Introducing the Catalyst Waterproof Case for iPhone 6s
So, you’ve spent some $600 or more on your new iPhone 6s. Or maybe, you purchased one at a discount during a device upgrade. Either way, you’ve got one. Outside of figuring out how the darn thing works, how do you protect it? While many of us don’t use a protective case, we all know that it’s a no-brainer to. Think about it? How many times have you seen a broken iPhone screen? Now, there are dozens of protective case makers out there, with hundreds of models to choose from. But what type of protection does your device need? Moreover, how do you protect it from the elements? If you work outdoors or partake in outdoor activities, have you considered a waterproof case? Below, we review one such product, the Catalyst waterproof iPhone 6s case. We investigate how the Catalyst case stacks up as a waterproof, daily phone case, and how it performs compared to competitors like LifeProof.
- Waterproof (16.4’/5m)
- Drop Proof (6.6’/2m)
- Dirt/Snow Proof
- Attractive Design
- Stiff Buttons
- Screen Protector reduces touch screen sensitivity
Now, if this isn’t good enough, we’re giving away two (2) iPhone 6s waterproof cases in black and space gray, in partnership with Catalyst Case.
Update: The giveaway is now over.
The Catalyst is very sleek in appearance.
The case is thin, with rounded corners to mirror the design of your iPhone. While the case is slightly thicker (0.2 mm) than the LifeProof alternative, it is far thinner than many of the other waterproof competitors. Rubber bumpers surround the case to provide impact protection. Moreover, the case has a clear back to showcase the design of your iPhone.
While the case is lightweight, the materials of construction are high quality and ready for adventure.
Right off the bat, Catalyst proves their case to be superior to LifeProof in its ability to safely go deeper underwater, up to 5 meters/16.4 feet (that is double LifeProof’s maximum depth). As advised by the instructions, I tested the case underwater, without my phone in it to ensure that the seals were all intact. Catalyst’s instructions suggested 30 minutes of submersion to test the new case. I left the case underwater for several hours. When I pulled it out, the interior of the case was bone dry.
The Catalyst waterproof iPhone 6s case includes rubber stoppers to plug up the lightning connector, headphone jack, and speaker. While the stoppers proved effective underwater, they are not fixed to the case and can be easily misplaced. For daily use on dry land, the stoppers can be easily removed, with the cutouts providing a large enough area to comfortably accommodate standard adapters like 3.5mm headphone jacks and accessories like your Lightning connector.
Catalyst also offers a waterproof headphone extension for water sports enthusiasts who want to listen to music while they swim. This accessory is an additional $15 from the Catalyst website.
Regarding drop protection, the Catalyst case performed fairly well, but it is important to note that the primary function of this case is not drop protection but rather, water protection. The Catalyst case provides MIL-STD 810G shock and drop protection from a height of 2m/6.6 feet. This is not very high when compared to cases that prioritize drop protection, but is more than good enough should it fall from your pocket or slip from your hand at ear-height.
On all protective fronts, the Catalyst case performed well. However, there were a couple of issues with the accessibility to your phone after the case was installed. The biggest issue with this case is that it makes the buttons on your phone harder to use. I enjoyed the functionality of the click wheel for the mute switch, but the volume and hold buttons were very stiff and hard to press.
The only other issue with this case was touch screen sensitivity. The clear plastic cover on the front of the case provided excellent scratch protection, but as such it is moderately thick. Naturally, the thickness of the front screen decreased the sensitivity of my iPhone’s touch screen, making certain functions (like the drop down or drag up menus) difficult to access. I think the primary reason for this issue is not necessarily the thickness of the protective screen but rather, the slight gap between the plastic and the real screen. However, other functions like TouchID performed very well and were not hindered by the case.
All in all, I thought the Catalyst case performed well. Aside from the setbacks in accessibility, this case is aesthetically pleasing and high performing. Priced at $69.99, it is less expensive than the LifeProof alternative and outperforms the LifeProof in waterproof depth.
The standout function of this case is the deep-water protection. Taking your phone underwater is a dangerous game, and you need to know that it is going to be protected. With the Catalyst case, you can be sure that your phone is as amphibious as they come.
FTC Disclosure: Speck provided Beantown LLC with two (2) Apple iPhone 6s case samples for review purposes. This writer’s opinion is 100% his own and is not a paid product ambassador.
All photographs are the copyrighted property of Beantown LLC and Catalyst.