Just before I went to the Lakes, I bamboozled an almost free iPhone 5 from my mobile provider. Apple managed to wreck the GPS function on my old 3G with iOS updates. For the brief period of time where the GPS worked on the 3G, I liked the location and mapping function. I had the RoadTour National Parks 1:50,000 OS maps loaded, which was on special offer. RoadTour don’t seem to be anywhere near as popular as ViewRanger or RouteBuddy, but the app is fine for my purposes (show location on OS map).
I was quite keen to try the RoadTour app again on my new phone. However, I wanted to protect the iPhone 5 from the elements. Previously, I’ve used an Aquapac case, but the new iPhone is a bit longer and won’t fit. Then I had an email for OutdoorsGB advertising the LifeProof fre case. Although it was a bit expensive, I decided I liked the look of it and it seemed to provide a bit more protection than an Aquapac case as well as being a bit neater.
The case weighs 30g and is easy to fit. Just drop the iPhone into the half with the clear front. Snap the rear half on. Flip the USB connector flap up and screw in the plug to protect the ear phone socket. Removing the phone is simple. Unscrew the ear phone plug, flip open the USB connector socket protector and with a coin to prise open (gently) using the slot at the bottom right hand side of the case. All very simple, although it’s recommended not to do it too often as it might compromise the seal.
The ringer mute and the volume controls are easily accessed. To use the headphone jack, the screw plug needs to be removed (mind you don’t lose it!). Connecting the USB connector/charger cable requires the protector flap to be flipped down. The touch screen is very positive. In fact, it’s better than some screen protectors I’ve used.
The case is waterproof to 2 metres, although I’ve not tested it, and gives some shockproof protection (2 metres drop). Although the case adds a little bit to the bulk of the phone, it’s not unwieldy. Acoustics are surprisingly good. It certainly worked well for the three days that I was out. It became absolutely essential when I discovered that I’d left my compass behind (doh!). The mapping and location on the iPhone worked really well as did the compass function. I also took some photos with it. In fact on the last day, because it was raining I didn’t use my Sony WX100 camera.
This was taken with the Sony DSC WX100
And this was taken with the iPhone. Although not quite as good as the Sony, it’s still more than adequate, so I might just use the iPhone on occasion.
Although it’s quite expensive, I think the LifeProof fre iPhone 5 case is worth considering to weatherproof your iPhone.
Disclaimer: the LifeProof fre case was purchased with my own funds and I have no relationship with Lifeproof, RoadTour or OutdoorsGB.