Lifeproof Fre lets you to take your iPhone 6/6s anywhere, even underwater

For a lot of us, our smartphone is an indispensable tool that goes with us everywhere. It makes sense that you’d want your phone to be able to survive anything, including accidental drops, snowboarding wipe-outs, and a dip in the pool. To get the most protection for the iPhone 6/6s, consider the Lifeproof Fre, which promises to deliver superior water, dirt, snow, and drop protection.

The Fre case is a two-piece, hard shell with edges that are wrapped in a plastic bumper for shock absorption and drop protection. Between the two halves of the case, there is a rubber O-ring seal where they meet on the inside, creating a dust and liquid barrier. A built-in, plastic screen protector and raised lip around the screen protects the glass from dirt and scratches, while the home button is covered with a slightly thinner, flexible film that allows you to use the fingerprint sensor without interference. The screen protector is flat and smooth, though it slightly diminishes the visible resolution. However, this does not impact functionality, and it remains fully compatible with all the touch capabilities of your phone including Touch ID and 3D Touch.

The buttons on the sides of the phone like volume, mute, and sleep are fully encased but usable via pass-through raised rubber buttons. For the headphone port, you’ll find a screw-in cap protecting it from dust and liquids. When that cover is opened, it’s tethered to the case, so you can’t lose it. Each case comes with a gold-plated, threaded headphone jack extender, enabling you to use waterproof headphones and keep your phone watertight at the same time. A snap cover with a rubber seal provides similar protection for the charging port. However, the opening for the Lightning connector is precision cut to the OEM cable from Apple, so if you’re using a third-party cable for charging, there’s a chance the connector may not fit the cutout under the cover.

Both the headphone and charging port covers must be tightly sealed in order for the case to be waterproof, and Lifeproof insists on testing this feature sans phone before you attempt to use the case in water. In our test, the empty case performed perfectly with no leaks when submerged for an hour in a bucket of water, though the Fre purportedly can handle up to an hour at a depth of 6.6 feet. One unavoidable impact of having your phone fully enclosed is that the sound transmission both from the speakers and to the microphone are somewhat dampened. At the expense of waterproofing, you may find yourself talking a little bit louder than you’re used to.

Opening the case by hand can be tough, which isn’t surprising for a case designed to be impenetrable. The user manual recommends twisting a coin in the separator notch to pry the corner up. Just make sure the cover for the charging port is open when you do this, or it will prevent you from separating the two halves. Once you get your phone seated inside and the case closed up again, you’ll notice that the extra weight and bulk isn’t all that bad. The case roughly doubles the thickness of the slim iPhone 6 and adds just over an ounce to its weight. It’s slightly smaller than the comparable non-waterproof Otterbox Defender case but is still built like a tank. Its utilitarian style can appear a bit plain when compared to the sleek metal finishes of the iPhone 6, but thankfully, the Fre has nine different colors to choose from including three graphics from its Realtree Collection.

While no case can guarantee that your phone will never break, the Lifeproof Fre has the most common hazards and weather conditions covered for maximum protection. With it, you’re truly free to take your phone wherever you go. Yes, even in the shower.

Buy on Amazon


Google may charge up to $40 per Android device for app suite following EU ruling

Google announced that it will be charging Android device manufacturers in Europe a licensing fee to use its apps and services. The announcement is part of an effort to comply with new European Commission regulations.

Keep your new Google phone pixel perfect with the best Pixel 3 cases

If you want your new Google phone to stay pixel perfect, then you should snag one of the best Pixel 3 cases. We've scoped out some of your best options so far based on different styles, levels of protection, and budgets.

The best Xperia XZ3 cases to keep your new Sony phone shiny

The Xperia XZ3 is a great phone with powerful hardware, a capable camera, and a lovely glass design. But glass is fragile, and can be broken. Here are some of the best Xperia XZ3 cases to prevent that.

These are the best LG V40 ThinQ cases to stop unsightly damage

The LG V40 ThinQ is the latest entry in LG's long line of great V series phones, but it's not invincible. The best way to protect it from potential damage is with one of the best LG V40 ThinQ cases.

Safeguard your new Apple smartphone with one of our favorite iPhone XS cases

If the iPhone XS is your next phone, then you’ll want to shop for some proper protection now. That glass sandwich design is all too easy to scratch or crack, so make sure you snag one of the best iPhone XS cases to keep it looking good.

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from XS on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.

Camera shootout! Testing the latest Pixel, iPhone, and Galaxy Note in real life

Which takes the best photos, the Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XS Max, Galaxy Note 9, or Pixel 2 XL? We put the cameras on all these top-notch phones through their paces to see which performs best in the real world, from low light to portrait mode…
Product Review

Huawei’s monster Mate 20 X makes the Galaxy Note 9 look small

The Huawei Mate 20 X has a 7.2-inch screen, but is surprisingly manageable to hold, yet still a little too big to carry around. Huawei’s pushing the phone’s ability as a mobile gaming handheld, challenging the Nintendo Switch.

How to sell your old Google Pixel or Pixel 2 for the most money

So, it's time for a expensive new smartphone, and you'd like to partially fund the purchase by selling your old Google Pixel. Find all the information you need to get as much money as possible for your Pixel or Pixel 2 here in our guide.

The OnePlus 6T is coming a day earlier, event moved to October 29

According to a recent report, the launch of the OnePlus 6T could be different from any other OnePlus launch in history. How? It could have the backing of a major U.S. carrier. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 6T.

Sprint now lets you add Hulu's Live TV service to your unlimited plan

Sprint recently introduced three new data plans to its roster -- Unlimited Basic , Unlimited Plus, and Unlimited Premium. Here, we break down your options to help you decide which one is best for you and your family.

Sams's Club offers $100 gift cards for iPhone XR pre-orders

After months of rumors and speculation, Apple has finally taken the wraps off of the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now that the phones are out, you might be wondering how you can get them for yourself.

It’s about time! A USB-C magnetic charger for the Apple Watch has finally arrived

While most of the buzz surrounding Apple has been about the iPhone XR, the company also introduced a new Apple Watch accessory. Starting October 24, a USB-C magnetic charger will be available for purchase.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.