Catalyst Cases provide the needed iPhone protection for truly rugged and adventurous people.
With each successive iteration of iPhone, I fall deeper in love with Apple and its products. Despite the ever expanding features, you must wrestle with the cost of the devices. In fact, the soon-to-be-released iPhone X/8 is suggested to retail for approximately $1000. With a device of this expense, I feel incredibly anxious when I see people handling a naked iPhone. My personal preference has been an armor style case, instead of the sleeve style or bumper style cases. For my earlier purchases, I chose an Otterbox Defender case. These did not prove to be dust proof, waterproof, nor Lifeproof enough. At CES 2016, I had the pleasure of meeting with the team from Catalyst and tested out the case for my iPhone 6S plus. This product relationship has grown steadily and now most of my devices are protected by their cases (iPhone 7 plus, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4). Now that my wife has decided to join the winning team, switching from a Galaxy S6 to an iPhone 7, I wanted her to have a waterproof, childproof, event proof case. The Catalyst Case for iPhone 7 is an amazing option for her.
The Catalyst Case for iPhone 7 arrived in a black, rectangular, retail box. On the cover, you will find a rendered image of the case and a few of the features of the case: IP-68 rating with 33 foot water depth protection, 360 degree protection, and Mil STD 810G 2 meter, 6.6 drop protection. The back of the packaging further expands upon the features of the case: easy installation, snow protection, dirt and sand protection and true sound acoustics. Remove the contents from the packaging and note the vibrant blue/red coloration known as Blueridge/sunset (also in stealth black and alpine white). The case is shipped in two parts, a front, and a back. Before you throw away the packaging, make sure that you remove the black lanyard. The case measures 5.94 inches tall by 3.06 inches wide by 0.46 inches thick and weighs 1.7 ounces.
Before you trust the waterproof status of the case with your iPhone 7, it is recommended to test the case empty. I typically use a thin piece of paper towel, inside of the case. Snap the back into the front and submerge the case. The instructions recommend a 30-minute test, but I like to test mine overnight. You will need to place a weight (upside down coffee cup), over two of the opposing corners, as the case will float. Once complete, you can place your phone into the case. Remove the orange waterproof seal and insert a quarter into the lower left plastic. You can then separate the halves again. Dry off the two halves, turn the mute toggle clockwise and then place your phone in the front of the case. Slide the top of the phone into the top of the case and then make sure to push down on each of the four corners. Snap the back onto the case, pushing along the edge of the case. Remember that any drops or significant contact may disrupt the seal. It is recommended to remove your phone and to repeat the waterproof testing.
You can clean the case with simple tap water, mild soap, and a soft rag. Do not use anything abrasive, as this can cause scratches and possibly break down of the shell. The instructions also caution you about discoloration/damage from sunscreen. When you apply sun protection to your skin, be cautious and avoid getting this onto the case. When traveling via air travel, make sure that the lightning port is unplugged. If you forget to unplug the lightning port adaptor, you may damage the structure of the case. The case is IP68 rated and meets some very rigorous standards. This rating suggests complete dust protection and immersion in water of at least 1 meter.
My wife has used the case, over the past 2 weeks, and has truly enjoyed the experience. She has not had any significant drops/dings to the case, but she did notice occasional muffled sound. The acoustic membranes are very well done and the sound often is very good. However, it is possible for pressure to build up within the case, thereby decreasing the quality of sound that you hear. To equalize the pressure within the case, you will need to unplug the rubber seal along the bottom. You can then replace the stopper and the sound should be back to normal. There are well-placed buttons for the volume/up and down, a red wheel for volume control, a lightning port for charging. You may notice that the iPhone 7 no longer has a standard 3.5 mm jack port. The case also does not have a port for the 3.5mm jack. Most of my headphones are Bluetooth headphones and will work fine with the device. I also have a lightning powered set of headphones, which also worked well. The only limitation to the case is the lightning port. To reduce water entry, the port is as small as they could make it. In current form, the lightning port will accept most of the Apple branded cables. Unfortunately, some of the third party cables are rather boxy/wide and will not work.
If you are looking for a case that will stay with your phone until you upgrade, consider the Catalyst Case for your device. Enjoy the peace of mind of having such a rugged design. My wife really liked the color scheme, as it felt unique to her. She would recommend this case to anyone with an iPhone 7. It is unfortunate that Catalyst has not struck some kind of deal with Best Buy and or a cell phone carrier like Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile. I would love to see their products hanging near the register and promoted, as they provide amazing products. The iPhone 7 case from Catalyst has exceeded my wife’s expectations. Because of the quality, this is now her go-to case for her phone. She did not like the lanyard and decided to not apply this. If you decide to use the lanyard, you can easily add this along the bottom right of the case. It will help you with grip and further reduce the chances of a drop/fall causing damage to your device.
In addition to a quality product, you can expect a quality experience with the Catalyst team. We rate the case at 5/5 stars.
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