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REVIEW: Lifeproof Nd waterproof case!
REVIEW: Lifeproof Nd waterproof case!
Lifeproof has set the gold standard for extreme protection for your iPhone. Whatever Mother Nature (or, in my case, my two-year-old) throws at you, Lifeproof is there to keep your device safe and sound. My problem with water resistant cases has always been bulk and the need to cover my iPhones beautiful display in plastic. Enter the Lifeproof Nd. Supporting an exposed display and a sleek design while still providing a high level of protection, the Nd is cleverly designed with people like me in mind.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
Screen protector (optional)
IT LOOKS GOOD AND KEEPS MY iPHONE LOOKING (AND WORKING) GOOD!
The Nd is both beautiful and functional. Its outer shell is made from a rugged polycarbonate material that protects the faceplate and sides of your iPhone. This case's backplate is completely clear, providing a great view of your iPhone's beautiful rear casing. The top and bottom edges are covered in a rubberized material that not only helps protect against drops but also keeps your device still while its resting on your table, desk, nightstand, or wherever else your iPhone sleeps.
Rubberized covers protect the iPhones sleep/wake button, volume buttons, and ring/silent switch. Rugged plastic covers with rubber gaskets provide a tight seal around the lightning port and headphone jack. A clear, flexible material protects the home button while not interfering with Touch ID functionality. Unlocking my iPhone using Touch ID felt just as accurate and responsive as it does without a case. I found the ring/silent switch to be someone difficult to use. In my testing, it took a lot of force to switch between ring and silent and I had to keep reminding myself it had to be moved in the opposite direction--pushed back for ring; pulled forward for silent. I had less trouble with the other buttons but there was still some noticeable resistance.
My favorite feature of the Nd is that when I put my finger to my screen I'm actually touching my phones screen, not a plastic cover cluttered with air bubbles. Cheap screen covers have been my top complaint with waterproof cases in the past and the reason why I never used them. Hats off to Lifeproof for finally realizing that the glass on the iPhone is, in itself, waterproof! That said, the Nd includes an optional screen cover in the box for additional protection from scuffs and scratches.
SIZE DOES MATTER!
The ultra-thin form factor of the 6 and 6s series of iPhones presents a difficult challenge for case makers. How do they protect the device while preserving its slim and sleek form factor? For a waterproof case, the Nd does a pretty good job. The iPhone 6s Plus version that I tested is 12mm thick, about 4.7mm thicker than the 6s Plus alone. While the Nd naturally adds some bulk it was still comfortable to hold one-handed. I definitely noticed my iPhone was wearing a case but the added bulk was manageable. Then again, I have gigantic hands so maybe the size isn't as big a deal for me.
HOW DOES IT SOUND?
Waterproof cases have been in an endless battle for sound quality. They are designed to create an air tight seal around your device but sound inherently requires air because, well, physics. Lifeproof has made a lot of progress and the Nd offers up some pretty robust sound compared to the competition by creating a pocket of air in between the back of your iPhone and the case. Call quality is still slightly muffled but it's much better than what I expected. Furthermore, the callers on the other end of the line had no complaints when I placed a few tests calls with the Nd and while going commando (my iPhone, not me). I'm quite happy with sound quality, especially when comparing the Nd to my previous experiences with waterproof cases.
CAN IT SURVIVE HURRICANE HARRISON?
When it comes to durability testing, I look no further than Harrison, my two-year old son. He is the king of destroying things. After some preliminary underwater testing on my kitchen counter, we set outside and I handed my iPhone over. Harrison put my precious iPhone through rounds in his water table and his sandbox (and dropping it a few times along the way). The Nd took everything he could throw at it. Using my usual Apple silicone case my iPhone would have been completely destroyed but after several minutes of being completely submerged in water and completely buried in sand, my iPhone was unscathed. It had survived Hurricane Harrison.
The Lifeproof Nd is a sleek, rugged, waterproof case that does a great job balancing function and style. I absolutely love the direct finger to screen contact it offers. The Nd isn't cheap. The 6s Plus version I tested retails for $99.99 but other models are less expensive based on your device. Nonetheless, it's a small investment for the amount of protection it provides.
Direct finger to screen contact
Sound is slightly muffled
Bulky (compared to going commando)
Learn more about the Lifeproof Nd or, better yet, pick one up at www.lifeproof.com.