LifeProof Fre for Galaxy S4 Review

LifeProof Fre for Galaxy S4 Review

Last week I got my hands on a LifeProof Fre for the Galaxy S4 and after about a week of normal and rugged use, it is time to divulge the details.

When I first received the case and slapped it on my Galaxy S4 I was extremely disappointed.  When I placed my first phone call to test out the audio volumes, the headset speaker sounded terrible with static and muffled voices.  I figured that it might be my screen protector and body skin on the device is creating too much bulk and pushing the phone against the speaker membrane.

So I ripped them off, extremely easy to take off case, and put it all back together.  However, my problem was still not resolved.  So like every good reviewer I called up LifeProof, 35 minutes to get through, to see what I could do to remedy it and they told me to blow into the microphone port.  Now I am thinking to myself, “What in the hell does that have to do with anything?”, well I did it and felt extremely stupid, but that didn’t fix my issue.

Now at this point I am just frustrated and I took action into my own hands.  I placed a very small piece of Kleenex between the phone and the membrane and voila, my problem was solved.  Now could this have been my fault, maybe, could this have been LifeProof’s fault, maybe, I can’t say it is because I didn’t give LifeProof the time of day to properly deal with it but when you’re on hold for so long you just don’t have time to deal with customer service.

Ok! Back to the review!

This case is sweet!  I really enjoy the clear back and the case fits the phone like a glove.  The call volumes going out and coming in are fantastic! I experienced no audio issue whatsoever and when playing music on speakerphone it is extremely clean and loud as if there isn’t a case on it at all!

Now the case does add some bulk, but we aren’t talking anything extreme when you take into account that the case is Waterproof, Dust-proof, Snow-proof, and Shock-proof.  It slides easily from my pockets and doesn’t get hung up like some cases do.  However, I am not a big fan of cases, I prefer to really feel a phone for what it is and not add any bulk to it, however, LifeProof does make the “Nuud” version which is slimmer and gives you the direct touch experience on your phone, check it out here.  Anyways, if I were going on a trip or taking the kids to the water park, I would, most definitely, slap a LifeProof on it and have some piece of mind!

The Good:

  • Audio is clear both ways
  • Speakerphone is crisp and clear
  • Buttons are easy to press
  • Feels and is secure

The Bad:

  • LifeProof customer service
  • Added bulk


If you are looking for a case to withstand all elements, this is the case to have!  If you don’t mind some bulk and prefer piece of mind then this case will give you everything you need for a smooth $79 from LifeProof or the LifeProof Nuud for $89! However, if you don’t like bulk but maybe you find yourself with your family on the beach, this is something to highly consider to capture those moments you want and not worry about anything else.

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  • Ed

    Exactly where did you put the tissue? I am having the same echo problem.

    • Tasha Hooker

      Yes, where did the tissue go, and what size? My dad and sister are both having the same issue.

  • karina

    Lifeproof is horrible. One agent admitted their cases have an echo problem. The rest are denying it. Ive called them 5 times. Ive had 4 replacements. Fre for galaxy s4. All defective. All horrible. They won’t refund me. The store i bought it from wont refund me. Lifeproof is a joke and their cases are pure garbage.

  • yoyo

    Yup I just bought a Fre LIfe proof for my S4 and I am the type of person who gets down to the bottom of things and I found out exactly what is causing the echo. Since the internet actually sucks and still very hard to get any educated minds working together to solve a problem, I hope this info helps people in the future. The echo happens when you have somebody on speakerphone. When they speak to you through your speakerphone, their voice echos inside your Lifeproof case and bounces back into your mic where it then echos in the ear of the person you are speaking to. This really sucks and not something I can live with at all. It’s a nightmare during calls. It also sucks because this would have been an awesome case and would support this design but they failed to address the problem. I will never buy from this company again. I hate scum bag companies that don’t deal with their problems we are all fully aware of. Kick this CEO’s teeth in somebody.

  • DJ

    The case is a piece of junk. Phone got dropped into swimming pool (accident) and it completely killed my Galaxy S4. Initial claim process was OK but when I FINALLY got the replacement phone and case, there was no battery for the phone! I’ve called them back twice so far with promises of a supervisor calling me back within 24 hours. So far, I haven’t heard anything from them and with a 30 day deadline looming over my head to return the ruined phone and case (or they’ll charge me $600.00), I am increasingly getting more than annoyed. Bottom line — the case is a piece of junk and their customer service is a big joke!

  • Paula Cicarelli

    Will try the tissue… I have the same problem.