Catalyst Galaxy S9 Impact Protection Case review: Jack of all trades

Android Central Verdict

Price: $39.99Bottom line: Offers more than enough protection in a slim, good-looking package.


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    Drop-protection up to 9.9-feet

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    Surprisingly thin and light design

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    Textured, easy-to-press buttons

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    Optional wrist lanyard is included


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    Fewer colors available compared to iPhone cases

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Way back in 2014, a Kickstarter was launched for an iPhone 4 case called the EscapeCapsule. It was a fully-enclosed waterproof case that went on to collect nearly $55,000 in funding from almost 600 backers, and today, the company is known as Catalyst with a case for just about every Apple product you could think of.

This July, Catalyst finally expanded outside of the Apple ecosystem and launched its Impact Protection Case for the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+.

Even though most Android users are probably unfamiliar with the company, Galaxy S9 customers should pay close attention as this is one of the best cases you can buy for the phone.

This thing does it all

Catalyst Galaxy S9 Impact Protection Case What I like

As the name "Impact Protection Case" suggests, this is a case that's designed to be a bit more rugged than the average bear.

Catalyst promises drop-protection up to 9.9-feet (or 3-meters) with a unique Impact Truss System that helps to absorb the impact of particularly nasty falls, and in my experience, this results in more than enough protection to keep your phone safe and secure no matter what you're doing.

The sides of the case feature a rugged rubber finish that feels great in the hand, the textured buttons are very easy to press, and the back features a clear finish so you can still appreciate the design of your S9.

Despite all of this security, wireless charging still works like you'd expect and Catalyst includes a free wrist lanyard that you can attach to the bottom-right corner to ensure you always know where your phone's at.

A few other highlights include extra-wide cutouts for the 3.5mm headphone jack and USB-C port, the orange buttons against the blue frame for the color I have look stunning, and popping the case on and off is much easier than some competitors.

While all of that would be great on its own, what really struck me the most about this case is how it doesn't really add any unnecessary bulk to the S9. The phone is still very manageable in the hand and doesn't feel much heavier at all. As someone that hates cases but gets anxiety when carrying a phone naked, this is a great middle ground.

The cost of luxury

Catalyst Galaxy S9 Impact Protection Case What I don't like

As for what I don't like about Catalyst's Galaxy S9 case, there's not a lot.

There are three excellent colors to choose from right now (Stealth Black, Blueridge Sunset, and Clear), and while all of these look great, I'd like to see the Coral, Sunset, and other eye-catching shades from the iPhone X case brought over at some point down the road.

Also, while the $39.99 price is reasonable considering the quality of case you're getting, I can understand how some people may be turned away from it.

Catalyst Galaxy S9 Impact Protection Case

I wasn't sure what to expect going into this review, but after rocking the Catalyst Impact Protection on my S9 for the past few days, I've been exceedingly happy with it.

As mentioned above, the case looks great, has incredibly tactile buttons, and offers fantastic protection from all angles without making the S9 overly bulky.

Add that together with good button cutouts, the free lanyard, and a solid choice of color combos, and there's not much to complain about.

5 out of 5

It's disappointing that not all of the colors from the iPhone X Impact Protection Case made their way over here and the $39.99 price tag might be too rich for some, but those two small gripes aside, this is a phenomenal accessory that every S9 and S9+ owner should look into.

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Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.