A few weeks ago I was sent an EscapeCapsule from the nice people at Catalyst, and whilst on my recent holiday (vacation), I put the EscapeCapsule through its paces.
So, what is the EscapeCapsule? Well the EscapeCapsule is a waterproof case for the iPhone 4 and 4S, and has been designed to protect it from water, rain, snow, sand, mud, scratches and anything else you can throw at it.
What Catalyst have to say dbout the EscapeCapsule
"The EscapeCapsule™ is unique in that it bridges the gap between a fully covered waterproof housing and a fashion accessory while preserving the functionality of the iPhone 4 & 4S. It is intended to keep your device safe for days out in the rain, trips to the beach and on the ski slopes.
The touchscreen is fully responsive, buttons are all accessible and the camera and video can be used underwater. Specifically engineered ports transfer sound through the case so that you can make clear phone calls, hands-free calls and face time calls.
The most important design element of the EscapeCapsule™ is the fact that the housing is made from a high impact crystal clear polycarbonate. This allows the iPhone to be showcased rather than hidden by the protective shell. The clear shell also allows you to easily see the edge of the "O-ring" as it seals against the housing. This ability to visually inspect the water tight seal from outside the case allows you to confidently take your iPhone into any environment."
- IPX8 waterproof to 2 meters (6.6') for 30 minutes
- Sound ports allow you to make and receive regular hands free phone calls
- Rubber buttons allow easy use of the on/off, home and the volume buttons
- Touchscreen works through an optically clear scratch resistant membrane
- Never lose your phone with integrated color matched rubber lanyard
- Take videos and pictures anywhere including underwater
- Easy to assemble housing, sealed with an O-ring
- Headphone jack port that fits Apple earphones
- Dimensions: 70 mm x 126 mm x 15.2 mm
- Weight: 50 grams
Ok, so above is all the spiel about the EscapeCapsule, but what's it like in the real world? Well, if you decide to order an EscapeCapsule, then it will arrive nicely packaged and presented, with a set of instructions plus a link to the Catalyst website that contains details on how to fit and test the EscapeCapsule prior to use (which you MUST read). Despite the instructions being clear and simple, the very first time you submerge your EscapeCapsule protected iPhone in water, your breathing will pause for a second, quickly followed by sigh of relief as you realise no water has rushed in, and your iPhone is still dry, safe and working.
So having tested the EscapeCapsule, it's time to take it and your iPhone out in to the real world, which I did whilst in Cyprus a couple of weeks ago. Safely sealed away, I was happily able to take and use my iPhone to capture stills and video in/by the swimming pool, on the sandy (and sometimes pebbly) beach and in the sea, and without any fear of my iPhone becoming damaged and unusable.
So what do I think about the EscapeCapsule? Well, all-in-all it's well made, very easy to fit, and a great way to protect your iPhone from the elements, and take shots that you most probably wouldn't be able to take without one.
Whilst I really like the case, and will definitely be using it again, I did experience a problem when using it under water. As we all know, the iPhone touch screen is pressure sensitive, that responds to the larger surface area of your finger as apposed to the small area of a stylus tip. This pressure sensitive screen unfortunately had a tenancy to respond to the change in surface pressure as I quickly descended below the water, and as a result switched the iPhones camera mode from stills to video (or vice versa), and because of this pressure, the screen would not respond to touches whilst under the water, and so I found myself having to surface to switch shooting modes. Now this isn't a fault of the case, but just a limitation of its use. Also if you intend using the EscapeCapsule for under water use, you will have to reply on the iPhones default camera/video capturing app and the volume shutter.
As mentioned, I safely used my EscapeCapsule protected iPhone in water and on the beach, but it's designed for more than that, so if you are someone that needs to use your iPhone in a damp/wet or dusty place, either for taking photos or chatting, then the EscapeCapsule is the perfect case for you, however, as with any product, there will always be things you like and things you don't like, and here are mine.
- Easy fitting
- Excellent protection from the elements
- Wrist strap, that feels flimsy
The EscapeCapsule is priced at $89.99 USD (which includes free worldwide shipping), and is available direct from Catalyst.
I MADE AN ERROR!!
Every now and then I write a review full of errors/wrong information, and sadly this review is one of those. As pointed out to me by an anonymous comment (which I have not posted), the issue with the screen response (or lack of it) whilst under water, has nothing to do with water pressure, but the way the iPhones capacitance screen works which involves electrical signals, something that water simply does not conduct.
So why did I make this error? Well some may say, I'm just plane stupid (and I can't argue with that), but the reason I discounted the screen technology, was that during my initial water tight test, I was sure that I had taken some test photos whilst holding the iPhone under water. Clearly I must have dreamt this, as I just retested, and no, the screen does not respond even with the smallest amount of water on it.
Despite this gleaming error, the EscapeCapsule is a great way to protect your iPhone from the elements.