Review — LifeProof expands range with iPhone 6 cases and mounting options


The fully waterproof nüüd case by LifeProof
The fully waterproof nüüd case for iPhone 6 by LifeProof

LifeProof made the so-called ‘nüüd’ cases for iPhone 4 and 5 that let you listen to music in the pouring rain and even shoot video under water, if you got the video going before you jumped in (the touch screen doesn’t work to initiate filming while under water).
Now, along with adding a tough waterproof case that fits iPhone 6, a range of mounting options is also available.
But first, the case …

The LifeProof nüüd case comes with a screw-in cable that your earbuds then connect to. It screws in tight to the case to retain the waterproof seal. The case itself snaps together very solidly over the case – you clean your iPhone carefully first with the supplied microfibre cloth to you don’t trap and dust or grit between it and the case.
Although this is the perfect case, in many ways, for those in wet and/or dusty environments, it adds considerable bulk to the 6, virtually making it unpocketable. Also, sealing up your iPhone to this extent inevitably leads to compromises – buttons become harder to press, the screen is a less responsive and so on. Still, if the compromises are those you’re willing to accept for having a dust-proof and waterproof sealed-up iPhone that’s also demonstrably ‘biggened’, the LifeProof nüüd case certainly does the trick and it’s rugged, too – it reaches the military drop standard.
The nüüd for iPhone 6 comes in dark grey, mid grey, light grey or clear with different coloured highlights, and there’s an iPhone 6 Plus version too. NZD$129.95.

Nice, firm clip securely fastens the LifeProof to the handlebar.
Nice, firm clip securely fastens the LifeProof to the handlebar.

Mount up — Various companies have experimented with various mount methods – Logitech uses a strong magnet, for example, for its car mount combined with a metal insert in a case or that you can stick to a case.

LifeProof’s system is called Bike + Bar Mount with QuickMount. The Bar Mount clamps to bicycle, motorcycle and jet ski handlebar (assuming you also have the waterproof case!) with a strong clip, and a stick-on fitting goes on, preferably, to an iPhone case if not the iPhone itself attaches to this with a click. It’s held in a four-sided clamp which is also magnetic. It would pay not to forget to also lock this with the locking lever before you set off.

With your iPhone mounted, you can use it for navigation, for example, and here’s a good case (ha ha) for using it in that tough nüüd case.

The clamp adjusts to fit 20.3-32.5mm bar diameters and can also be clamped to the thicker parts of mic stands and other things.

Equipped with an adjustable ball joint, the smartphone handlebar mount lets you switch between portrait and landscape positions in seconds. A turning collar lets you securely lock the gimbal in the position you prefer. To release the iPhone, you turn it until it lifts off – this action can be locked, too, with a little lever so you can’t take it off by mistake. There is also a spare grip part for clamping to the bar and even a spacer segment for a really skinny bar.

What comes with the bike mount – in the blue package is the stick-on attachment plate for the back of your iPhone.
What comes with the bike mount – in the blue package is the stick-on attachment plate for the back of your iPhone.

Now, once upon a time, a couple of years back, I tried out a bike mount and note that I only cycle on roads. At the very first bump, which wasn’t even a bump I’d noticed before, my iPhone flew out of the bracket and skittered across the tarmac. I’m not game to try it again, so I apologise for that, but this system seems a lot more solid than my previous disaster. I suspect it would be fine for road use – for that commute into work – but I’m not sure I’d trust it on the trail, with lots of bouncing around, and I apologise for not being willing to put my still-fairly-new personal iPhone to that test. Also, I listen to podcasts when I’m cycling, much to some people’s concern, and so it’s better for me to have it in my back pocket with the earbud cord threaded under my shirt. That said, the 20 or so user reviews on the LifeProof site assert it’s pretty solid – and it certainly looks well made (below). Bike + Bar Mount with QuickMount: NZ$54.95.

BikeMountGimble

Suction Mount with QuickMount — This is a very effective solution for drivers. The mount part is the same as on the bike mount, which in a car feels wholly secure with the added benefit it’s easy to mount the phone to it once it’s suctioned to your windscreen, and gives you lost of mounting angles and adjustments compared to that afore-mentioned magnetised Logitech car mount. It also lets you use the iPhone hands-free for calls etc.

Adjustments for up and down and for tilt ensure you can get the perfect angle in your car.
Adjustments for up and down and for tilt ensure you can get the perfect angle in your car.

On the phone end is the same magnetic/mechanical attachment, thanks to that plate you stick to your iPhone back or case. I like this snap-on, quick twist-and-remove action.
Suction Mount with QuickMount NZ$54.95

I like this; I'm going to use it a lot.
I like this; I’m going to use it a lot.

Mac NZ Buying Advice — I like the magnetic.mechanical attachment. It’s easy to put on and easy to take off. Both mounts are made from reassuringly solid-feeling parts.