lifeproof fre vs catalyst waterproof case for iphone xs comparison

Today I’m checking out the Lifeproof Fre and Catalyst waterproof case. Both are waterproof but which is the best case for water and impact resistant? Let’s check my comparison below!

Lifeproof Fre Waterproof Case for iPhone XS

lifeproof fre waterproof case for iphone xs review

The LifeProof Fre is an average protective case which costs less than the Catalyst, but you still get the dust and impact protection. The best thing about waterproof cases is that not only it’s waterproof, but it also seals your phone from snow, dirt, dust, and snow. In terms of waterproof specs, a Lifeproof case can be submerged up to 2 metres for one hour. It can also survive drops for two metres.

Another attractive feature of the LifeProof Fre is their one year warranty; if the case breaks, they’ll send you another one for free. From my perspective, donʼt get the LifeProof Fre as a diving case. If youʼre looking for a case to capture awesome moments in the ocean, lake or pool, go with the Catalyst instead. Personally, Iʼd only get the LifeProof Fre if I worked outside all the time.

Catalyst Waterproof Case for iPhone XS

catalyst waterproof case for iphone xs review

The Catalyst is a two-piece case made with a transparent polycarbonate shell and as well as the rubber bumpers along the outer corner of the case that protects from drops and shocks. The four rubber pads inside the case at the corners help dampen impacts. Waterproof up to 10 metres below the surface for up to 30 minutes, the IP68 protection adds an additional level of protection against dirt, snow and dust while still providing 100 percent access to all buttons, sensors and cameras without interruption.

Beyond waterproofing, the Catalyst adds MIL-STD 810G also has the military standards to protect against drops up to 2 metres in the air, thanks to the silicone-based build quality that also adds a non-slip grip and scratch-proof polycarbonate. This case is expensive due to the high waterproof features and slim design case. A one year warranty is also included with this case.

Here’s the breakdown:

  Lifeproof Fre Waterproof Case  Catalyst Waterproof Case
  • More colours options
  • Less A$28.00
  • Additional accessory options
  • Waterproof up to 10 metres
  • Easier to mute
  • Slimmer design
  • Bonus wrist lanyard
  • Only waterproof up to two meters
  • Only comes in black
Waterproof protection
  • Waterproof up to 2 metres
  • Waterproof up to 10 metres
Impact resistance
  • Up to two metres 
  • Up to two metres 
Dust proof Yes Yes
Lightning port covered Yes Yes
  • Additional accessory options
  • No additional accessory options
Colour options
  • Only comes in black
  • More colours options
  • 1-year warranty
  • 1-year warranty
Price A$79.95 A$107.95


The Catalyst is more expensive, but with that upfront cost comes the best waterproof rating you can find and a slimmer case than Lifeproof. However, The Lifeproof Fre gives you more options when it comes to colour, and additional accessories that you can buy that works with its Lifeproof Fre case.

Lifeproof Fre case costs lower than the Catalyst, but you only get 2 metres of waterproof features. Overall, when comparing the Catalyst and the Lifeproof Fre is that the Catalyst has the highest water-resistance and is slimmer, whereas the Lifeproof has more colour options and is cheaper.


The problem with Lifeproof Fre is the depth of the waterproof features which is only 2 metres, and the Catalyst only comes in black. If you’re looking for more colours to choose from then, you can choose the Lifeproof Fre case. While not quite as protective as the Catalyst, Lifeproof Fre case is cheaper and will not only keep your iPhone safe but will allow you to be more expressive with fun colours.

While the Catalyst has the deepest waterproof features of 10 metres deep and it is slimmer than the Fre. Both have the ports all covered, impact and dust protection and 1-year manufacturer's warranty. We highly recommend the Catalyst case for water protection, but if you want a more stylish option and a cheaper case, the Lifeproof case will get the job done but with less water protection. Keep in mind also that Apple states that the water-resistant of the iPhone XS decreases every time it gets wet, so it's time to get a waterproof case!

Buy Lifeproof for iPhone XS

Buy Catalyst for iPhone XS

Buy iPhone XS Accessories