iPhone cases – Otterbox Defender v’s Lifeproof Fre

When I got my iPhone 5 a little over a year ago, I wanted to buy a case that would protect it from accidental drops and knocks.
(Touch wood, so far I haven’t had any accidents with it at all)

This review is not about putting these two cases through the mill to see which stands up better.
(there are plenty of reviews online that cover those aspects)

This review is about how they compare in day to day phone use.

First the Otterbox.

The positives:
This was the first case I bought for the iPhone and I loved it.
There’s a fairly good range of color/pattern choices.
It’s sturdy, feels like it protects my phone and it doesn’t interfere with sound quality of calls, ringtones or music.

The negatives:
Its not always super easy to pull up the menu from the bottom, you have to hit it just right. Not a really bad fault, but can be a little frustrating at times.
It’s also a little bulky.
You have to open a side flap to get to the mute switch.
The pattern on the back faded pretty quickly.
(I got the grey and white case with the pink camo back.)

Overall though, I’d say it’s a great case, and I would definitely recommend them.

The LifeProof Fre.

The Positives:
It’s a lot slimmer and lighter case than the Otterbox.

The Negatives:
I absolutely hated this case from day one.
I’d read some bad reviews, but stupidly went ahead and got one anyway.

I’m a ‘stick the phone between my chin and shoulder, and keep my hands free’ kind of user. I couldn’t do that with this case, because I’d end up hanging up, dialing another party, while I’m in the middle of one call, mute the other person without realizing, or get Siri every few seconds.
People on the other end of the line were constantly complaining I was chopping in and out.
There’s also the occasional weird humming you can hear during the call.
(yep it’s because of the case)
The screen protector is flimsy and doesn’t fit well.
And the sound from the speakers when playing music is awful.
I mean the iPhone isn’t the best speaker sound anyway, but this was tinny and, well like I said … awful.

I wouldn’t recommend this case to anyone.

In fact, I’ve only had it a few months and I’ve gone back to my Otterbox.
I’d much rather have a bulky case in which my phone works well, than a thin and lighter case that causes my phone so many problems.

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