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Technology Today - Lifeproof Nüüd iPhone January 2014
By Robert Sanborn

By now, you know that I worry about the elements getting to my iPhone and having upgraded to the latest Apple model, worry even more. For the past year, I have relied exclusively on the Lifeproof case to protect my old iPhone 4S and it was marvelous. At the beach, in the snow, out in the rain, the phone worked great, and I also got some great pictures. So with the new phone comes new fears of the elements. In looking over what is new from Lifeproof, www.lifeproof.com, they have two models available for my iPhone (and a ton of models for lots of other devices); the “fre” and the “nüüd”. 

The “fre” is based on the case I used for my old iPhone and so can recommend it in a flash; even without looking at it. The “nüüd” on the other hand, not only is something new, but it is an iPhone protection case that gives you direct access to the screen and the touch ID pad. Say what? Full touchscreen access and yet full protection from the elements. In fact, all of these cases are water tested at the factory, and pass the US Military standard STD 810-516 for shock and drop, as well as passing the international standard for Ingress Protection to withstand circulating talc for 8 hours and water immersion for one hour. Ok, this I had to try out.

Lifeproof Nuud Waterproof case

The package comes pretty much like it did last time in a nice packing container with a very cool design on the front. Slide out the plastic carrier for the case and you see beside it a waterproof six inch audio extension cable.  You will need that cable if you use headphones or any other device like the square credit card reader with your iPhone. Underneath the case is a cleaning cloth and a very small 44 page instruction booklet in both French and English. They also include an optional scratch protector for those not so brave, and surprisingly, a plastic iPhone test phone.
The instructions for assembling and testing your waterproof case are pretty simple. First to check the seals and the o-rings that will keep everything out of your phone. Then you put the case together with the cool plastic iPhone test unit, close up the charging door, make sure the audio plug is snug, and submerge under water for 30 minutes. Snapping the case together over the phone takes some looking at to make  sure the seals are snug all the way around but that is a good thing to do.

Lifeproof Nuud Case

Once you see no water inside, you can take the case apart by first opening the charging door and then using a coin in a slot at the lower right corner of the case. I like this method as it makes it easier to get the case opened.  Before installing your iPhone 5S, you need to unscrew the headphone jack, and then make sure your phone is clean. Use the enclosed cloth, clean the screen and lens and you are ready to put it all together.  Again, take a close look all around the case where the two halves meet to make sure that they are sealed together. There may be some gaps, just pop them together.

I like the look and feel of the case. A non-slip surface covers the front and most of the sides of the case which makes for easy handling and if you place the case face down on a table, it will not move at all. That is good as it protects the glass while keeping it stable.  I am not sure that I mind that the nonslip surface is not on the back of the case as I was used to laying the case face up on my dash when driving but without anything on the screen to protect it, laying it face down makes more sense so that is ok.

I like this case. A great screen, easy to use buttons means that you don’t have to push like mad to get the home screen, change volume, or turn the iPhone on or off. Most important is that I can go anywhere with my phone and not worry about the elements getting to it. For around $69, that is a ton of peace of mind.

Quibbles are few for the Lifeproof nüüd case are few. I am still up in the air whether I need the additional screen protector or not.  It also takes strong fingers to open the charging port door but that also is good news to know that nothing else can get in that way either. When assembling the case, or even handling while using, it is often easy to cover the camera lens with a smudge or print, again, make sure things are clean before you put it all together.

I do like seeing everything on the screen in nice bright colors. That is one of the things that made the iPhone so appealing. In testing it out, the volume and call level didn’t seem changed at all. In the past, one of the problems with other cases was that you couldn’t hear anything so this worked out just great. The photos taken with the case in place also came out very well in my testing both indoors and out.

I now have my one case that is waterproof, dirt proof, dust proof and especially what I need for this time of year, snow proof! And if you really need it, you can get a LifeJacket for it as well to keep it floating in the water. Check the website for all sorts of accessories.  I am also appreciating very much the ability to not have to type in my password. Even when I am stopped at a light, being able to just touch the fingerprint reader makes using the phone so much easier. You can get it for around $89. This Lifeproof nüüd case is definitely a keeper and highly recommended.

Winter Scene from the iPhone

Robert Sanborn

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