This new case is from the people who make cases you can dive into the pool with, then film underwater. Seriously – you just have to remember to start the video rolling before you jump in, as your fingers won’t work that screen under water.
The Nüüd takes a slightly different approach – the problem is that the more protective the case, the more clunky and imposing it becomes.
In this example, a little space and weight is gained by having the case fasten water-tight around the edges of the iPhone 6s curved (at the edges, exactly the same as iPhone 6) glass touch-screen. Despite this, the Nüüd promises to repel water for up to an hour and to a depth of two metres.
This approach takes away any minor frustrations engendered by any kind of plastic or toughened-glass screen you might want to apply, since they often impact, even if in a very minor way, with your touch interoperability.
Of course, this level of protection also means its dirt-proof and knock proof to a degree many other case manufacturers would be jealous of. It protects from drops of up to two metres. As a mild-mannered tech nerd, I suffer a surprisingly high attrition rate against my equipment and besides, I am about to head off on a European-spring adventure that promises to be cold, muddy and wet.
And the Nüüd also claims to be snow proof, which might be handy when we cross the Alps and go stumbling about in the Ardennes.
Fitting — To achieve all this, the case locks in (you snap it shut after laying the cleaned iPhone into the bottom tray, which takes a little effort) around your precious iPhone 6 or 6s and buttons on the case match up to those on your iPhone, which adds a slight bit of effort to button-presses but you get used to it.
The speakers where your ear goes on phone calls are somehow enclosed yet still sound fine, at least on phone calls (not so good on music) and there are transparent panels for the front and read-facing cameras and the flash. Assuming you have set fingerprint-recognition up before installing the iPhone into its case, the material over the Home button still allows this to function – impressive. But what about the earbud and charge ports? These are catered to slightly differently. The charge port just has a little swing-door that, once in place, seals with an inner membrane. The earbud port is covered with a screw-in cover; this is attached to a strap so you can’t lose it.
You can, with this open, just plug your earbuds in normally (but please note that some third-party earbud plugs won’t fit and you’ll have to use the extender. Should you wish to listen to earbuds in inclement weather, you can screw in the supplied earbud extender which seals and this has a female port for, in turn, your earbud jack.
Lifeproof recommends you clean the phone thoroughly (a little microfibre cloth is supplied) before sealing it in the case and also recommends testing it in a sink before you jump off the boat with it. I don’t intend submerging it (you don’t try this on your iPhone but on an enclosed plastic ‘dummy’ iPhone) but I know I will appreciate the extra protection, and splash-proof advantage as well, while I’m slogging through the Flanders mud in my grandfather’s footsteps. I’ll also be filming, photographing and otherwise recording my journey, as well as using GPS, so the timing of this review unit was perfect.
Finally, what about that screen? That’s not protected, but a plastic shield ships with the Nüüd. If you want to put that on, you install the iPhone into the case first so it seals properly to the glass – and this fits just inside that. You’ll need to push the bubbles along and out with that little cloth.
Conclusion — Slightly less bulky than other Lifeproof examples, this still adds considerable bulk and a slightly grungy hand-feel to your device. Frankly, those who work in rough, wet and dusty environments won’t mind this one bit; actually, it makes the iPhone easier to grab out of a pocket when you’re busy, it’s raining and you have bulky clothes and even gloves on.
What’s great — tough-well-thought-out protection
What’s not — that protection means bulk. Slightly muffled speakers on music (phone calls seem fine).
Needs — Adventurers, workers and serial damagers
Lifeproof Nüüd iPhone 6s case, RRP NZ$139.95 in black, blue, pink or white
System — iPhone 6s (models available for other iPhone models)
Available from — some electronics retailers; Apple online.
More information — Lifeproof