Arguably one of the most incredible cases we've ever reviewed was the LifeProof case for the iPhone 4. Why? Simple really, its waterproof capabilities, drop, dirt and dust (triple Ds in your face) protectiveness are an essential part of what most if not all iPhone users look for. In fact, the LifeProof case is so amazing that it'll blow you away with how well it performs while remaining so slim. Now that time has splashed by, LifeProof has made a few changes and has released the second generation of the LifeProof case. We thought we would have a look at the LifeProof Gen 2 ourselves to see what has changed and if for the better. So be sure to jump past the wave for the full review!
You thought that was a white iPhone 4S inside the LifeProof Gen 2? Nope. Because last time we reviewed a black LifeProof we thought this time we would test out one of the four different colors the LifeProof is available in and put specifically put the white LifeProof Gen 2 to the test on a black iPhone 4S just to see how well it can transform a black iPhone into a white iPhone. And as you can tell, the white LifeProof case will undoubtedly give you that white iPhone look you've always secretly admired but went with black to play it safe. So in case you thought about doing something like this, LifeProof also sells both the front and back pieces in multiple colors so you can purchase different colors to make your own custom LifeProof instead.
If you haven't already read our review on the LifeProof case, I highly stress that you do so for more juicy details. In a bombshell, the Gen 2 isn't all that different.
What has changed with the LifeProof Gen 2 you ask? First off there's a price difference since we last reviewed the first LifeProof version which was priced at $69.95. The LifeProof Gen 2 will set you back $79.99. Even with little competition out there, I think the hike in price isn't justified. Out of the box, we get the familiar short headphones cable adapter which you'll need to screw into the LifeProof case in order to plug in any kind of headphones you might want to use. And that is the only considerable drawback to using the LifeProof as an everyday case. Attached to that is an extra headphone port watertight screw plug.
Without wasting your valuable time, we get straight to the point. What has changed since we last reviewed the first iteration of the LifeProof case is these two additional raised bumpers on the side that were added in order to better protect the volume buttons and silent switch from getting pressed or potentially damaged during a drop. Since these buttons were already covered and protected by the case itself, I don't see the benefit of this addition. In any case, it's always better to know you've got a bit more protection.
Other than the LifeProof Gen 2 bringing with it a price increase and some added button protection, nothing else has changed. Yes it's true that you can enjoy the fruits of a slim waterproof case whilst getting the same tough protection a bulky case provides. That's what you call life-proof. And although this is the slimmest waterproof case around, note that it will increase the length of your iPhone by one inch. But you'll hardly notice the difference in the hand. The same fantastic amount of touchscreen responsiveness is achieved from the built-in screen, tactile button feedback and excellent amount of grip due to the rubbery band that in turn provides the shock protection and great rim around the screen for a lay-on-the-table protection.
While this is a fully waterproof case along with a slew of other proof-stuff, the LifeProof's uniquely designed membranes allow you talk and to hear an incoming call as well as other sounds clearly as if you would without it. Granted there is a hint of sound level degradation but it isn't anything to hinder the LifeProof from being used as an everyday case. I've said it before and I'll say it again - while the LifeProof's slim design and protectiveness features will easily let you use it as you would use any other case, things like having to use an audio adapter with headphones, getting used to the built-in screen shield and incompatibility with charging docks are things that you'll need to sacrifice in order to use this case. Once you do though, you're left with one awesome case that will help you scratch off a few big fears off of your "things to avoid" list.
The LifeProof Gen 2 continues to be our most favorite waterproof case for both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. Not only is it slim, sleek and pretty good looking at that, it's one of the most useful cases money can buy. With that being said, we hate to see the increase in price. Until a better case comes along, the LifeProof is literally the best life-proof case on the market, and we can recommend it if you're after this particular type of case.