LifeProof SLAM vs LifeProof NEXT: What’s The Difference?

In this video we are checking out a couple relatively new cases from LifeProof. Now for the longest time, LifeProof was known for their Fre and eventually their Nuud cases which were popular mainly because of the fact that they were rugged, water proof and dirt proof cases. But most phones nowadays, the more popular devices like iPhones, The S8, Note 8, they’re all IP67 water resistant or better and a $100 waterproof case just doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. But even though most phones are relatively water resistant, they’re still made of basically the most delicate glass on earth it seems like, so I guess LifeProof decided to aim more towards the idea of tough and rugged drop protection and that’s sort of where these come in.

LifeProof NEXT (Amazon Link)
LifeProof SLAM (Amazon Link)
NUUD/FRE (Previous Styles) (Amazon Link)

The LifeProof Slam is a $50 case that is designed for all out drop protection, and it’s also the slimmest case Lifeproof has ever offered, and the Lifeproof NEXT at $80, while also aimed at protecting the phone from drops, adds one more layer of protection from dirt, dust, snow and debris but neither of these cases are explicitly water resistant and they also don’t offer any sort of screen protection, the front Glass of the phone is totally open. I’m going to go ahead and show you guys what these cases are all about and do some comparisons because unless you really see them side by side, most people probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between them right away, and the price discrepancy here is kind of big between the two, so hopefully this also helps you decide which one is right for you. They’re a available  for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, and if you’re interested in picking on up or learning more, I’ll leave links to everything down below, but let’s ago ahead and get into.

As far as the unboxing experience what all comes included, you get the case of course, this is the black crystal NEXT case for the 8 Plus obviously, you also get a tool that helps you separate the case to install on the phone, the Next is a 2 piece  design that you take apart and sort of clamp down over the device. And you also get some instructions and warranty info along with a cleaning cloth.

With the Slam, it’s the exact same thing here, this is the aloha sunset for the iPhone 8, basically a teal and pink color combination, and the Slam is also a 2 piece case that requires the little plastic tool to pop apart, and you also get the same instructions and things as well.

So holding these cases together side by side, it’s pretty difficult to tell them apart right off the bat. They’re both crystal clear TPU cases that definitely attract a lot of finger prints, and they’re  both super rigid and solid, there’s not much bend or big in them at all. They both have sort of a rubber edge or lip around them which is the colors part, although the Next case on the left has sort of an extended and thicker hard plastic edge while the Slam on the right is all rubber on the edge and lip.

The NEXT case is pretty slim overall and very lightweight, but like I said it’s a very rigid and solid case and it doesn’t feel cheap which is how LifeProof’s Fre series always felt to me, here everything feels pretty nice. Now the NEXT case as you can see here retains that dust and dirt protection by closing off the bottom portion of the case, the speaker and microphone area is covered and there’s a flap over the lightning port. And if I could sum up the entire video in one clip, that’s sort of the biggest difference between the cases.

The Slam is just a bit slimmer than the Next but it’s essentially the same build, the same material, the same feel on the front and back, the sides and edges act sort of like a rubber bumper to protect against drops but you still have access to everything, and down at the bottom, you can see the speaker and lightning port are completely open and exposed, so technically dirt and debris could get up inside your phone

To install these cases on your phone, you use that plastic tool that LifeProof gave you to pop the corners open and pull  apart the case, if you used a Fre or Nuud case before, it’s the same exact process. It’s not that difficult but I’d say you definitely need the tool because these cases clamp down pretty tight. When you put them on the phone, you just have to make sure you go around all the corners and edges to click everything in place, it takes a little bit of force because there’s no space between the case and phone, it’s a completely snug fit but that’s definitely a good thing.

LifeProof says that the Slam is the slimmest case they’ve ever offered and I’d have to agree with that, while you notice on the phone it really isn’t too bulky or intrusive, you can certainly use the device with one hand still and the rubber edges add a little bit of grip  and I’ve always been a fan of clear cases too so getting to see the color of your phone is a big plus.

The Next case is equally as slim on the device, not too bulky but it’s definitely there and really the difference you’ll notice here mostly is on the edge or the lip of the case, that clear plastic portion comes up a bit higher over the screen edge than on the Slam. But both cases have a nice lip to keep the front glass of the phone from hitting a flat surface which is obviously very important.

Aside from that little difference on the edges of the case, when their on the phones you really can barely see or feel a difference at all they’re very similar in their look and feel, they’re almost identical in the kind of protection they offer for the devices too which I’ll talk about in just a second, and like I mentioned earlier the big thing is just that the bottom of the Next is closed off to keep debris out of the phone.

As far as drop protection goes, while the Slam is more explicitly  advertised as being able to protect against hard falls, both cases are certified to keep your phone safe up to 2 metered, and with how stiff and sturdy these cases are and the amount of corner to corner and edge to edge protection they have, thats something I can believe. The rubber edges of the cases tend to get scuffed up a bit over time and I could potentially see the plastic cracking if you really punted your phone a long way onto solid concrete, but for day to day use these cases would definitely get the job done.

So here’s the bottom line, at $50 for the Slam, I don’t hate it. Lifeproof cases have always been pricey, but the Slam is a nice case. You’re getting something solid that feels premium and it’s going to protect your phone, these no doubt about that. For $80, I don’t really see where the $30 difference is on the Next. Sure you get your ports covered, far as I can tell that’s really it. It’s nothing special beyond that, lifeproof makes it a point to say over and over again it isn’t waterproof. The Slam still clamps tight around the phone so debris isn’t going to get inside the case, I just don’t really get the Next I guess. You’re only protecting the speaker and lightning port from debris which I dunno I guess was never a big deal in my mind. So with all that being said, skip the Next, stick with the Slam and save your $30 bucks.


About Wade

Wade Bennett (@TechDaily) has been creating online content since 2010. From reviewing the latest flagship electronics to offering his thoughts and opinions on everything in the tech world, Wade has garnered a large online following through his various social medial platforms. Wade also prides himself on finding the best tech products for the everyday shopper. His consumer-focused shopping website,, lists the best tech deals on all the latest gadgets and accessories from countless websites.

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