Have you ever wanted to shower with your iPhone? Or is that only something I think of? If you have the same desires as I do, LifeProof is the expensive answer to your problem. They’ve released an updated version of their Nuud series for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and I dive in to see whether it’s worth spending over $100 to scroll through Twitter and shower at the same time. Spoiler alert: it’s probably not for you. (When is Apple going to just make the iPhone waterproof anyways?)
Tl;dr – it’s one of the thinnest waterproof cases available, but it sucks to use on a day-to-day basis
iPhone 4 and 5 Nuud users should be familiar with the design, it consists of a two piece design, with a clear rear panel and a front cut-out for the screen. With a tight fit onto a bare iPhone, it is not recommended to have a screen protector on – LifeProof provides their own that does not get in the way of the water seals.
Most of the case is made of hard plastic, the buttons are moulded with a soft rubber that allows for easy clicking. The top and bottom quarters of the case are also covered in a soft rubber to help with impact absorption.
Touch ID is still accessible through a flexible membrane that covers the home button. It is recommended you reprogram your Touch ID with your finger over the membrane so it will not have any issues recognizing your fingerprint, but I found no difference in fingerprint recognition without doing that.
There are two purposes of the Nuud series:
1) Provide full access to your iPhone screen – For a waterproof case, to leave a large chunk of the iPhone open to the elements would sound absurd. But for anyone that has used a case with a built in screen cover, will understand the hardships of unregistered clicks, glare, and screen bubbles.
Having complete access to your iPhone screen is liberating while knowing you are still covered underwater. Unfortunately, since the edges of the case line up so tightly with the screen, it makes swiping down for the notifications and up for the control centre a complete hassle.
2) Waterproof your iPhone – On paper, LifeProof claims the case can handle depths up to 6.6 feet/2 meters for up to 1 hour. I couldn’t test that, but I can verify it holds up in a bath tub full of water, while showering, a drop in the toilet while being pissed on, and rinsed over in the sink (check video review for proof). These conditions sound accurate to what you’re going to be dealing with.
It should be noted that even though the iPhone screen is not covered, is not usable underwater, as water acts as a conductor and will hamper your electrical connection from your finger to the touch screen. Fortunately, Apple allows users to use the volume buttons to fire the camera shutters, so don’t worry about missing out on all the slo-mo shots.
- Slim – The Nuud series is probably the slimmest and sleekest waterproof case available for the iPhone; it fits nicely in the hand and provides a OtterBox level of protection
- Tight Fit – This is one of the times where something being difficult to take apart is a good thing – you do not want this falling apart on you when it’s underwater, so the whole feel of the case gives it a durable and solid feel you can trust
- Lightning Port Cover – Though the overall case is a tight fit, I find the Lightning port cover to be a little too easy to jeopardize the function of the case, as a slight flick can shoot it open
- Screen Edge Usability – The water seal on the screen runs precisely around the edge of the iPhone screen and the bezel causes issues for me when swiping down for the notification centre or up for the Control Centre, with a success rate of about 1 in every 5 attempts
- Audio/Mic Quality – When you cover up a speaker or mic it is inevitably going to interfere with their performance; the speakers were muffled and call recipients had issues hearing me clearly
I would be concerned to use this case on a day-to-day basis due to the risk of ruining the seal around the screen as it rubs up against my pocket or just during daily usage. This is especially worrisome since I have to constantly try and swipe my finger along the top and bottom to access my notifications or control centre. For over $100, to ruin it’s waterproof feature would make it a very expensive piece of plastic. I will admit it’s one of the best looking and has the slimmest design, but that isn’t enough to justify it’s plague of usability issues and high price point – even if it does satisfy my dream of showering with my iPhone.