Water is public enemy number one for electronic devices. Cracks, scuffs, dents and chips are bad enough, but if water reaches your phone’s critical components, it’s probably lights-out for good.

Unfortunately for phones, the surface of planet Earth is roughly 70% water.

Phone manufacturers have been working hard with each iteration of their devices to make them more water resistant. Samsung has been on the ball for a while now, with their Galaxy S7 and S8 phones being rated IP68 (waterproof). Apple’s current flagship, the iPhone 7, offers modest competition with its IP67 (highly water resistant) rating.

Bumping the iPhone 7’s water resistance up a notch is still a good idea, especially for more adventurous users, as the IP67 rating isn’t quite up to the task of underwater photography or extended dunks in the pool and water damage isn’t covered by Apple’s warranty.

Many companies have answered the call to provide IP68 level water protection for the iPhone 7, the most popular model in Australia being Lifeproof’s “Fre”.

Venerable case manufacturer Pelican has also thrown their hat into the ring with their “Marine” case, a case with a similar form factor and identical IP68 rating.

  • Lifeproof Vs Pelican Comparison

  • Waterproof
  • Tough Body
  • Screen Protection
  • Slim Form Facto
  • Stylish Looks
  • Easy to Install
  • Easy to Use
  • Warranty
  • Price
  • Best Value
  • Pelican

  • $100RRP iPhone Case

  • NIP68Waterproof
  • NMil-Std 810Tough Body
  • Scratch resistant plasticScreen Protection
  • 152x78x12mmSlim Form Facto
  • Clear back, 3 variantsStylish Looks
  • Tool-less pressEasy to Install
  • Strong arm, wider portsEasy to Use
  • 2 year limited warrantyWarranty
  • $100 RRPPrice
  • More Information
  • LifeProof

  • $113RRP iPhone Case

  • NIP68Waterproof
  • NMil-Std 810Tough Body
  • Scratch resistant plasticScreen Protection
  • 150x80x10mmSlim Form Facto
  • 3-tone design, 6 variantsStylish Looks
  • Tool-less pressEasy to Install
  • Rubber tabs, narrow portsEasy to Use
  • 1 year limited warrantyWarranty
  • $113 RRPPrice

Battle of the Bulwarks

The Lifeproof Fre and the Pelican Marine are similar in many ways. They each:

  • Are constructed from a hard polycarbonate shell combined with flexible elastomer (rubbery plastic) cushioning.
  • Include a thin, clear, scratch resistant plastic screen protector in the upper case body.
  • Are fully sealed with gaskets protecting the access ports of the device.
  • Are IP68 rated for complete protection from dust and protection from water for over 30 minutes at 1.5 meters deep.
  • Are Mil-Std 810 rated for multiple drops on hard surfaces from 2 meters high.
  • Are very similar in size, with the Fre being 2mm shorter and thinner, but also 2mm wider than the Marine.
  • Come in two parts which are easily installed with a press and removed with a pry.

There are, however, some subtle but important differences between the two cases.

The Pelican Marine:

  • Has a clear rear shell to show off the device within.
  • Has 3 colour variants for the elastomer rim; white, black and teal.
  • Has a hinged arm for its port covers, and a wider opening for cables.
  • Includes a 2 year replacements warranty

The Lifeproof Fre:

  • Has an opaque 3-tone shell.
  • Has 6 colour variants; black/gray, pink/purple/teal, blue/orange, grey/green, red/teal and teal/blue/orange.
  • Has a rubber tab for its port covers.
  • Includes a 1 year replacement warranty

Both cases are fantastic products, equally well equipped to protect an iPhone 7 from falls, water, falling water and probably waterfalls.

However, if the wider array of colours available to the Fre aren’t a major draw, the longer warranty, lower price, and the ability to see more of the expensive device you’re defending will hopefully sway you in the Marine’s favour.