If you work in construction, play outdoors a lot, or are headed on vacation, chances are your iPhone won't be too far out of reach. But, there's also a good chance that your phone will come in contact with dirt, sand, and salty ocean waves at some point, and that's a death sentence for Apple's pricey smartphones.
What's a person to do? Buy a super tough waterproof iPhone case, that's what.
Now, which one do you choose? Presently, there are two very popular iPhone cases that both claim to protect, defend, and keep your iPhone out of harm's way. Those two are the Otterbox case and the Lifeproof case. Let's put these two cases head-to-head, so you know which one to choose for your next trip or outdoor adventure.
The Otterbox Case
Otterbox has been around for some time now, and it's a popular case with parents around the globe. Built to be durable and military-grade, the Otterbox comes in a variety of styles including a basic model and the 'Defender' series, which is supposed to be the toughest case yet.
The Otterbox is a massive case that feels and looks bulky, but it also protects against dust, dirt, and drops. If you go with the Defender series, you are also protected against water vapor and raindrops - I wouldn't swim in a pool with this one, but it will keep your phone safe if you spill a small amount of water on it.
Price: ranges from $40 to $100 depending on the series that you purchase, and the phone that you are trying to protect (iPhone 5 cases are more expensive).
The Lifeproof Case
Lifeproof is easily Otterbox's biggest contender - or, it was until Otterbox purchased Lifeproof not too long ago. That's right, these companies are one and the same, though they both retain separate brands for now.
The Lifeproof case is meant to be life proof. That means that it will protect your phone against dirt, snow, sand, and water. The Lifeproof cases completely seals all open holes that are part of your phone (as does the Otterbox), but you will have to follow Lifeproof's carefully laid out directions to prepare your phone for life-proofing (these directions come with the case, and should really not be skipped!).
The Lifeproof case is much lighter and slimmer than the Otterbox, and that's the main reason why many people prefer it to the Otterbox.
Price: Lifeproof cases cost around $80 to purchase (again, it depends on the type of phone that you have).
The Bottom Line
I've read, and read, and read thousands of reviews for both the Otterbox and the Lifeproof case. I've found that more people complain about the Lifeproof case as compared to the Otterbox - but that's mostly because people tend to take the Lifeproof case (and an iPhone) into lakes, oceans, and pools. Sure, it's waterproof up to six-feet, but I wouldn't push those limits.
Which one should you choose? Otterbox has a solid reputation for being the best iPhone case protector on the market. The company is also working on perfecting the Lifeproof brand. For my money, Otterbox is the case that will go on my next trip with me, simply because the tough exterior of this case equals peace of mind.