This case has been around for a while, and frankly, I’ve always been a no-case kind of guy. But when I found myself not being as careful with my now almost two-year old iPhone 5, I thought that maybe I should just go all the way. Maybe I should get ahold of one of the more protective cases out there, without going off the deep end and getting something would provide more protection than I need.

What I ended up with is one LifeProof Nüüd for the iPhone 5/5s. It’s not a new concept, but these cases claim to do a great job of protecting your device from all the potential hazards in life: from dirt and mud, to a pool full of water. But this isn’t a product description, it’s a review. After a week of using this nifty case, I think I have some worthwhile thoughts on it. My phone is typically all-nude all-the-time, so forcing myself to use a case for the first time this week left me with some thoughts.

The packaging

Apple does a great job of making sure the experience people have with their products starts with the packaging, and LifeProof makes an attempt at the same. Opening the product presents you with a card that outlines the quick and easy steps of installation, and every case comes shipped with a microfiber cloth for cleaning the device’s screen. You’ll also get a small headphone cable extender which lets the device stay waterproof with headphones attached.

But something that’s unique about the Nüüd case is that LifeProof even includes a dummy iPhone for testing to make sure the case is truly water proof. The company tests every case themselves prior to shipping, but it makes sense that they would provide a way for customers to test and make sure the case lives up to its bold claims. Other LifeProof models don’t need to include this dummy, because they are completely closed-off and you can test them by simply dunking the case in water for 30 minutes, opening it up, and making sure the inside is dry.

Zero screen interference

The Nüüd model actually leaves the entire front face open, letting you touch the screen itself even when the case is on. For me, this is one of the case’s biggest high points, and one of the biggest gripes I’ve had about previous super-protective cases. I have never used a screen protector — I don’t like anything getting between my finger and the capacitive touch sensor because, when something does, the screen often loses accuracy in terms of detecting taps.

Giving the case the dunk test in the kitchen sink was a slightly more scary experience than it would have been with a fully-enclosed case like the LifeProof Frē, because the water truly does in fact touch the phone’s front glass and you have to trust that the seal is tight enough to keep water out. But after I got over my gut telling me not to do it, dropping the phone in 4 inches of water for 30 minutes left it running perfectly fine. You can’t really control the phone when it’s under water, and using the phone when the screen is wet triggers a ton of sporadic taps, but that’s the nature of the capacitive screen and not on the fault of the case.

But it’s still bulky

As someone who never used a case previous to this one, I still found the bulk of this case to be just a bit much. My gripes about wanting to be able to interact with the devices actual screen are remedied with the Nüüd, and it definitely has a slimmer profile than most of LifeProof and Otterbox’s many offerings, but it was hard to keep the phone in my pocket — especially as a relatively skinny dude who wears slimmer-profile jeans.

Bottom line

Overall, I’m actually very happy with this case. It’s a little bit bulky, but as I definitely want to sell my iPhone 5 sometime in the next few months so I can grab the iPhone 6, it’s probably best that I protect this device as much as I can to preserve its value. I’ve enjoyed being able to use my iPhone for the last week without worrying about drops and bumps, and I don’t have to sacrifice being able to touch the screen directly with this case. And to boot, it has a relatively slim profile that gives me just the right amount of protection with the fewest number of compromises.

If you’re sporting the iPhone 5s, which also works with this case, Touch ID should work perfectly fine (but I obviously was unable to test this).

You can get the LifeProof Nüüd at the company’s official website, or on Amazon for the same price. If you’re looking for the same profile but in iPad flavors, be sure to check out our hands-on with the iPad Nüüd.

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23 Responses to “Review: LifeProof Nüüd is just the right amount of protection for your iPhone 5/5s”

  1. One serious flaw: I have tested multiple Nüüd cases on multiple iPhone 5S phones on both AT&T and Verizon in multiple locations. With the case on, people cannot hear me. Without the case, people hear me perfectly. There is clearly an issue with either sound or cellular reception with this case.


    • Stephen Hall says:

      I personally haven’t experienced this problem. I was on the phone for an hour yesterday, actually. Wouldn’t doubt there’s something going on here, but I personally haven’t experienced it.


    • Darin Walker says:

      My wife has this case. I am pretty confident there is a small rubber cover to stop water from damaging the mic and speakers. That is why things sound muffled. Don’t want it water proofed? Remove that cover.


    • thebums66 says:

      Under accessibility you have Phone noise cancellation. If you turn that off it’ll help keep the rear microphone from hearing the sound within your case. If somebody’s listening to you and it sounds like you’re breaking up that’s because of the rear microphone picking up your voice inside the case. If you turn that off it should help. The other thing is, if you don’t have your phone up against your ear the proximity sensor can sometimes cause an issue. The last thing is, every once in a while take the compressed air can you use to clean your keyboard and blow from the inside out through the microphone ports on the bottom of the case. If you case ever gets wet they can clog up slightly and cause a muffled sound. Other than that, it’s the best case for the money…. and cheaper than a new phone.


    • Try removing the phone from the case and making sure to place the bottom in FIRST while aligning the case speaker grill with those on the phone. I found that not doing the install this way almost always causes the muffled speaker issue.


  2. this case is no good. i paid eighty dollars for it and after a week it started getting water inside while in the shower. not even submerged.for a 600 phone. thats is not reassuring to me.


  3. I have this case for about 4 months now for my iPhone 5s.Sometime, I went swimming in the pool few times with my iPhone with this Lifeproof case nuud and took some footage for 30secs to 1 min footage, go under up to 5 feet in the pool using the Ultrakam Pro app.(make sure I had to switch it into airplane mode for safety reason just in case I wouldn’t get a electric shock if someone called me) and I’m glad nothing bad happen to my phone and the footage came out really good.This Lifeproof case it reminds me of the GoPro camera with a waterproof skeleton case that can sub-merge into the water.


  4. I hate it! It’s too thick and bulky. It totally spoils the aesthetic of the iPhone. Only a total klutz should buy this monstrosity.


  5. Personally, I’m not a fan at all of the nüüd case. I’m still using it now simply because I can’t afford another and there’s not really any point in using one now that my phone has shattered. I may have gotten bad luck but I took my phone to the beach and tested it out in the water and the phone was completely ruined and cost me $320 to get replaced. I got a replacement case from nuud as well because my case was still in warranty, but then after only having the second case for a month or so I had somebody jump on me (i’m in year 12) and I landed on the side with my phone in it. When I took the phone out it had a spider web shatter from right near the home button. I personally wouldn’t recommend getting this case.


  6. quickmix says:

    Best Case. Im using it since 2 Months!


  7. Anyone have issues regarding the Touch ID accuracy with the Fré or the Nüüd? I got the Fré as a gift and my ability to authenticate my fingerprints dropped down as much as 3 out of 10 times. I tried registering my fingerprints before the case was on as well as after, and tried cleaning the thin Home Button skin, but I can’t seem to make it worth using.


    • I had inconsistent results with Touch ID until Apple pushed out their last two updates to iOS. Before the updates I was about 3 out of 10 like you, then after the updates it improved to 9 out of 10 and mostly perfect. Usually if it doesn’t recognize now it’s because (no joking) I’m holding it wrong. When I registered my thumbprint, with the case on, I made sure to register as if I was picking up the phone and holding it how I normally would.


  8. One thing the review forgets to mention are the accessories you can also use to extend the usefulness of the iPhone and case. I have a 5s with the nuud case along with the mount for my mountain bike and also a Go Pro style mount for the dash in my car. I’m able to click my phone into these accessories so they are in easy view when needed. I have been using Lifeproof since the 4s and absolutely love the case. I’ve taken a lot of underwater video and pictures and haven’t had any leaks yet. Yes, it makes the phone a little thicker and longer but you really can’t get this much protection in anything thinner!!


  9. andrewh3nry says:

    I recently bought this case for my 5s on Dec 27, and I just realized this lick starting to form in the upper left handcorner of the screen. I took off the case to get a closer look only to realize my phone was bent due to the pressure of the case. A few days prior I did notice that the screen was being pushed or bent because the color of the screen was different. I realized that it was because of the case was tight. Now that the case is off, if I lat my phone flat in the back the top left hand corner of the phone is lifted, and looking at it in the side, you can see a slight curvature on the device. I was just mainly wondering of anyone else has this problem as well, or close to it.


  10. Case isn’t bulky as others and very light. My opinion it’a Lifeproof cases are overpriced.


  11. Gish (@Gish) says:

    Not bad. The iPhone 6 Plus nuud case is out now. If you’re keen to see an unboxing, here’s the video.


    • Just a got a brand new Nuud case at the same day I bought an Iphone6. All safety tests were performed as per LifeProof instructions and passed. Did it Twice. Did 40 min of stand up paddle and in the end just got out of the board into the water for a few seconds. Got home and noticed the phone was not turning on. Put it into the power, nothing. Removed it out of the case and realized it was completely wet. Took the phone to apple representative in my town and was informed phone had no repair. Got in touch with LifeProof, all pictures sent and they realized something was wrong with my case and a new one is on the way. For what? I don’t thrust their products anymore. Never! Who is going to pay for my new Iphone? LifeProof….stay away!


  12. bigboylx says:

    Bought the case on this website in March 2015, and the case let water in and my IPhone is now damaged. I trusted a producted that is not reliable. Made a compliant and Lifeproof is now claiming that the case they sent me is not original and they are perplex. They refuse to repair my Iphone that is damaged because of their product. They claim that the iPhone repair is not cover on the warranty. This product is two risky to be trusted on a $900 iPhone.