A few weeks ago I went on a family vacation to the Gulf coast. I’m not the type to lay around on the beach either. I’m up before daylight getting ready to hit the bay for a day of fishing or the surf with a rod in hand. Regardless of what I’m doing, I’m doing it around water. That’s why I took the waterproof Catalyst case with me to test for a full week.

This is a well-designed case with lots of features to keep your phone protected and functional. The hard-case design is slim and looks good, but it’s a rubber “O-ring” that is embedded around the perimeter of one side of the case keeps water out. The case comes in two pieces and the face piece snaps into the body of the case. Once snapped together the O-ring seal keeps water from coming in. In fact, you can submerge the phone up to 16 feet deep. That’s more than enough protection when just trying to keep your phone dry. I went swimming with mine, completely submerging it in the water. Not one drop leaked into the case. You can even take photos underwater by using the iPhone's volume-up button. The on-screen camera button is sometimes difficult to use underwater with the case, but by using the volume-up button you can take great pics underwater.

Other features on the case allow you to use all your phone’s buttons and the touchscreen. The pliable cover over your screen works perfectly. I was able to use my phone just as if I was touching the screen itself. I was also impressed that I could still use the biometric function on my phone to open it. It worked even though there is a cover between the sensor and my fingertip. The volume buttons worked great and there is also a cool little turn-nob that flicks your silent button on and off.

Clear Photos

Speckled TroutI take lots of photos with my camera and I was worried the fully-enclosed case would distort photos. I was wrong it took crystal-clear photos. A hard-coated optical lens maintains the smartphone camera’s image quality. The photos of the fish in this article were taken using the Catalyst case. The case is also designed to withstand impacts from 6 feet high. I did notice a slight reduction in sound during phone calls, but it wasn’t detrimental and if you place your fingers on the edges of the phone it seemed to work better. I also got great cell coverage with the case and was able to access Wi-Fi easily. This case offer full protection for your iPhone. I can definitely recommend this case if you are around water or out in the elements. The case sells for around $65. You can also purchase a floating lanyard that keeps your phone on the water’s surface instead of sinking. www.catalystlifestyle.com