LifeProof vs Otterbox or Alternatives?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Rhyno37, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. Rhyno37 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    Hey guys, I'm looking for a heavier duty case than my current magpul for my iPhone 5. I just got on the local volunteer fire department, and have found that I've been a but less careless with my phone. I also tend to get my hands dirty and greasy, and don't want to get that all over my phone. I've also noticed a few scratches in my screen. That being said, I'm preferably looking for a case with a built in screen protector and port covers, waterproof not necessary.

    Ive been looking at the Lifeproof Fré, Otterbox Preserver, and Defender. The waterproof cases would be nice because I could take my phone on fire calls without worrying about ruining it, but is not necessary. I tried the Fré before, and it seemed ok, audio quality and calls weren't the best and it is expensive. Screen feedback was good. Never tried the preserver. Tried the Defender before, it's pretty bulky so it'd have to be used with the belt clip, but it offers great protection. The screen response was pretty bad for me.

    Do y'all have any experience with these cases or other suggestions? Thanks
  2. SchneiderMan, Apr 25, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014

    SchneiderMan macrumors G3


    May 25, 2008
    Sounds to me like the Griffin Survivor case will suit your needs. And for $20, you can't go wrong. Or you can always get the Tough Armor case and put on a tempered glass screen protector if you want a slimmer protective case that will be more comfortable to use. That's a combination that I would suggest over the Survivor.
  3. rgctx macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2012
    Preserver - Overall quality is good, however for a $80-90 case i have found some issues, please remember Otterbox will warranty the product though.

    1. Built in Screen protector is "cheap", i have had mine for about 2 months now and its scratched from normal use.

    2. The rubber on some of the case has started to wear off, for instance the "rocker switch" button the rubber on that is worn down.

    3. I have not removed my case since install and have noticed dust inside under the screen protector, no idea how it got in there if this is supposed to be dust proof.

    4. The biggest issue, is NO HOLSTER. I have been searching and have been unable to find even a leather case you can put this case in. This is a heavy duty case so unsure why they didn't even bother making one.

    Lifeproof Fre , pass and get the Nud. Only issue i had with the Fre was the screen protector is CHEAP.

    Defender, great case for protection. New design however allows more dust to get inside the case.

    In terms of what to get ?

    Waterproof - Preserver or Nud
    Protection ? - Defender

    I wouldn't trust the Lifeproof as far as protection from falls, if you look at there Facebook you will notice how many people have cracked screens from were the case failed as drop protection.
  4. AE14 macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2013
    Philly Burbs
    I have a defender with a glass screen protector which eliminates the screen issues. Best of both worlds if you ask me.
  5. dekerna macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2009
    I tried the Lifeproof. I like the materials used by Otterbox. They are now the same company. Soon there wont be any more differences.
  6. Jalopybox macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2012
    Survivor and Lifeproof suffer from the sound being muted. Callers will struggle to hear you.
  7. mrayski macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2014
    I have the Lifeproof Fre and I haven't had any issues, and my phone is waterproof.
  8. gamecocksown macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2014
  9. maliu macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2010
  10. Southern Dad macrumors 68000

    Southern Dad

    May 23, 2010
    Shady Dale, Georgia
    I think the biggest thing you have to consider is will the iPhone get wet. There are many choices for shock protection but Lifeproof still leads the way in saving the sucker from a toilet drop.
  11. Retired Cat macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2013

    I bought a Lifeproof Fre (on sale for $60) and an Otterbox Preserver ($90) to evaluate for camping use. I'm keeping the Preserver and returning the Fre.

    The Fre was honestly terrible out of the box: the thin plastic felt flimsy, and the screen protector was awful (not flat against the screen, very uneven, grainy distortion). I had difficulty opening the charge port door, and even more trouble unplugging a lightning cable. To make matters worse, the audio quality from the speaker was rubbish. The only good thing I could say about the Fre was that the button feedback was generally good.

    The Preserver, on the other hand, is much better built. The plastic is heavier and more solid in hand. The back is completely protected (no stupid logo window, which I can't stand on most Otterbox and Lifeproof products). Coverings over the cameras and speakers look precisely manufactured. Speaker is so clear that it sounds as if the black membrane covering it isn't there. Screen protector is relatively flat against the glass and free of distortion. It's much easier to deal with the charge port. Yes, the Preserver is bulky compared to the Fre, but it's not clunky like a Defender. The membrane over the home button is the only thing that feels like it might be fragile. As soon as I snapped my iPhone into the Preserver, the case felt just right. $90 is kind of absurd money for a case, but I'm not regretting this purchase at all.
  12. Ti Rider macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2010
    If you just need a rugged case and not being waterproof isn't a deal breaker I highly recommend the Pelican Voyager - Every bit of the protection of an Otterbox Defender but without the bulk. It also comes with Pelican's lifetime warranty.

    If "waterproof" is a must the my only advice is to water test whatever case you get often. I had three "waterproof" cases suddenly fail without warning. While the idea of using a waterproof case every day sounds great, in practice the trade offs weren't worth it - not knowing if today was the day it would fail ruining my phone and the diminished sound quality (that gets worst over time esp. around saltwater). I went back to a rugged case and eventually found the Voyager.
  13. vulcanvillalta macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2014
    Even if the case I was using was guaranteed to be wate-proof, I still would not trust it. Accidents do happen, and (watertight) cases do break. But if you are in an environment that is highly aquatic, then I suppose you need a waterproof case... I guess my point is that you cannot fully trust the waterproof cases. They are just an added insurance.

    I use an otterbox commuter, and for the few times that it has had a little bit of rain on it, there has been no problem. Again, I'm not sure if you live in a highly aquatic area (I live in Miami) and I just think it is best to be abundantly careful. Water is a phone's kryptonite.
  14. Bellfam4 macrumors newbie


    Oct 9, 2015
    [QUOTE I wouldn't trust the Lifeproof as far as protection from falls, if you look at there Facebook you will notice how many people have cracked screens from were the case failed as drop protection.[/QUOTE]

    I witnessed my dads phone fall from the roof of his car at 70mph and there was hardly a scratch on his life proof fee case, the phone was in perfect working condition. Only thing bad about it is dust somehow gets in.
  15. ROLLTIDE1 macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2012
    I went with the Thule X5 and should have it in a couple of days
  16. kilcher macrumors 65816


    Jul 3, 2011
    I had an Otterbox Armor and LOVED it. A bit thick but indestructible. There are videos on YouTube of a kid throwing it out an upstairs window, running it through the washer, and running it over with a car.
  17. faded03cobra macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2014

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