If you go Nuud, you won’t be as Fre. Literally. You can do way more with the LifeProof Fre than you can with the Nuud. Why? Because of a wrist-strap! Seriously?
Both of the LifeProof Nuud and LifeProof Fre are cases that are drop rated to MilStd 810g and waterproof up to 2m. Both are LifeProof cases so broken cases will be replaced fairly easily. So what’s the difference? I’ve got four of them. How did I come up with them? From doing in-depth reviews for both cases. Check out those videos if you need more info for each product. The 4 differences are in no particular order and after going through those differences, I’m going to give you a few tips to help you choose the right case for you.
Get the LifeProof Nuud on Amazon: the LifeProof Fre on Amazon: viewers will need to go through my site for the right Amazon links
Here are the four differences that we’ve come up with:
1. The obvious difference is that the Nuud has no screen protector and the Fre does. If screen viewability is a high priority, you might go with the Nuud. The Fre’s screen protector will diffuse the iPhone’s screen and if you’re picky, you might even notice the gap between the screen and the case. However, the higher edges on the Nuud reduces the chance that you’ll get to your control panel on the first try.
2. The Fre can be attached to your body through a wrist strap. The Nuud will go do it’s thing. This is an important detail for those looking to use their iPhone in awesome things. Awesome things include swimming, climbing and stuff that might incur bodily harm. Basically, if you trip and fall with the Nuud, your iPhone is going to fly away.
3. There is a bit handling difference between the two cases. Previous versions of the Nuud handled quite similar to the Fre but over the last few iterations, the Nuud has taken its own design. A smooth design. Like a smooth, polished, river rock. A smooth, polished, river rock that handles like a wet bar of soap. The Fre on the other hand has a bit more texture and handles quite well when wet.
4. The last difference is the protection that each case offers your iPhone. Despite both cases having the same drop and water protection, the Fre is a tougher case. Why? Because it comes with a screen protector. Which is quite tough as we found out with the iPhone 5 and 6 versions of the case. LifeProof use to include an optional screen protector for the Nuud but mine didn’t come with it.
From a sound perspective, the Fre sounded just a bit better but both cases will suffer a bit of muting, like every waterproof case out there. In general, you will be able to take calls with the case if you install it properly.
So which case should you get? If you go Nuud, you you aren’t as Fre. Why? Because you won’t be able to do as much with the Nuud. The exposed screen can’t take a face first drop onto an uneven surface like the Fre can.
I would get the Fre case if I knew I was going to be doing a lot of outside activities. Being able to keep my iPhone attached to me while I take pictures in precarious positions makes more sense to me. The Fre also provides the most protection between the two cases.
For me, the Nuud doesn’t make much sense. It is a tough, drop-rated case that exposes the part of the iPhone that breaks the easiest. It’s like having a window less bullet proof car? It’s like having a band aid with a hole cut out where the wound is?
Now when would I get the Nuud? Well, first of all, if you didn’t know any better and you’re at the Apple Store? The most obvious reason would be the lack of screen protector. I’m guessing you’re a person that can’t stand having anything between your finger and the iPhone but still need the protection. If this is you, the Nuud is going to be better than the Dog and Bone Wetsuit.
The other thing would be the actual texture of the case. For my scoring system, I rate how much texture a case has to gauge it’s one-handed usage. Now the back of the Nuud is incredibly slick but that’s on purpose. I know Otterbox, which owns LifeProof, also does this with the clear symmetry. It feels VERY smooth, it feels like a polished piece of plastic.
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