By Dig Om on Mon, 06/11/2012
Introducing the Escape Capsule by Catalyst. This latest entry into the relatively exclusive field of waterproof cases does the job and does it with style. I've recently been able to test out this case, (which officially start shipping tomorrow, 6/12/2012) and having spent some hands-on time with it, I especially appreciated the Escape Capsule's minimalist approach to the waterproof case design format, among other things. This case is the "glass house” of waterproof cases. More than any other waterproof case, this case highlights your iPhone in all of its elegance and grace. With a completely transparent, thick, shatterproof polycarbonate shell this case really puts the visual emphasis on the iPhone inside, and in the process, is very low key. The silicone headphone seal, home button cover and the O-ring that seal the case airtight are all color coordinated to give this case a tasteful "splash" of color.
Another unique aspect of the Escape Capsule is that its touch screen cover is just a hair thicker than most of the other waterproof cases on the market. While it is only thicker by a fraction of a millimeter, it is enough to add an extra sense of security when it comes to any face-plants your iPhone may take, especially when slippery! I always consider the touchscreen on waterproof cases to be somewhat of an Achilles Heel, since to allow us to interact with the screen, they by default, have to be of a certain thinness. This case provides a refreshing testimony to the fact that a waterproof case can get away with a touchscreen cover that is slightly tougher, slightly denser, without sacrificing interactive capability. Take it from me, as a heavy gamer; I can vouch for the touchscreen cover's ability to let you interact with your device with precision and speed!
The shell of the case splits apart down the sides to pop open. It's not too much trouble to get off and on, but the integrity of the seal depends greatly on having a clean and debris-free channel for the O-ring to seal effectively. As with any waterproof case, keep the sealing mechanisms clean.
Inside the case is a dense, almost unnoticeable (also color coordinated) silicone bumper that protects the case from shock. Also on the inner part of the case, are fine plastic membranes placed strategically over the speakers and mic, which allow sound to travel unobstructed from the speakers and to the mic.
One unfortunate draw back to most of the waterproof cases on the market, is the fact that you usually have to take them out of their cases to charge them, and since they tend to be a bit more cumbersome than the average case to get on and off, this may be considered a drawback, especially to anyone who is a heavy user and is always draining the battery.
The Escape Capsule gives you access to the headphone jack via a snugly plugged port, and access to the mute feature can be achieved by enabling Accessibility as a triple-click feature under General Setting in the Settings app. Another thing I'd love to see them include in future designs of the Escape Capsule would be the inclusion of at least a little silicone grippiness to the exterior. Currently, the outside of the case is all just slick, slippery plastic, with the exception of the volume buttons and headphone plug.
This case was originally funded by Kickstarter and I've been excitedly awaiting its release for months now! The team at Catalyst has definitely scored a hit with this new waterproof case. The Escape Capsule is available from www.catalystlifestyle.com for $90.00.