I know how expensive phones are, so I have done away with getting cases for mine that are purely for show, despite how pretty I find them. Fortunately, cell phone case makers have been innovating their products, adding nifty features like built-in flash drives and styluses, and boasting features like “SHOCKPROOF! SCRATCHPROOF! WATERPROOF!” These are the cases I’m more drawn to considering my innate clumsiness and the fact that I have a toddler who likes to grab mommy’s phone.
To my knowledge, there are two brands that are available in the local market that offer “Phone Protection”: Otterbox and Lifeproof. I have had a dependency on them since my first iPhone, having gone through one Lifeproof, and Otterbox’s Defender and Commuter. My recent, Otterbox’s Armor, was specially built like a tank (as one of my professors jokingly called it) and, though it was heavy and bulky, it did what it was meant to do—protect my phone—so I was satisfied.
Naturally, when I upgraded phones this year, I gravitated towards these two brands when looking for a case. But Otterbox had stopped making waterproof cases after purchasing Lifeproof, so I was left with only the latter for choice. I had a good history with Lifeproof for the iPhone 4, so I didn’t hesitate getting one for my new phone.
Of torn plastic like hymens
While out of town within a week of using my new Lifeproof case, I noticed that the plastic over the light for the camera flash had been torn. This was surprising to me since I didn’t thiink any of the case’s parts would be so flimsy. I recall that the older Lifeproof I had had a much harder plastic sheet covering the phone camera and flash.
I remembered that the shop I had bought it from gave me a warranty certificate, so upon returning to the city, I went back to them to ask about it. They referred me to the iFix Center in Pasig, which handles service issues; it wasn’t an easy place to get to. Unfortunately, when I presented my concern to the people at iFix, they told me it wasn’t covered by the warranty because it wasn’t a “factory defect” but “user’s fault.”
Excuse me? I did not buy a waterproof case for close to 4,000 PHP (approx. 85 USD) just to compromise one of the reasons I bought it in the first place: its being waterproof.
In my defense, it had only been in use for a week before the plastic got torn and it was never dropped, thrown, or submerged in water within that period. I suspect the culprit must have been one of the contents of my bag, in which case, it is quite laughable that a product that’s being marketed as dropproof, dustproof, scratchproof and waterproof cannot withstand the contents of a woman’s bag. Suffice to say I was extremely disappointed.
Here are some other flaws of the Lifeproof case:
If you’re in the market for a waterproof case, I’m afraid I must highly discourage you from getting a Lifeproof. Sadly, as far as I know, it’s the only brand available locally that offers water protection. So if you have the means or contacts abroad, please consider some of the other options listed here.