TouchID-compatible and surprisingly lightweight waterproof cover is great for hiking, camping, festivals and monsoon travel
It gives you hours and hours of music during long journeys, you devour entire novels on it, and it probably helps you check-in on FaceBook when you arrive somewhere (anywhere) worth boasting about, but phones and travel don’t always mix. TravGear has been on a constant search for the most travel-proof phone case for sometime, but they always seem to be a few steps behind the latest features. Not so the LifeProof frē.
The key feature on the LifeProof frē isn’t that it can be submerged two metres underwater, but that its function button – though covered by a thin transparent film – is Touch ID-compatible. For anyone who’s well used to simply putting their thumb over the function button to skip through the four-digit security process, having to abandon that every time you take a trip is a pain. Especially since you’re likely using the iPhone’s mapping while on your travels – and constantly having to enter that code.
As well as being able to rouse your iPhone 5S without codes, the LifeProof frē is waterproof, drop proof, dirt proof and snow proof. Using the thinnest transparent film we’re yet to see, the LifeProof frē weighs a mere 36g, and is a cinch to put on; just insert the bottom of the phone in the case then click the top cover on. It is, however, much tricker to get off.
The usual boast of it meeting ‘military standards’ for shock and impact protection are overdone, but appear to hold true, while the IP-68 waterproof rating certainly is. A key feature here is also one of its annoyances; the headphones slot is completely closed by a screw-in plug. Once unscrewed, it hangs to the side on a tag, allowing a six-inch adaptors to be screwed into place. Headphones can then be attached to the end go that cable. A faff, but worth it.
Lightweight & functional
Allowing access to both the camera and flash on the back – as well as including a frankly pointless window to display the Apple logo – the LifeProof frē puts mould buttons over all of the iPhone’s controls, so there’s zero loss in functionality. Easy to use and offering maximum protection, the LifeProof frē is one of the most functional – and easily the most lightweight – iPhone 5 and 5S covers around for camping, hiking and travelling through countries where sudden downpours are a common occurrence.