LifeProof pioneered the waterproof, shockproof iPhone case in 2011 when the original LifeProof protected the iPhone 4/s from dropping it on the ground, smothering it in ketchup, mustard, and dirt only to successfully rinse it off in a fish tank. We were had then and watched as the company grew into an iPhone case powerhouse which drew copycats and eventually an acquisition by OtterBox last year.

I’ve had LifeProof’s new Fre iPhone 6 case since it debuted last month and have put it through all kinds of torture tests, most notably my three-year-old who likes to watch Ben and Holly in the bath tub and six-year-old who sees no problem sled riding and skiing with a smartphone (Read: GPS tracking device).

The bottom line?  It continues to protect from everything. Lots of drops, dirt, water, snow. Pretty much anything…

A reader even left her Lifeproof-ed iPhone 5 on top her car, drove off and heard it slide down the back of her car and onto the road at highway speeds. She almost didn’t go back for it knowing it was totally destroyed. When she did find it, it was working perfectly. Sure, the Lifeproof case was a mess, but the iPhone was almost entirely unscathed.

We hear stories like this all the time about LifeProof cases which back up the credo “Complete confidence — total freedom” – a set it and forget it type of case for your expensive iPhone investment.

That said, this case does have a few shortcomings. One, it doesn’t feel quite as elegant as other iPhone cases including LifeProof’s own Nuud line (available for iPhone 5/s as low as $30, coming to iPhone 6/Plus next year) in the front especially. The waterproof plastic is a step down from the glass you are used to and the sound from the top speaker is muffled slightly. It also has narrow input ports for the headphone jack and Lightning connector. Apple gear works great but if you have an iPhone 6 dock or third party cable, you might need to thin it out a little bit first.

I do like that the screw plug for the headphones is attached to the side and volume/mute buttons are guarded. Overall, this case is well thought out. Even taking it off and putting it back together has improved from previous/competing models which often take a lot of pressure and time to put on properly. The Fre was on my phone within a minute of getting the box and comes off in seconds.

Overall, it is simply the best waterproof, shockproof case available for iPhone 6 out there. 2015 will bring the Nuud case which I’m expecting to like more as well as Griffin’s survivor, Otterbox Preserver and many more.

Pros: 

  • Thinner than ever (with the help of the thinner iPhone 6 obv.)
  • Totally waterproof to 6 feet for 1 hour. Very shock resistant. Dust? Snow? No problem.
  • Camera, volume and Touch ID work fine.

Cons:

  • Headphone and Lightning charging ports often require specialized smaller cables
  • Plastic front looks cheaper and smears easier than I’d like…

You can pick up the LifeProof Fre at Lifeproof for $80 or at Amazon where it is available in 3 colors. 

The iPhone 6 covered with LifeProof Fre compared to Galaxy S5 Active waterproof:

water-proof-iPhone 6 next to Galaxy S sport

IMG_3325 IMG_3327

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Seth Weintraub's favorite gear