LifeProof vs. OtterBox


LifeProof and OtterBox are both smartphone cases designed to protect against drops and water damage. While Lifeproof only manufactures cases for iPhones and other Apple products, Otterbox is available for Android smartphones as well.

The OtterBox comes in various different series. The case that is comparable to LifeProof is the Armor Series. It is also available in less resilient, cheaper series called Defender ($49.95 - $59.95), Commuter (34.95), Reflex ($34.95), and Prefix ($24.95).

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Introduction LifeProof, now acquired by Otterbox, was a private company selling iPhone cases and a registered trademark . OtterBox is a privately owned consumer electronics accessory company and a registered trademark that is often used generically for waterproof electronic cases for mobile devices.
Price (when bought directly from companies) $89.99 (iPhone 5s) $99.95 (iPhone 5)
Headquarters San Diego, CA Fort Collins, CO
Meets military standards Yes Yes
Shock resistance Up to 6.6ft drop Up to 10 foot drop and 2 tons of crushing force
Waterproof IP-68 rating Up to half an hour, 2 meters down Up to half an hour, 2 meters down
Thickness 0.48 inches .75 inches
Weight 1 ounce 4.1 ounces
Colors Black, white, grey, dark grey, yellow, red, azure, cyan, olive, pink Black with green, blue or orange.

Contents: LifeProof vs OtterBox

edit Features

LifeProof is waterproof for half an hour, up to a depth of two meters, and can protect against drops of up to 6 feet 6 inches. It also allows users to take photos underwater and has a swimming headphone adaptor. It adds 1.5mm to the thickness of the phone, and it also functions as a subwoofer to improve the bass and mid-frequency sounds from the iPhone speaker. The case is available in black, white, cyan, brown and magenta.

OtterBox is also waterproof for half an hour, up to a depth of two meters, and can protect against drops up to 10 feet. The headphone and charging ports are accessible through watertight rubber flaps.

edit Design

Here are the front and back views of OtterBox and LifeProof cases (click on the image thumbnails for larger views).

Front and back view of LifeProof Fre for iPhone 5 from the LifeProof website
Front and back view of LifeProof Fre for iPhone 5 from the LifeProof website
Front and back view of Otterbox Armor for iPhone 5
Front and back view of Otterbox Armor for iPhone 5

edit Durability

LifeProof is shock, water and dust resistant. It meets Military Standard 810F-516, which requires that it can withstand infrequent, non-repetitive shocks.

OtterBox is also shock, water and dust resistant. It can withstand drops of 10 feet and 2 tons of crushing force.

LifeProof Nuud for iPhone
LifeProof Nuud for iPhone

edit Price

LifeProof for the iPhone 5s costs $89.99 when bought directly from the company.

The OtterBox Armor costs $99.95 for iPhone 5.

edit Where to Buy

LifeProof and OtterBox can both be bought directly from the companies themselves, as well as from places like Bestbuy and Amazon, with a small discount. The official LifeProof website also offers the chance to purchase a complete guarantee against water damage.

The Amazon Best Sellers List for smartphone cases has several other options for smartphone cases.

edit Reviews

PCMag praised LifeProof’s resilience, but claimed it made the screen duller and more reflective. They also criticized the sound quality of calls.

According to a review by News Observer, the OtterBox can withstand being driven over by a car.

edit Popularity

LifeProof was the Reader’s Choice in 2013 for Best iPhone case. It also won the Backpacker 2013 Editors’ Choice Snow Award, and was name the Best iPhone Case of 2012. It's lighter, more fashionable looking, but not as sturdy as Otterbox, although it's still 100% waterproof.

OtterBox is the number one bestselling smartphone case in the US. It's plain-looking and almost twice as heavy as LifeProof, but extremely sturdy and scratch-proof.

edit OtterBox acquires LifeProof

In May 2013, OtterBox acquired LifeProof, making it the no. 1 company for smartphone cases. While the terms of agreement are not completely known, both LifeProof and OtterBox can both be purchased at their respective websites.

edit References

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Comments: LifeProof vs OtterBox

Anonymous comments (4)

January 19, 2014, 8:45pm

I think you need to get your fact straight. You complain about no screen protection on Lifeproof. In fact Lifeproof has two models Nuud and Fre. Fre is more similar to Otterbox that it has a built-in screen protector and you should have included that in the review.

The reason many users (including myself) like Nuud is the fact that we can use iPhone's screen directly rather than using a plastic screen that can dull the touch and make the screen duller (as mentioned in the PC magazine that reviewed Fre and not Nuud). I have a version of Lifeproof for iPhone 4S and I didn't care for the screen because it made it really hard to see the screen outdoor. The Nuud provides the same brilliance as "naked" iPhone...although Lifeproof does include a screen protector with the case as an option.

Another thing to note, Otterbox is not water proof when you're using a headphone whereas Lifeproof will.

However, the biggest reason to go with Lifeproof over Otterbox is Lifeproof is the only case that supports iPhone 5S Touch ID and still keep it waterproof.

As for the phone getting run over by a car. I'd rather have a case that doesn't bulk up my iPhone which defeats the whole purpose of owning iPhone 5S just to anticipate the chance of running it over with a car.

— 97.✗.✗.195

October 15, 2013, 5:33pm

doe *homer simpson's voice*

— 64.✗.✗.222

April 25, 2014, 11:34pm

I've had my phone ran over my car as I dropped it & the screen has shattered though my phone was workable for two weeks but it became unresponsive though it saved it from being completely destroyed it was still shattered on the bottom where the touch screen was unresponsive

— 98.✗.✗.216

January 30, 2014, 4:02pm

Which brand works best with iPhone 5s fingerprint ID lock?

— 63.✗.✗.94


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