Lifeproof promises to protect your iPhone 4/4S from the hazards of life except of course fire, and theft. It’s waterproof so you can swim with it up to 6.
6 ft deep and the other proof includes shock, dirt, and snow proofing.
Having two kids – a preschool who always drop the iPhone, and a toddler who uses the phone as a teether – gave me the urge to get the Lifeproof. The waterproofing feature of the case together with the amazing camera on the iPhone 4S will allow me to take photos I wouldn’t dare to shoot with a regular case. So after thinking about it for weeks, I finally convinced myself and bought a Lifeproof at about $92 which is a bit expensive for a case.
At the store the sales lady tested the case, she placed the included microfiber cloth inside the Lifeproof put the front and back together, and place it underwater for several minute, but when we installed the phone I noticed an uneven gap at the lower side of the case between the front and back assembly, although it seems that the latches are locked in properly. I asked the lady if this is normal, and she told me that the gap should not be a problem as long as the latches latched. We then submerged the phone, and no water entered the case.
Day 1, was great! I let the kids play with it, the Lifeproof is totally “baby proof”. I was able to take it in the bathroom listen to music while taking a bath, and do several underwater video tests. The next day I noticed some dust between the screen protector and the phone, so I carefully disassemble the case, clean the interior, and use a blower to remove tiny dust then put them back together. I did not do the water test as I was confident about its watertight seal.
Later on that night, I put the iPhone with the Lifeproof in a bucket full of water as I take a leak. I then play music, but the music sounds muffled, and the back doesn’t vibrates as it normally does. Despite the muffled sound, the phone works fine, but when I open the charging port, I see water penetrated the case. I then removed the case, wiped the phone dry and while in panic mode I sucked out water from the docking port, speaker, mic, and headphone jack. The music is still muffled, my next step us to remove the battery. I looked for the screw driver I used to open my old iPhone 4, then I discovered
that the iPhone 4S uses new star shaped screws! I tested the camera, it still works but the photo is foggy, then I noticed that the inner part of the back camera is moist.
After several minutes the power button activates automatically, and when I shut it off, it then turns on all by itself. Feeling hopeless I placed the iPhone turned off inside a rice bucket under an inch of rice then sealed it up. I emailed Lifeproof Support, then checked the condition of the phone after several hours, it works fine, but the power button is still acting up. I then placed the phone deeper in the rice bucket for about 7 hours. In the morning, I was relieved to see that my iPhone 4S survived, and is working perfectly!
I already send a couple of email to Lifeproof Support for warranty claims, but still no response. Hopefully they’ll replace the case, since it is still less than seven days after purchase.
If you’ll ask me if I would still recommend the Lifeproof. Considering the advantage, and flexibility I get with the case and its line of accessories (armband, bike mount, belt strap).. Well, I’d still say yes. Just need to take extra caution when submerging the iPhone with it.
How to prevent Lifeproof from drowning your iPhone
- Always perform a 1 hour water test every time you disassemble the case before putting in your iPhone.
- Read this page completely and watch all of the videos posted on this page.
- Buy a star shaped screw driver so you can open your iPhone
4S in case the case fails.
- Learn how to remove the battery, so you can do it faster next time.
- Play music on your iPhone as you dip the Lifeproof with your iPhone in the water. If the sound doesn’t get muffled, and the Lifeproof’s back vibrates, then the case if completely water tight. Otherwise, remove the case immediately, wipe off the water, remove the battery, and place the phone in a bucket of rice sealed overnight to expel moisture.
The Lifeproof may be the perfect tough case, but it has its limitation. Some limitation are demonstrated on this Youtube video created by Snazzy Labs. Do not attempt to test its limit, and always keep yourself prepared for the worst case scenario.
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