LifeProof vs. Otterbox for the iPhone

My love of the iPhone is already well known. No real need to talk further about it except this – cases for the iPhone have been problematic.

Otterbox: bulky, not waterproof, rubber exterior skin breaks easily BUT nearly indestructible, customer service is average.

LifeProof: headphone use is problematic BUT waterproof, shockproof, and INCREDIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE!

The Rest of The Story
Amy and I both started out with the Otterbox for our iPhone 3Gs. Overall – at the time – we were pleased with the cases except they added about 12 pounds of weight and it was like carry around a schoolbook. To call them bulky is doing a disservice to bulky.

But they were pretty much indestructible. Dropped on floor, driveway, in the road, left on top of car – didn’t seem to matter. IT WAS NOT WATERPROOF. So snow and ice and skiing – had to be a bit more protective.

When we upgraded to the 4/4s, we again initially went with the Otterbox. They had made the case a bit slimmer without compromising any of the toughness. After a few months – the rubber outside cover began to stretch and fall apart on the headphone and plug in ports. We contact Otterbox about this and they said we’d pretty much have to buy a new case. We tried to buy just the rubber cover for it off of Amazon but those ended up not working out as well.

Amy stayed with her Otterbox, I punted and went with the Lifeproof case. Immediately there are two huge advantages – it is thin and light. It is waterproof. I tested it myself with this fun adventure. Amy liked the case so much – we ended up buying her a case as well.

There is one annoyance about the LifeProof case – the headphone jack. Due to the waterproof – there is an extension that has to screw in if you are going to use the headphone jack. It’s a pain in the rear and nothing at all is FAST about it. However, it’s a small price to pay for the rest of the features of the case.

The LifeProof case claims to be shockproof. I didn’t have as much confidence in this as the Otterbox. I can’t see how a thin, light case can withhold the shock that the Otterbox does.

I don’t have any of those reservations anymore.

Cooper dropped his phone a country mile down a dam. It bounced all over the place on rocks for probably a good 150 yards. Cooper thought pretty much that was the end of the phone. Nope – not a scratch on the phone. The case on the other hand — well – it was pretty much destroyed.

So the case did what it said it would do. But here is where LifeProof went above and beyond.

A few months ago, Amy’s charge port on her case cracked. Didn’t really affect the case except we were convinced that it would still be waterproof. We contacted LifeProof about it. They asked for serial numbers and since we bought the case from them online – they sent us a new back cover to replace the charge cover. Free of charge. (We had to mail in the old case – so it cost us postage.)

With this knowledge in mind, I thought – what the heck. I’ll contact LifeProof. I’m guess they are going to tell me – “Love the fact that our product saved your phone. You can see that it was worth it. Go buy another one.” And quite honestly, I wouldn’t have blamed them for saying that and I would have gotten Cooper another LifeProof case.

Instead – I get two emails within 24 hours.

Email 1: We are going to send you a replacement case. Mail in your old case within the next 15 days.

Email 2: The original color case that you order we are out of stock. We can either mail you a different color case or we can wait until this color comes in. Which would you prefer?

That my friends is some outstanding customer service. And it’s also why we are LifeProof fans and customers.


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