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Lifeproof iPhone Case

I am HARD on phones. That is a fact. I bounce them across pavement, hook them on doors and at least once dropped it in a danger area while running from one covered position to another. When I purchased my first iPhone it immediately went into a protective case. It lived in that case for it's entire service life. The case protected it from many impacts that would have shattered the glass and rendered the phone useless. Unfortunately the case was not waterproof and not dust proof. Dust would work it's way under the screen protector and if dropped into water the phone was toast.

One of my primary reasons for adopting the iPhone was the capability to run ballistic calculators in the field. Quite often it rains heavily while I am shooting. With my previous case I needed to store the phone in a ziplock bag. This caused it to be cumbersome to work with and was less than durable. It prevented the use of the belt clip, headphone jack and muffled the phone functionality.

When I upgraded from the iPhone 3 to the iPhone 4 I looked at the available cases. I was not impressed with the change in the "other" brand of case. I also knew that I wanted something waterproof.

Enter the Lifeproof iPhone case. This case was slim, slick enough to slide in and out of pockets and best of all, waterproof. Not just rain/splash resistant. This case is actually waterproof. You can operate the buttons, take photos and videos while the phone is completely submerged. With the appropriate headphones and the included whip adapter you can even listen to music while the phone is under water. This means that even in a downpour I can pull out the iPhone, dial up a ballistic solution and send an accurate round downrange.

In every day use the Lifeproof case works great. It does not reduce call quality any noticeable level and it is smooth enough that I can easily slip it into my back jeans pocket without it sticking or gathering tons of lint. The case appears to be designed so that the back operates as a resonator when the speakerphone is on. I can crank the volume up and jam to my music or carry on a conversation at the range with earpro on.

Unfortunately I have tested the impact resistance of the case numerous times. When working I have a habit of clipping the phone on my lapel using the optional belt clip. I have caught it on the car door several times and launched it across the parking lot. I have also managed to drop-kick it more than once while running.

The case is not without it's down side. The first is the price. It retails for around $70 which is steep until you realize how much a new off-contract iPhone costs. The docking port on the bottom of the case is very narrow. It only allows for the Apple docking cable or very close clones to be used. If you have a dock, then you will need to purchase and extended adapter from Lifeproof. Regula Apple headphones or earpods will work through the headphone port, but anything with a larger connector will require the use of the included waterproof whip adapter. Using any connector or headphone jack (other than the included adapter) will defeat the water resistance of the case. The belt clip works well, but is bulky and expensive.

Overall the Lifeproof case is my first choice for keeping your iPhone alive in a rough environment. Now that they have released some nature friendly colors it should be a no-brainer for the field.

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