre are both tough iPhone 5 cases that can provide protection without added bulk usually found in regular rugged cases. The Seidio Obex received a score of 4 Eh?’s out of 5 on the MobileReviews-Eh scale while the LifeProof Fre received a score of 4.3 Eh?’s out of 5. The LifeProof Fre received a slightly higher score because the plastic case showed less scuffing after four to five drops compared to the Seidio Obex.
The Seidio Obex case for the iPhone 5 is waterproof, passes the IP68 rating which means it is dust proof and protects the phone even when submerged in six feet of water. The Seidio Obex can also be dropped from a height of six feet and provides full access to the whole screen. Rubber plugs are provided for headphone and USB ports ensuring the case is completely waterproof. Seidio is a company that designs mobile accessories for many different devices and the Obex case is the Seidio’s first waterproof iPhone case.
The LifeProof Fre is a waterproof, dirt-proof, snow-proof and shock proof iPhone 5 hard case, all features that are promoted within the LifeProof brand. LifeProof designs cases to protect smartphones and tablets from the environment.
Both cases are good examples of a lightweight, thin rugged iPhone case. The LifeProof Fre is consistent in shape and size throughout the iPhone case.
While the Seidio Obex varies in thickness in parts of the case, the tapering on the case makes the Obex feel smaller than the Fre. Both iPhone cases are thin enough to fit within a suit jacket pocked while maintaining the durability of a rugged phone case. They are the two lightest rugged iPhone cases MobileReviewsEh have ever tested.
Installation of phones into the cases are very similar. Both the Obex and the Fre require a coin to open the case and both cases have latches over the lightning port connectors.
The Seido Obex showed more wear and tear after being dropped four to five times than compared to the LifeProof Fre. The LifeProof Fre case is made of hard plastic, which handles the damage from testing a bit better. The rubber panel on the front of the case also minimizes the amount of scratching incurred by the case. Overall, we feel the Fre will wear better over a longer period of time.
Both iPhone cases are completely waterproof to a depth of six feet underwater up to 30 minutes and can be dropped from a height of six feet.
After several consecutive drop tests, the Obex came apart in some areas, whereas the Fre stayed together. The iPhone did not slip out of the Seidio Obex case though parts had to be snapped back together. The LifeProof Fre never came apart during these tests.
While both are completely waterproof iPhone cases, the Seidio Obex has weak plugs for the headphone and USB ports. The rubber plugs must be inserted completely if the phone is going to be submerged. The plugs can fall out of place easily and if lost, the case isn’t waterproof anymore. However, Seidio does include a spare set of plugs.
Both iPhone cases handle well. A stylus can easily be used with both cases to use the touch screen of the iPhone. The rounded edges on the front of the Seidio Obex case don’t get in the way of accessing the iPhone screen. The tapered edges on the back of the case makes the Seidio Obex case feel thinner than the LifeProof Fre.
If you’re looking for overall protection of a rugged iPhone 5 case without the bulkiness, the LifeProof Fre and the Seidio Obex can withstand everyday wear and tear but still thin enough to fit in your pocket.
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Full Review Video for the Seidio Obex iPhone case:
Full Review Video for the LifeProof Fre iPhone case: