The Catalyst Waterproof is one of the toughest iPhone 7 cases around
Catalyst Waterproof iPhone 7 Review – Offers the best 360 degree protection for your iPhone 7 or 7 Plus
Are you planning on taking a vacation near water? Or in water? You might want to consider getting the Catalyst Waterproof case. We’ve been reviewing Catalyst Waterproof cases for several years now and we can tell you that their cases have gotten better over time. The latest iteration of the Catalyst Waterproof will protect your iPhone from depths up to 33 ft or 10m and drops of 6.6 ft or 2m.
The Catalyst Waterproof as a regular day-to-day case is quite nice, offering decent access to the iPhone. Sound is decent but doesn’t top the list when it comes to sound. We had a small issue when it came to the drop test which led us to do a drop-water impact test with the Catalyst Waterproof.
For our Catalyst Waterproof iPhone 7 Review, we’ve given this product a score of 4.1 Eh’s out of 5. It is currently the #1 waterproof case on our Top 5 waterproof iPhone 7 case list. It scores above the LifeProof cases, Ghostek Atomic as well as the Pelican Marine. If you need more info, check out the Top 5 Waterproof iPhone 7 cases. If you’re wondering if the iPhone 7 actually needs a case since it’s waterproof, check out that video on that contentious issue.
Get the Catalyst Waterproof on Amazon (CA/UK/DE) or on eBay!
Design – Keeps your iPhone generally “thin”
When it comes to design, the size of the Catalyst Waterproof is quite average. The only cases that are smaller are the Dog and Bone Wetsuit and Wetsuit Impact. The case fits well together though the iPhone 7 sized case started to squeak after getting dropped which isn’t great. The squeaking will depend on how you install the case so if it becomes noticeable, take it apart and put back together. There was no squeaking with our iPhone 7 Plus cases.
The Catalyst won’t slide around easily which is great on wet surfaces and stops the back from getting too scratched up. The overall texture of the case is quite nice and won’t slide out of your hand easily. It actually feels thinner than it actually is due to the bumper-like edge of the case.
The clear back of the case is going to show scratches quicker. The raised back will help prevent it from being very noticeable.
Protection – Make sure you do one thing before using the Catalyst
When it comes to protection, the Catalyst Waterproof is waterproof up to 33ft. Which is awesome. We believe the iPhone 5 version was 10 ft, the iPhone 6 version was 16 ft and the iPhone 7 is 33 ft. This puts it in the same class as the HitCase, Optrix and ProShot cases in terms of water protection. The biggest difference between the Catalyst and those products is the lack of removable lenses. We’ve done full reviews on all those cases if you’re interested in knowing how far you can take them.
When it comes to drop-protection, the Catalyst Waterproof will protect your iPhone from a 6.6 ft or 2 m drop. With the iPhone 7 version of the case, multiple drops on concrete resulted in one of the speaker pieces coming off. We wasn’t expecting this to happen. We pressed it back into the case and it didn’t come out again after. If you’re planning on getting the Catalyst, make sure you press the speaker piece down a few times to ensure that the tape on the other side sticks to the case.
The case coming apart inspired us to do a water impact drop from 6+ feet. We were curious to know if the case would stay together. Check out the end of the video to see if the iPhone survived!
Functionality – Getting to your iPhone suffices in the Catalyst
Accessing your iPhone is decent in the Catalyst Waterproof. As a day-to-day case, the only downsides would be the slightly tougher to press buttons and the screen viewability. It is very comparable to the Dog and Bone Wetsuit Impact in terms of a day-to-day waterproof cases. The best part of the case when it comes to buttons is the rotary mute switch. The rotary design makes it easy to use the mute switch, even with gloves on.
One of the downsides of the Catalyst waterproof case is that you can’t use an existing screen protector with the case. This isn’t unique to the Catalyst as it isn’t recommend to use screen protectors with an waterproof case. The only exception would be the Ghostek Atomic. We will note that on the iPhone 7 plus used in this review, we had a very thin back protector which didn’t get in the way.
For sound, the Catlayst Waterproof is better than the average waterproof case. The only cases that we noticed were better for sound are the LifeProof Fre and Nuud cases. With that being said, sound quality isn’t as clear as a naked iPhone. Using the camera in the case wasn’t an issue and you can use larger than average lightning cables.
For versatility, the Catalyst Waterproof allows you to attach a wrsistrap which is a must if you’re planning on taking your iPhone swimming. We would definitely recommend getting their floatable wriststrap as it will save your iPhone from sinking to the bottom of the lake or ocean. The clear back case also lets you showcase the color of your iPhone if that matters to you.
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