The first few days of carrying the Griffin Survivor + Catalyst Waterproof Case for the iPhone 5.

GSC_Boxed I’ve never owned a phone case/cover with an "Owner’s Guide", so the Griffin Survivor + Catalyst Waterproof (GSC) case is a first for me.  The folks over at MobileZap were kind enough to send me one for review.

I’d buy one as the review case saved my iPhone 5 from damage.  Worth the investment at $88.49.

The GSC brings back memories of Panasonic Toughbooks, and how rugged they were.  Griffin have rated the drop performance of the case at 2 meters, and my own experience backs that up.  The case allows you to submerse the iPhone and use it as an underwater camera.  Down to 3 metres.


(five o-rings)

Setting the case up.
The case ships was an ALERT! warning placard inside it.  Directing you to look at the 72 page "Owner’s Guide":

"Failure to follow all installation, maintenance and operating instructions while using the case may destroy your device."


One of the first things the Owners Guide tells you to go, is to test your case by soaking it for 30 minutes.  I did, and no water got managed to get into the case.  I’m not surprised as the case really is sealed that well.

GSC_30 minute soakAfter I dried the case off, I opened the case up to place my iPhone 5s into it.  (yes, the Owners Guide has instructions on that too).  The large o-ring detached itself when I opened the case.  After having a flip though the Owners Guide, I found out how to reposition the o-ring.  I don’t see that being a major problem, as I don’t plan on removing the iPhone from the GSC.

Carrying and using the GSC.
GSC_Headphone socket It doesn’t feel any different to carrying an iPhone 5.  If you have an iPhone 5s, the fingerprint recognition won’t work.  You might think enclosing the iPhone in a polycarbonate case would affect the sound quality.  I didn’t notice any difference.  Griffin supplies a waterproof headphone jack/socket plug, for those times when you want some privacy by plugging in your earphones.

I’ve dropped the GSC once so far.  I occasionally inspect fire stairwells.  I take my iPhone along to photograph any problems I find.  I dropped the GSC, and it bounced down several concrete steps.  My iPhone 5s survived undamaged.  So did the Griffin case.

If you have a number of older iPhone compatible devices (speaker systems, clock radios etc), and have one of those Lightning adapters, you’re going to be disappointed.  The charge point is only wide enough to fit a standard Lightning USB cable.  Not a big issue for me, just something to be aware of.  (the Apple Lightning “Cord” adapter would be a workaround for this problem)

In conclusion.
Having destroyed a previous smart phone, a Palm Treo, by leaving it unprotected in my computer briefcase, I know the importance of protecting your smart phone.  Having dropped my Griffin Survivor + Catalyst protected phone, just reinforces that for me.
I’d strongly recommend the Griffin Survivor + Catalyst Waterproof iPhone 5 case.

Light weight, only 100 grams
The Griffin website, which has instructional videos.
It saved my iPhone 5s from an actual drop.

O-ring pops out when opening case.
The Apple Lightning to 30-pin adapter doesn’t fit.