OtterBox or LifeProof: Which One is Better for Your iPhone 5s?

OtterBox and LifeProof are known for their super strong phone cases. This Buzzle article pits the OtterBox against the LifeProof and tells you about the differences between them.
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Comparison between OtterBox and LifeProof
It's a hard life for an iPhone case!
According to a survey conducted by Cross-Tab Marketing in September 2012, 64% iPhone users in the United States think their phone's case should be able to withstand a dip in the pool, while 45% think that it should be able to survive being run over by a car.
Saving up and buying the smartphone of your choice is the easy part; keeping it safe can be a real challenge. These days, smartphones aren't just a necessity, but a fashion accessory as well. Phones have gone from being huge to tiny to being huge again. They're available in materials ranging from plastic to metal, and even glass. Their waistlines have slimmed to such an extent that if you aren't too careful, you might just cut yourself! While we wouldn't mind the hurt (and a bruised ego!), we cannot fathom the thought of any harm coming to our beloved smartphone. So attached are we to our phones that they accompany us everywhere, right from the bed to the bathroom (admit it already!) Well, when ergonomics gives way to style and vanity, disaster is bound to strike. The threat of a cracked screen and a chipped edge on the phone is something that hounds most smartphone owners. Even sliding the phone into your pocket isn't without its risk, with the teeth of your keys waiting to get a bite into your phone!

Much to the relief of people around the world, a good phone case can go a long way in saving you from the heartbreak of a scuffed back on your phone. And when it comes to cases, none are better than the ones from OtterBox and LifeProof. But how do these compare against each other, and which of these is better? In this comparison, we pit the most popular cases from either camp, the LifeProof frē with the OtterBox Defender for iPhone 5s. So, how do they fare? Here's taking a look.

OtterBox Defender
According to the NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service, as of December 2013, OtterBox is the #1 selling case for smartphones in the U.S. and Canada. The OtterBox Defender is probably one of the most popular cases for the iPhone 5s. The Defender truly lives up to its name and keeps the phone safe from dust, accidental spills, scratches, and drops. Unlike other protective cases out in the market, this one truly spices things up with a range of decals for its back. It is also available in a range of colors to suit your taste. The case is made up of a snap-together hard-plastic case, rubber lining, and an upholster to attach the device to your belt. Once the phone is secured in the plastic case, and the rubber lining goes around the sides, your iPhone is secure from the elements. The Apple logo and the camera are covered by the scratch-resistant clear plastic layer which covers the screen as well. The only parts exposed here are the earpiece and the Home button. The ports at the top and bottom are covered with rubber lids that are a part of the rubber lining. There's also access to the volume rocker and the ringer button. The memory foam on the inside makes sure that the phone sits securely. While the case adds to the bulk of the phone, it is still one of the thinnest protective covers available out there. You might want to keep in mind though, that although the case provides protection from accidental spills, it is not waterproof.

LifeProof frē
The LifeProof frē has two parts that snap together in place. The front encases the sides as well, while a panel covers the back. A rubber lining running along the sides keeps the phone waterproof and dust proof. Once in place, the case covers the phone and all its ports. A rubber covering runs over the volume rocker and the ringer button, while the rest of the ports have a rubber lid over them. The screen is covered by the same scratch-resistant material that covers its camera at the back. The Home button too has a clear plastic layer over it that doesn't hamper the Touch ID experience. The back is slightly recessed with the Apple logo showing from beneath the clear plastic layer, and a slightly raised ridge around the rear camera and flash. The tight packing of the case ensures that the phone is snow proof and shockproof, and comes with an IP-68 Ingress Protection Rating. At 27.2 g, you'd barely feel the weight of the case, although you surely will feel it!

Both are extremely useful cases, and offer superior protection for your beloved iPhone 5s. Both manufacturers offer a 1-year warranty against any manufacturing defect. Their pricing though couldn't be more different. The OtterBox Defender retails for about USD 59.90, while the LifeProof frē would set you back by about USD 79.99. These cases are definitely not suited for daily use, unless of course, your daily routine includes loads of physical activity. The OtterBox Defender is just about perfect for most people looking for a rugged case for their phone. The LifeProof frē, on the other hand, would suit you better if you are constantly in and around water, and simply can't part with your phone. Apart from the Defender, OtterBox provides different series of cases like the Preserver, Symmetry, Reflex, Prefix, Clearly Protected, Commuter Series, and Commuter Wallet. Take your pick then. Cheers.

Disclaimer: The prices mentioned are subject to change according to location and offers.
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Published: April 4, 2014
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