For years, LifeProof cases have been the gold standard for making your smartphone water-resistant while also adding protection from drops and dings. But with most handsets now being water and dust resistant, are LifeProof’s Frē cases worth your money? While the flagship weatherproofing feature might not be as important these days, the Frē is still one of the best cases when adding 360-degree protection to your Pixel 2 while not adding too much bulk…

First and foremost, let’s talk about the case itself. It is a two-piece case that is made out of a combination of a hard plastic and a softer TPU material. To make sure that no moisture or dirt gets through to the Pixel 2, there are thin pieces of plastic covering the microphones, speakers, and even the fingerprint sensor. Additionally, there is a hard plastic flap that protects the USB-C port and a high-quality, built-in plastic screen protector

When you purchase the LifeProof Frē case, it comes with the two pieces slightly apart so that it’s easy to open and install around the Pixel 2. Unfortunately, unlike in years past, the case no longer comes with an opening tool so you will need to use a coin or hard piece of metal to unsnap the two halves once installed.

In hand, especially when compared to the Frē for last year’s Pixel, this LifeProof case feels premium and works fantastically. I should note that the hard plastic can be a bit slippery, but the rubbery TPU on the sides helps you grip the handset. Two of my major gripes last year were the plastic over the fingerprint sensor and the plastic screen protector. While the material over the fingerprint sensor still feels like plastic wrap, it doesn’t hinder the experience.

As for the screen protector, the plastic used to protect the display wraps nicely around the glass to make it feel as though it isn’t actually there. Unfortunately, though, I have noticed some rainbowing in some areas where the plastic raises up from the screen just slightly and creates an air gap.

The best aspect of the Frē case is the fact that it protects your device from every angle. The two-piece case completely encases your phone and its display, adds IP68 water and dust resistance, and protects it from drops of two meters. For this level of protection, I would expect a much thicker case, but this doesn’t add much in either width or depth.

So while I have found more pros than cons with the LifeProof Frē for the Pixel 2, there is one major issue, and that is how badly it distorts the audio quality from the two front-facing speakers. While in low volumes audio is mostly fine, though slightly muffled, high volumes and high pitches vibrate the plastic protecting the speakers and make your music sound horrible.

If you’re interested in purchasing the LifeProof Frē case for the Pixel 2, you can purchase it right now from Amazon for $52 in Night Lite (pictured below) and Fire Run (bright red). The Frē case is also available for the Pixel 2 XL in both colors for $50 from Amazon.


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About the Author

Justin Duino

I’m a writer for 9to5Google with a background in IT and Android development. Follow me on Twitter to read my ramblings about tech and email me at Tips are always welcome.