Over the last few weeks I’ve been testing out Lifeproof’s most robust iPhone X case, the FRĒ. With a slim and sleek design this case provides great protection without comprising the iPhone X’s form factor. Read on for our full review.
I’ve shied away from using Lifeproof cases in the past as they’ve felt too bulky to me. However, the Lifeproof FRĒ for iPhone X has turned that perception around 100%.
Without adding hardly any bulk or weight, FRĒ delivers a great amount of protection for active lifestyles.
- Submersible up to 2 meters (6.56 feet) for one hour
- Survives drops from 2 meters (6.56 feet)
- Sealed for water, dirt, snow, and debris protection
- 360-degree with built-in screen cover
- Shields ports, mic, and speakers
- Only weighs 1.5 ounces (43g)
Materials & build quality
FRĒ is made out of plastic and rubber. While the case on its own doesn’t feel very substantial, once you have your iPhone X in it, it feels very sturdy. On the inside of the front piece of the case there is a strip of rubber that surrounds the entire edge of the iPhone X’s perimeter. This rubber reinforcement is no doubt what helps provide FRĒ with 6-foot drop protection.
Lifeproof doesn’t currently make its NUUD model for iPhone X which is its screen-free case. FRĒ includes a built-in screen protector. While some may prefer to be touching the actual glass of the display, the screen protector has its advantages.
FRĒ comes in six colors: Night Life (black/green), Drop In (gray/green), Wipeout (blue/pink), Chakra (purple/pink), Banzai (blue/green), and Fire Run (red/gray). I test out the black/green Night Life version.
Lifeproof offers a 1-year warranty on its cases and a simple webpage to file claims for replacements if you run into any trouble.
With a 17-month old at home, I’m a bit more cautious with my iPhone X than my previous iPhones, but sometimes, my little guy still gets his paws on my device. With FRĒ I’ve been much more relaxed when he inevitably gets a hold of it and drops it here and there.
I’ve also found it to be really nice for snow skiing and cycling. While iPhone X sports IP68 dust and water protection, FRĒ doubles the water-resistance depth to 2M and amount of submersible time to one hour.
One downside I’ve had to adjust to are the rubberized buttons for volume, the vibrate/ring side switch and the side button. After using my iPhone X without a case or with Apple’s silicone case for some time, the buttons with FRĒ are definitely harder to use. But I’ve gotten used to it.
Another slight downside is the screen protector. While I got used to the softer touch after being used to always tapping on solid glass, it’s actually a slight visual effect that throws me off a bit. There’s a slight shimmer I’ve noticed, particularly on apps with white backgrounds. It’s not a big deal, but something to be aware of.
I’ve found FRĒ to be easy to remove and reinstall without any tools. This is nice to be able to switch out cases for different occasions, and quickly have the option to throw on FRĒ when needed. The Lightning port door and housing is generous and will likely work with almost any cable, even bulky ones.
Another nice option for using FRĒ in various activities and environments is the assortment of LifeActiv accessories. These include a bike/bar mount, suction mount, armband mount, and belt clip. FRĒ also sports a lanyard post in the bottom right corner of the case for Lifeproof’s charging lanyards or otherwise.
Overall, I think FRĒ is a good value with solid protection, a slim design, and some nice optional accessories for flexibility. It’s an even better value right now as the case is 30% off on Amazon for $63, down from the regular retail price of $90. While I experienced a couple downsides like difficultly with button presses and the screen protector shimmer, on the whole it’s a fantastic case.