Call me paranoid, but I never use my phones without a case. Because you know, life is full of unexpected surprises. Sure, a naked phone accentuates the design and nuances as the makers intended, but better safe than sorry. The new generation of iPhones, for instance, are beautiful devices—all-glass, dust-and-water resistant, silky smooth. Until one day, life deals you a split second slip of hand. And then boom. Shattered glass.
Honestly, it doesn’t have to be so. OK, so in a way it’s a compromise when you slap a case on a sexy device like the iPhone X or iPhone 8 Plus. I’m not denying that. However, what you’re doing is trading cosmetics with peace of mind. And that, my friends, could be a source of an expensive heartbreak.
Lifeproof has some remarkable products namely FRE, NUUD and FRE Power cases which are waterproof, dirt-proof, snow-proof and drop-proof. It is in fact, the #1 waterproof case brand in the U.S. In case (pun intended) you missed it, I reviewed the Lifeproof NUUD for the iPhone 6s here.
Late last year, Lifeproof decided to move into the non-waterproof category for the first time, with the NEXT and SLAM series. Otterbox Asia was kind enough to send over the Lifeproof Slam for the iPhone 8 Plus, for testing.
Specs at a glance
- Dimensions 86 mm x 86.11 mm x 10.92 mm, 45g (iPhone 8 Plus: 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5 mm, 202g)
- Compatibility: iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 7 Plus
- Wireless charging: Qi chargers
- Drop height: 2m
- Colours: Night Flash, Aloha Sunset, Lava Chaser, Free Flow
What’s in the box
The Slam comes in a neat familiar box, and the case itself comes in two parts. It also comes with a guitar-pick-like case opener tool which makes it easier to remove the case from your phone, if you need to.
Installing the case is a snap, literally. Slide the iPhone face down into the top case, align the bottom case and carefully snap them together. You’ll know when it’s properly snapped together when it returns you an reassuring click.
Using the Slam
As with any protective case, expect it to add a little bit more bulk to the device. The Slam extends the width and height of the iPhone 8 Plus by 6-7mm, and around 3mm of thickness. This isn’t too bad compared to other protective cases, including Otterbox’s Defender or Symmetry series. In terms of weight, the Slam tips the scales at 45g, a tiny trade-off for the protection it offers.
And talking about protection, the Slam scoffs at drops, knocks and shocks. Built to Military Standard, you know what that means. It survives. In fact, it is certified to survive drops of up to 2m.
The Slam comes in a rubberised frame and transparent back. Grip is great thanks to the rubberised frame, and the transparent back ensures you don’t miss staring at the Apple logo. Yeah.
Another thing you’ll love about the Slam is that you have full access to the iPhone’s ports and speakers. The ports remain unobstructed, so no annoying flaps and such, if you decidedly need to plug in to charge.
I quickly got used to the expanded dimensions, despite the iPhone 8 Plus being an already unwieldly phone (yes, the iPhone X wins). The Slam feels great in the hands, and I don’t even mind the funky pink-purple Free Flow colour combination I got.
To test the durability of the case in the course of the review, I’ve literally thrown the phone into the air and watch it drop (and bounce) to the ground. That’s as scientific as I could get with it. Tossing the phone simulated an exaggerated drop, and meant it could randomly fall on its sides, front or back. Due to the rubberised frame and bezel to protect the screen (it doesn’t come with a screen protector), there’s less of a chance the screen gets direct impact. Which is a good thing.
With all that said, the iPhone 8 Plus, reassuringly, survived unscathed.
But you know, life’s unpredictable. Let’s just say I didn’t have to deliberately toss the phone because on several occasions, the phone did unexpectedly take a tumble. I’m glad it was safely encased in the Slam because it survived without a scratch.
The other notable trait of the Slam is that wireless charging works without issues.
My only real complaint about the Slam, and I could be nit-picking here, is how the buttons feel in the case. They take more effort to press and engage, but it’s really a little annoyance more than any form of a deal-breaker.
- Well-built, good design
- Top class protection
- Unobstructed ports
- Works with wireless chargers
- Slightly bulkier and heavier
- Stiff buttons
Pricing and availability
The Slam is a great option for a protective case if you don’t need additional water-proofing for your iPhone 8 Plus. It’s well-built with an attractive design, and offers unprecedented protection for your device. It’s a little pricey compared to generic cases out there, but look at it this way, a broken phone is even more expensive.