iPhone 5 griffin survivor Catalyst case review

Ltzguy

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#1
I did a review on the lifeproof, otterbox armor and Siedio Obex water proof cases. I've had the catalyst case on my phone since Thursday so I figured I'd give my take on it.

Pros:

-waterproof, tested and it passed
-screen has good clarity and my fingers slide on it easily.
-fairly easy to remove phone (see cons on this also)
-pretty thin, especially compared to otterbox
-I like the home button feel, I don't like the otter box home button
-charge port door flips down like the lifeproof
-has a nifty turn button for the silent switch
-the clear part of the screen goes all the way to the top so the sensor that turns the screen on and off when talking on it works flawlessly. Also allows easier tapping of the top info bar in safari to quickly scroll back to the top
-most of the case is clear so you can see the beauty of your phone and easily see if the oring is seated properly
-I've had several people comment on how nice the case is (not really a pro but worth mentioning lol)
-the headphone jack is the same design as lifeproof but has a nifty tether you don't notice but keeps you from losing it.
-I can hear who I'm talking to almost as good as no case
-touch and typing sensitivity are pretty much perfect.
-no watermark like lifeproof

Cons:

-I have an intermittent echo or tunnel problem. The person I'm talking to sometimes complains of not being able to hear me well. Doesn't happen every time. If I open the charge port they can hear me perfectly.
-muffles music, ringing, text tones, and speaker phone a good bit. I'd say I lose about 35% of my sound. You open the charge port door and its loud as without the case. Good thing I don't listen to music and my phone stays on silent/vibrate
-yes it's easy to remove the phone but the recommended way by grabbing the latches and pulling scares me. It feels like the little plastic nubs that hold the latches in place are gonna break when doing this. In my mind its not "if" it's gonna happen but "when".
-I feel like its going to scratch and or chip easily when dropped because its made of an acrylic like material. I haven't dropped it yet or scratched it, but it's accumulating micro scratches like paint swirl marks on a black car. Not bad but I can see them. It doesn't bother me but may bother some people.


To me there's no clear cut winner. I did go back to the otterbox for a few days from the obex. The otterbox just simply works. I do type more errors on it tho. After using the catalyst, it is going to be hard to go back to any other case. I've fallen in love with the screens clarity and its looks. I guess I'll have to deal with the opening of the charge port door when talking on it. I don't like talking on the phone much anyway. I guess there's always going to be some sort of trade off. Out of the 4 cases I've tested made by 4 different companies, not one of them has got everything perfect. The otter box comes close....but it's just too big and heavy. Next up I guess will be the Altas.
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RoofMonkey

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#3
Is there an opening for the rear mic? I know the LifeProof doesn't have an opening, just a dimple in the case, which does no good for using the rear mic.
 

Europa

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#4
That's a lot of cons and bulk. Ever considered just going the AppleCare+ route? I've seen some videos where the iPhone 5 was fine after 10 seconds of submersion. I'd probably do the rice thing just to be safe, but I have AppleCare+ if necessary.
 

RoofMonkey

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#5
That's a lot of cons and bulk. Ever considered just going the AppleCare+ route? I've seen some videos where the iPhone 5 was fine after 10 seconds of submersion. I'd probably do the rice thing just to be safe, but I have AppleCare+ if necessary.
But what if you want / like to shoot videos like:
;)
 
#6
That's a lot of cons and bulk. Ever considered just going the AppleCare+ route? I've seen some videos where the iPhone 5 was fine after 10 seconds of submersion. I'd probably do the rice thing just to be safe, but I have AppleCare+ if necessary.
I just got my Lifeproof and love it so far. I may also get a Catalyst. My reasoning is that this summer I plan on a lot of water and beach activities and intend to use my phone for photos everywhere, even in/under water.
 

Europa

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#7
The Catalyst looks nice and it is very useful, but it just seems so bulky for an everyday case.
 

RoofMonkey

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#8
I just got my Lifeproof and love it so far. I may also get a Catalyst. My reasoning is that this summer I plan on a lot of water and beach activities and intend to use my phone for photos everywhere, even in/under water.
If you bought it directly from LP, did you also get their Water Protection plan?

AND.... Since you know you're going to be using it underwater read this. Just a little extra precaution they advise:
http://www.lifeproof.com/en/support/knowledge-base/solution/2229
 

RoofMonkey

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#12
I tend to agree with JIS
Why would a true LP case be 1/2 the price? Got a bad feeling about that.
 
#13
And just how would you know? If not real its a great knockoff. Typically fakes have substandard packaging that is a giveaway. Life proof uses embossing, varnished text, and a matte finish. All are present. The case itself and the included headphone jack appear to be great quality and fit perfectly.


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Redbull2000

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#14
Still looking for the retail store that sell it, anyone any idea?


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JIS

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#15
The Lifeproof knock offs are nearly indistinguishable from the real ones, until they start to fall apart. Which generally happens pretty quickly from what I've seen. Usually a dead give away is a seller offering cases in colors that LP doesn't. No warranty of any kind on eBay cases. If you buy it from an authorized dealer you can also buy the water warranty that replaces your phone if it drowns. I'm not willing to take a chance with a fake. Mine have all come directly from LP.
 

Ltzguy

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Jun 22, 2010
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#17
Is there an opening for the rear mic? I know the LifeProof doesn't have an opening, just a dimple in the case, which does no good for using the rear mic.
Not that I can see. But....I just shot a video with it and the sound quality is better than my lifeproof. I'm surprised it picked up the sounds as well as it did. I did notice the clear window over the flash appears to be a membrane like the ear speaker has. Might be why it works as well as it does.


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Ltzguy

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#18
That's a lot of cons and bulk. Ever considered just going the AppleCare+ route? I've seen some videos where the iPhone 5 was fine after 10 seconds of submersion. I'd probably do the rice thing just to be safe, but I have AppleCare+ if necessary.
Well I'm holding my lifeproof comparing them as I type this. It's barely thicker. It's the same height and width. The catalyst is .568" thick and the lifeproof is .477" thick. Ill take the extra .090 thickness for a case that works better all the way around and has better screen quality. On a side note, I haven't had to open the charge door to talk on it lately. Seems like when I take the phone out of the case (like I did to take pics of the case compared to the phone) ill have that problem for half a day and then it stops. Weird I know.

On the AppleCare thing. Well I purposely get my phone wet in some of the things I do (beach, swimming, fourwheeler riding) so I'd be replacing my phone pretty often. The purpose of me having the case is to use the phone anywhere I want and not having to worry about it.


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RoofMonkey

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#19
Thinking I may have to give this one a looksie ;)
I loved the glass screen of the Atlas, but it cut the sound down so bad & had a mute toggle problem so it was sent back. Still love & use my LifeProof as the everyday case (always have) but nothing wrong with checking other new cases out.
 

RoofMonkey

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#20
And just how would you know? If not real its a great knockoff. Typically fakes have substandard packaging that is a giveaway. Life proof uses embossing, varnished text, and a matte finish. All are present. The case itself and the included headphone jack appear to be great quality and fit perfectly.
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And the counterfeit cases & packaging get better everyday :(