I recently received one of the first LifeProof Nuud cases for the iPhone 6 Plus. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a huge gadget fan, but also a minimalist. That’s why I’m a big proponent of using a smartphone. It’s the ultimate multitool, and provides a sophisticated functionality to your adventures that was not as accessible 5 years ago. Being able to combine important features like GPS, maps, tide charts, train schedules, emergency survival techniques, knot tying guides, constellation guides, park guides, camera, journal, ebooks, weather forecast, etc. makes my device very valuable, and I don’t dare go on an adventure without some sort of protective case.
My favorite case to date is the Nuud from Lifeproof, and here’s why:
1. It’s 100% waterproof
2. It’s dust & dirt proof
3. It’s durable enough to take a beating
4. It leaves the screen bare, no plastic overlay
Look and Feel
Since this was an early order, the only color option available was black. That’s fine with me as I probably would’ve chosen black anyway, but I have no idea if they intend to launch multiple colors in the future (Edit: they now offer a white version as well). I currently have been using apples leather case for my iPhone 6 plus, which does enough to bulk up the slim profile of the phone. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Nuud, but since this is such a big phone I was prepared for the worst. I am pleasantly surprised that it does not feel or appear overly clunky. The matte black looks good in hand or on the table, and the tinted transparent back allows your iPhones color to show through. My biggest issue is the way the touch ID cover is protected. The material feels similar to plastic wrap, or saran wrap, and it usually remains partially stuck down to the touch sensor looking like a fingerprinty sort of smudge. This is probably my only aesthetic complaint. The phone feels nice in the hand, nothing special but nothing obtrusive or uncomorfortable. Its just matte plastic front, slightly softer plastic or rubber corners, and a smooth plastic back. It fits into a tight front pocket on my Levi’s, but just barely. There is an optional optional screen protector provided. For now I don’t plan on using it as I prefer the feel of direct contact on the screen, but I it feels like a decent quality, semi-rigid plastic scratch protector. A headphone extension cord is also provided, which screws into the headphone port and allows for headphones to be plugged in without compromising the water-tight seal.
Be sure to remove the headphone plug before putting the case on! This was not entirely clear in the instructions, and I ended up mashing the small plastic tip of the plug in my headphone jack hole, bending a bit of my iPhone’s inner jack trim, and potentially causing a weaker fit of the frame. I was not aware that this would cause an issue, as the first two steps do not visually suggest that the plug should be unscrewed. I know it’s probably my fault for not looking at the third step and noticing the graphic depiction of the plug being screwed in, but I figure it’s room for a minor complaint. Everything else fit together snug and proper.
Call quality: Callers claim your voice sounds muted or hollow, or as if speaking form a bathroom. Callers voices are slightly muted, you can tell the difference immediately by the softer dial tone.
Speaker Sound: The hollow space on the back panel creates a chamber for music or ringtones to reverberate in. It actually sounds like it might be louder, but it’s hard to tell.
Camera: Photo quality is not noticeably impaired. Obviously putting a piece of plastic over the lens will reduce clarity, but for the sake of saving your lens from scratches it’s a good choice. Plus you can shoot underwater!
Buttons: Volume and power buttons feel snappy and responsive, more so than the leather apple case at least. The silent Toggle switch is effective, but works in reverse.
Touch ID: Works as usual, maybe 5% less often, but no real issues here. Lifeproof recommends to setting up your fingerprints before putting the case on.
Water Proof: The case is rated at 1 hour of submersion. I tested it for over 30 minutes without a leak, and even received a phone call through it using my laptop while submerged! That’s good enough for me.
Protection: I’ve had a Lifeproof Nuud previously for a Samsung Galaxy S4, so I am familiar with the build quality and have used it thoroughly while hiking and kayaking. The iPhone 6 Plus case is no different, and is obviously well build and prepared to stand a beating. A few days ago I brought it with me while hiking through the forest and trudging through a marsh on a fishing adventure, and had complete confidence in the safety of my phone the entire day.
If you’re interested in the Lifeproof Nuud for your smartphone you can get it directly from Lifeproof.com or from Amazon.
If you have any questions, or if you prefer another case, let me know in the comment area below!