Catalyst Impact Protection iPhone Xs Max Case REVIEW Nature’s Nemesis

Every September, as Apple announces their new offerings, my excitement abounds. However, I still cannot decide which is greater, my excitement for the iOS gadgets or for their accessories. I love to learn about the new bells and whistles and know that my favorite companies will present some amazing new cases alongside the phones. Even though there are a plethora of options, I find my phone safely contained within a Catalyst case. More than just the case, I have grown to trust the Catalyst mission and the team. I first learned about the Catalyst cases, while wandering around the Consumer Electronics Show in 2016. I was lucky enough to spend time with them again at CES 2017 and yet a third time at CES 2018. I have entrusted three different iPhones, have experienced multiple 1–3 foot drops, allowed my nonwater resistant iPhone to rest underwater, experienced numerous dings and have yet to use my Apple Care +. If you are looking to protect the glass of your shiny new iPhone XS Max, Catalyst literally has your back.

The Catalyst Impact Case arrived in an appealing 4 3/8 inches wide by 7 9/16 inches tall by 9/16 inches wide retail package. The cover displayed a 4 inches tall by 1 13/16 inches wide image, actively portraying an iPhone Xs Max falling into dust. The image dramatically captured the moment that the phone rebounded from the ground, disturbing the dust in the process. Along the top edge of the image, Catalyst chose to use an open window approach, allowing you to directly visualize their stunning Blueridge Sunset case. To my right, I was able to see the name of the case, the iPhone version, that the case covered, and the 9.9 ft drop proof (3 meters) rating. Along the bottom of the cover, Catalyst provided four icons that detailed information about the included wrist lanyard, the 3 meters (9.9 foot) drop protection, the impact truss system, and the 38-gram featherlight weight. Normally, I prefer the side panels of the thinner packages to be left empty, but Catalyst seems to avoid overloading their packaging. The left side of the case provided Facebook, Twitter and Instagram icons, “#CatalystCase” and the wrist lanyard icon. One of my favorite features of their design is the use of the side panel to detail the actual side of the case. You can directly visualize the mute toggle and the volume up/down buttons. The reverse panel provided a labeled diagram of the Impact Protection Case, detailing the impact truss system, rotating mute toggle switch, non slip rubber lining, wireless charging capability, drop proof rating, dust debris protection. Along the bottom of the case, this same information was listed in Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese.

Within the packaging, I found a thin plastic tray housing the attractive 1.41 oz phone case. The case measured 3 1/4 inches wide by 6 3/8 inches tall by 7/16 inches thick and was rimmed by a visually appealing blue colored plastic. The mute toggle, volume up, volume down and power buttons had a red/orange coloration, which starkly contrasted the blue outer shell. I appreciated that the company chose to leave the back fo the case clear, allowing the beauty of the iPhone to shine through the case. The cutouts for the camera, the lightning port and the speakers were well placed and easily accessible. The oval-shaped lightning port cutout measured 15/32 inches long by 7/32 inches wide and accommodated both rounded and square lighting cables. To install my phone into the case, I slid the right side of the phone (volume toggle side) into the case and walked my thumbs around the outer edge of the phone. This provided a refreshing tactile click as the phone dropped into the protective shell. The vertical camera aligned perfectly with the cutout, as did the lighting port and speakers. The volume mute toggle switch was one of my favorite features of the case, providing a nice click feel, as I rotated the switch. Before you throw away the plastic tray, make sure that you remove the thin 7 1/2 inches long nylon wrist strap. Insert the smallest end of the strap (1 1/2 inches) into the groove set into the lower left of the case (your bottom right). When you reach the junction section between the larger strap and the smaller strip, insert the larger section through the thinner string and pull it tight. This added some much-needed drop protection to the smooth case.

While on Fall Break in the Gulf Shores, I tested the Catalyst Impact Protection case at the beach, the pool, and along the dock. I wanted to use my phone to capture some of the memories with my family. Thanks to the iPhone XS Max IP68 water resistant rating, the phone can survive in 2 meters of water for up to 30 minutes. Thus, I expected that my phone would be fine up to a depth of 6 feet, should it fall into the water. I did not want to test this theory, so the wrist strap provided a very useful safety net. I personally liked the Blueridge Sunset Color scheme because it added a here-I-am beacon to the phone. When camping, hiking or outdoors at night, dark-colored objects blend in. Additionally, dark green/brown/black colored cases blend into grass, shrubs, and low light environments. The color pattern on the Blueridge Sunset case provided a nice visual contrast to native background colors. Despite the positives, you may desire a more subdued experience. In that instance, you can protect your iPhone X/XS or XS Max with the Stealth Black or the Clear cases.

In addition to protecting the phone from dings/drops and glancing blows to the screen, the thin protecting backing allowed me to wirelessly charge my iPhone XS Max. For a degree of added protection, I combined the IonGlass Privacy filter from moshi with the Catalyst Impact Protection Case. I liked that the edge to edge screen protector worked with the case.

Learn more about the Catalyst Impact Protection Case.
Follow Catalyst on Facebook and Twitter.


Originally published at on October 18, 2018.



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