Life proof vs. Otterbox: The Ultimate Guide

Lifeproof and Otterbox were at odds for many years before Otterbox acquired Lifeproof in 2013. They are still among the biggest names in the smartphone protective case industry. They both offer premium cases, so choosing between the two is quite difficult.

In case you (pun intended) find yourself in this dilemma, here’s a rundown of the key differences between the two brands, including their strengths and weaknesses.

If you’re paying a lot of money for a phone, having a solid case should make sense. Lifeproof and Otterbox make cases for Android and iPhone users. Here is a back to back comparison of the two.

Lifeproof Fre vs. Otterbox Defender

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Both Lifeproof and Otterbox have many different case designs. The most popular are Lifeproof Fre and Otterbox Defender. Let’s compare their individual features, so you can decide which one best suits your smartphone habits.

fall protection

Let’s start with the most important feature of any phone case, its ability to take damage when dropped. Otterbox wasn’t lying when they named their top case Defender. It’s really thick and strong. It is said to be fully drop-proof and stronger than any of its competitors.

On the other hand, Lifeproof Fre has a slim design, but it also has shock protection for drops up to 7 feet. For a slim case, you have to admit it’s impressive.

Overall, the Defender is heavier and a bit safer than the Fre when it comes to fall protection.

life proof otterbox


Waterproofing is one of the main selling points of the Fre phone case. It is designed to protect your phone from water, snow and all kinds of moisture. The official statement is that Fre will protect your phone if it is in water up to 2 meters deep, for up to an hour. In addition to this, Lifeproof provides a waterproof ear plug – you can seal it when not in use.

Fre wins in this department because the Defender does not claim to have any kind of waterproofing. This isn’t a huge drawback for phones that are already waterproof, like the iPhone XS Max and iPhone XS. For these phones, Defender is more than enough.

The bottom line here is that you want to Fre in case your phone gets exposed to water a lot and rely on a case to protect it.

additional protection

Although it lacks moisture protection, Defender works very well against scratches, dirt, and dust. It has port covers that prevent anything from entering. For example, you won’t have to worry about contaminating the ports with dirt or sweat, and every crevice in your phone will be protected without blocking your headphone and charger ports.

Lifeproof Fre also offers protection against dust and dirt, as well as protection against all types of moisture. Another great thing is the sleek design that gives you easy access to all the buttons on your phone.

In terms of installation, Fre stands out again. It is very easy to install, install and remove. On the other hand, the Defender is more difficult to install or remove.


In terms of design, Otterbox and Lifeproof offer good options. The Defender is bulkier and has more mass than the Fre, and has a tough inner shell and tough outer shell. Sure, this blocky look has its charms, but it’s not to everyone’s taste.

Fre is elegant and attractive to look at, while being easier to handle. Also, it has more color variation than the Defender. If you value protection, Defender is the winner, but Fre takes the cake for its flashiness and ease of access.

Overall impressions of Lifeproof compared to Otterbox

It is time to render a verdict taking everything into account. Lifeproof is a subsidiary of Otterbox and they both offer great phone cases. Otterbox Defender focuses on protection against bumps, dirt, and drops. It’s like enclosing your phone in armor, it will add weight to it.

Fre is more about elegant design and practicality. The advantage that he has over the Defender is in waterproofing. Other than that, it all comes down to personal preference. If you want a lighter case, go for Fre. It still has good shock absorption and drop resistance.

Both manufacturers also offer other models, which are affordable and offer excellent value for money. Where are you with the phone cases? Let us know which manufacturer you prefer in the comments section.

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