Protecting your smartphone and smartwatch is important to just about everyone who owns one or the other and the level of protection one chooses can vary. I happen to favor good protection with slim design, that is my preference. But some might want, or even need, protection that takes it up a few more notches. This is our Catalyst Apple Watch and iPhone 6s Plus case review.
Catalyst Apple Watch Case Specifications
- IP-68 Waterproof: Every unit tested 5ATM (165ft / 50m)*
- Drop protection: Designed to meet MIL-SPEC 810G for drops
- Housing Dimensions: 53mm x 44.4mm x 13.5mm (2.1″ x 1.7″ x 0.5″)
- Case Weight: 35g (1.2oz)
- Includes watch strap
- Won the CES 2016 Innovation award
*Our water rating is suitable for rain, splashing, accidental submersion, showering, bathing, surface swimming and shallow snorkeling. Avoid exposure to pressurized water or high velocity water, for example, water skiing, wake boarding, surfing, jet skiing, or wearing the case in a hot tub.
Catalyst iPhone 6s Plus Case Specifications
- Every unit tested IP-68 waterproof 5m (16.4′) deep and fully dust and snow proof
- Designed to meet MIL-SPEC 810G for drops
- Unique patented rotating crown dial to switch mute on and off
- Airtight and watertight acoustic membranes with Catalyst’s True Sound Acoustics technology for clear phone calls and speaker calls
- Dimensions 170.5 mm thin, 88.3 mm tall, 12.3 mm wide (6.71″ x 3.48″ x 0.48″)
- Weight 63g (2.22oz)
The Catalyst Apple Watch case is, well, it’s bulky and does add some mass to your wrist but that is to be expected. The company uses the term “slim design” in their promo materials but this is far from slim. It’s not that the design is ugly, it isn’t, it’s just big and for good reason. Making a waterproof case requires some extra pieces here and there so this is where you’re getting the added bulk from. Overall the design isn’t awful, it isn’t the most elegant but it is functional and sometimes functionality trumps elegance.
The design of the iPhone 6s Plus case is acceptable, it’s nothing to write home about but again, these cases are made to take a beating and go in water. Most people aren’t worried about fashion sense when using this case. Access to all buttons is good, the tactile feel of the buttons is good and the rotating knob for the silence toggle was kind of cool. The cutouts at the bottom leave decent room for headphone and lightning cable connections. You might have some issues with some third party accessories that make their connectors a little bulkier. Overall the design is nice, not ugly but also not award winning.
Installation isn’t difficult but you do have to be careful not to lose the tiny screwdriver supplied and the screw that holds the case together. You’ll also have to be very careful not to tear or rip the silicone membrane when taking the sample watch out of the case. Catalyst warns you to be very careful handling the silicon jacket because if you rip or tear it you will no longer be waterproof. Otherwise, installation is as simple as taking the case apart, removing your Apple Watch strap, slipping your watch body into the silicon sleeve, placing the outer case over the sleeve, snapping it in place, and then putting the screw in to hold it all together. I also recommend checking the silicon sleeve before tightening it down to be sure it’s flush all the way around the screen. Installation is fairly simple.
Installing the iPhone 6s Plus case is a breeze. It takes some effort to separate the two halves but once you do that, it’s as simple as putting the phone in and snapping together. You should keep in mind that once you get your phone in, taking the case apart again does take some effort, not a huge amount but it’s not a simple removal task.
Well, given the increased bulk and waterproof protection, your Apple Watch is sure to be safe inside this divers suit for watches. There’s no doubt this thing can take some punishment but be sure to read their disclaimer on how much waterproof protection you get here.
Given the amount of bulk the case adds to the iPhone there is a huge amount of protection there. I kind of wish the back were made of a stronger plastic rather than the thin plastic it has but the edges of the case do protect the phone very well. The biggest reason most will consider this case is the waterproofing, which works well.
Coming in at $59.99 on Catalyst’s website the Apple Watch case is probably on the higher end of the price spectrum. I don’t think if you’re just looking for basic protection you’d benefit from this case but if you’re more active and around water you’ll love it.
The iPhone 6s Plus case comes in at a whopping $74.99 but just like the watch case, it’s value can be found in the waterproofing. These aren’t cases I would personally buy because I’m not in danger of getting my devices wet or intentionally getting them wet.
These cases aren’t made for the average user, people in search of rugged, waterproof, dust proof protection will be considering these products and with that in mind, they are very decent choices. The price on both products is on the high end so that’s something you’ll have to mull over yourself.