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LifeProof Nuud for iPhone 7 Review

Despite the strong competition, LifeProof is still the go to case for rugged everyday waterproof protection. This latest iteration of the LifeProof Nuud has been completely redesigned for the iPhone 7 and improved upon in almost every way.  People turn to LifeProof for ultimate protection because they're drop proof, dirt proof, snow proof, and most importantly water proof. This is the LifeProof Nuud for iPhone 7. LifeProof was kind enough to send me these cases for review, and in this review we'll put them through their paces to make sure they live up to the LifeProof name.

Now I know what you're thinking “the iPhone 7 is water resistant.  Why would I buy a water resistant case?”  However, if the iPhone’s water resistance fails and the iPhone is water damaged for any reason, it's not covered under Apple's warranty. If you're constantly in an environment where your phone might come in contact with water, having this extra protection is a really good idea.

The primary feature of the Nuud series is that it makes your phone water resistant without covering your screen.  Since the screen is glass and the water is blocked from touching any other portion of your phone, it doesn't harm it in any way. The case consists of a front and back piece that snap together around the iPhone. All ports and buttons are protected but still useable.

I really like the feel of thIs case. There's a rubber strip that runs all around the outer edge. This helps with shock absorption and gives you better grip. Also, because the edges are rounded it doesn't feel as bulky as previous versions. And the new transparent back is beautiful.  I really like the suspended iPhone look.  And it’s functional as well since you’ll easily be able to see if your case has failed and water is inside.

The home button is covered by a thin membrane allowing TouchID to still work well.  The volume buttons and power button are one of my biggest complaints of the case because they’re very difficult to press.  LifeProof says their main focus with the buttons was durability and maintaining water resistance.  Because the front of the case comes right to the bottom of the screen, accessing Control Center can be a little tricky but is still doable.  

The case has a small toggle for activating the mute switch.  It works really well and my only complaint here is that there’s no visual indicator if the mute switch is activated.  I’ve also accidentally activated it a time or two because of how easy it is to use.

The Lightning port cover features a rubber gasket and snaps shut really tightly. Just be sure to push it shut from the center. Pushing it from the edge makes it impossible to close.

And since there's no headphone jack, there's no waterproof headphone jack adapter. If you want to use headphones in the water you're gonna have to go wireless.

To uninstall the case you'll need a tool since it snaps together so tightly. After opening the Lightning port cover use the included tool to pry each bottom corner open. Then work your way around the rest of the case. Be sure to not pull and force anything apart. Just keep working your way around the case with the tool until the case falls apart.

Now for the four proof tests and first up is drop proof.  LifeProof cases are military rated and they claim they can withstand a drop from 6.6’ or 2 meters.  I dropped my iPhone 7 to rock from chest height in the LifeProof Nuud twice.  The bottom and corner picked up some minor scratches.  Most waterproof cases separate upon impact.  Thankfully that didn’t happen with the Nuud case either time I dropped it.  Especially since one of those times it slid down the rock toward the water.  Dropproof?  Check

If you work in a dirty environment, being able to keep dirt and dust out is a must.  This case does that as well.  Now keep in mind that not having a screen protector built in means your screen is subject to scratches from dirt.  Dirtproof?  Check

Since the highs are over 70 degrees outside I don’t have any snow to test with.  So once again we resort to the handy Blendtec.  Keeping snow out is a breeze for this case.  On previous versions of this case the camera lens was recessed allowing snow to collect there and obstruct the camera.  Since the camera area is now larger and mostly flush, you don’t have to worry about that anymore.  The front camera is a lot more recessed though and will definitely get clogged with snow.  So beware if you plan on taking a lot of selfies on the slopes.  Snowproof?  Check

Now for the most important test, the waterproof test.  Afterall, that’s the reason most people would buy a LifeProof.  I threw this case in water multiple times and had no issues at all.  Is the case waterproof?  Well no, but it is water resistant and does a good job keeping water out under the right conditions.  If you work in a harsh environment where your phone may accidentally come in contact with water this case will serve you well.  If you’re looking for something to take in the pool or the lake however, particularly for underwater photography, then I wouldn’t get this case.  At the end of the day, the only thing that stands between your phone living or dying is a thin plastic membrane.  In that scenario I’d recommend the ProShot case for iPhone. Spoiler alert, it’s waterproof to 100’!

If you’ve used a LifeProof case before you know the call quality is poor at best.  Calls sound muffled and are hard to hear in noisy environments.  However, LifeProof says with the Nuud for iPhone 7 call quality has been a big focus and this is the best call quality experience on an LifeProof case ever.  I have to agree with them.  After using the case for a couple of weeks I haven’t noticed any degradation in call quality or volume in either direction.  

Previously I would only recommend LifeProof cases to people who worked in harsh environments and required that level of protection.  With the enhancements of the LifeProof Nuud though I can definitely see this being a daily case for a lot more people.  With it’s improved call quality, the four proofs of protection, and the beautiful new design I can confidently say that I highly recommend the LifeProof Nuud for iPhone 7.  Just don’t take it swimming in a lake or pool.  There are better cases for that.

If you have any questions that I didn’t cover feel free to leave those in the comments.

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