iPhone cases, something we are all-too-familiar with. We’ve probably had our sticky fingers on somewhere close to 200 cases, most of which we’ve featured here for you to read. We know sometimes we can throw a lot at you, but when you think about all the non-sense companies out there, slapping material together and really only producing something that ruins the beauty that is iPhone, what we’re doing is really only here to help you, the reader. We try to weed out the best from the rest, and really give you some insight into what you are really spending that 20-40 dollars on.
A couple weeks ago I received an email asking if I would like to do a big feature on Cygnett. I know I haven’t used any Cygnett cases personally, but Mike had a chance to and liked what he used. So I thought since the iPhone 5 is still really new and there are a lot of people still waiting on their Apple shipment to arrive, I would get as much into your noggin as I possibly could on the best and worst of the iPhone 5 protective and sexy garments. So on that chilly November morning I received a fairly larger box full of Cygnett swag. 6 cases for me to test out and feature for you, on the World’s greatest tech site!
Cygnett – a name that is pretty familiar in the accessory game. I haven’t used any – before now – but I do know the name. I am somewhat sure you have as well. So for those of you that were in the same boat I was, and even those of you that are interested in getting back into the Cygnett game after acquiring your – most likely – scuffed iPhone 5, this post is for you…Well…It’s for everyone else too
Out of all the cases I was sent, this is by far the lightest in the bunch. A minimalistic piece of translucent blue (or clear) plastic that features the design of triangles lightly etched into the back of the case. It’s an extremely lightweight case that will add no bulk whatsoever to your iPhone 5.
All ports and buttons are easily accessible and the case itself will add a nice amount of protection against scrapes and scratches. I know some of you out there hate the open top and bottom, but this case does have the open ends, so you won’t have all that protection there, but it does wrap the corners and give you some drop protection.
The Polygon doesn’t offer a lay-flat front protection, but luckily all Cygnett cases comes with a screen protector. This is a huge bonus for case buyers and a big up on the competition as there are quite a few that don’t offer this extra. So even though the case won’t protect when lying flat, you can be assured the included screen protector will help add that extra level of protection.
The Polygon is a great case, it offers a slick design adding no extra bulk and it comes in two different colors. The only issue I really found with the case is that it was really slick on the sides of the case. The back’s pattern gave somewhat of a grip to it, but the sides were scarily slippery, so watch out for that!
Buy: Polygon ($18.99)
UrbanShield – Genuine Carbon Fiber
Out of all the cases that was shipped to me, the UrbanShield Carbon Fiber(and Aluminum) was by far my favorite. This amazing case, dressed all in the black, felt the best in my hand. It was a smooth matte finish on the sides a the carbon fiber look on the back side. Something I have noticed from many manufacturers out there is that you’ll compromise beauty for protection. I understand this, sometimes we just can’t have what looks good and keeps our $200+ investment safe.
The Carbon Fiber UrbanShield is so damn slim, but it still offers protection against your every day scratches, bumps and bruises. Like the Polygon, we don’t have a lay-safe protection front, but it does come with that same screen protector. All cutouts for ports and buttons are perfectly positioned to offer easy access to everything. We still don’t have any protection on top and the bottom, both areas left open. To me this is fine, as I haven’t really ever dropped an iPhone (except while I was reviewing this case, in all honesty), so having those areas covered isn’t a necessity.
I do love my iPhone do be as thin as the day I took it out of its box. I hate bulky cases. I like what looks and feels good. This case blows both areas out of the water. It feels fantastic and looks absolutely gorgeous covering the black iPhone 5. I know it won’t protect against your face-height drop, but you will be fine if dropping from your waist or knees. I stood up from a chair I was sitting in at work and happened to just let go of my iPhone…bump, roll, bang, slam…after picking the iPhone up, all was fine. No gashes on the corners, face, top or bottom. Everything was protected and in perfect condition. This was probably the first time I have ever dropped my iPhone, I was horribly frightened, but once I saw everything was fine, and still looked like a Sega Genesis draped in a sexy black suit, I’ll never worry again.
Buy: UrbanShield ($29.99)
Vector 3D Tough Case
The first two cases in this post are both a harder material, the Vector 3D was the first case I used that was actually a software, more flexible material. Featuring a unique design and great protection, the Vector 3D might be an all-around good case.
This case, over the previous two offers tons of protection. It does offer somewhat of a lay-safe design so you can lay it on it’s face without having to worry about your screen. The case is a tough material that does give you some great drop protection. Even when giving you such good protection you really aren’t going to have to sacrifice any style or size. Not much bulk is added on to the case and it actually fits very well over your iPhone.
This case does cover the top and bottom of your iPhone but still gives you easy access to your Lightning and headphone ports, as well as your speakers. You have a mute toggle cutout that is fairly easy to get to. The main issue with accessibility I found with this case was the volume buttons. I found it dang near impossible to easily adjust the volume while this case was being worn. You have to press not where the cover sticks out, but where it slants in to the front of the case. It wasn’t natural and was actually quite awkward to do. The sleep/wake button cover is the same way. If it wasn’t for these issues, which to me are pretty big, this would be my favorite out of the cases.. If I can’t easily access bits-and-pieces of my iPhone, I find it highly inconvenient. The Vector features a great design with no real extra bulk, and it offers great protection, it really could be one of the better cases I have used…Minus those button covers, dangit.
Buy: Vector 3D ($18.99)
The Bulldozer is the beefiest case out of the lot that was sent to me. It offers extra-protection in a somewhat rigid silicone design. The rear of the case offers great grip and the case actually feels nice in-hand. It isn’t the sleekest of cases, but you do get outstanding protection in small package.
Full protection is offered via the Bulldozer. You can lay it on the face of the phone and be 100% protected, add that free screen protector and you have yourself a tough case. Solid protection at almost every angle. The buttons on the phone are completely covered as they were on the Vector, but the good thing about this case is that they are so very easy to get to. The mute toggle is a little deeper and tougher to get to, but it isn’t as hard as some cases I’ve tested. All ports on the bottom of the iPhone are protected but still easy to access.
The main issue I had with this case is how loose my iPhone felt inside of it. It didn’t fall out, but I felt it would at every twist and turn. Luckily it wrapped around the front of the iPhone, if it wasn’t for that I would have been very scared to use this case.
The case is a unique and tough design. It is bright orange, but it isn’t crazy bulky but offers a great amount of protection. Easy access to the buttons via the integrated covers, and it really just feels good in your hand.
Buy: Bulldozer ($19.99)
Here is the case for the clumsy worker-bee that needs the heavy-duty, “oh sh!t” protection. The WorkMate gives you a two-piece plastic and rubber design laced with shock-absorbing goodness in somewhat of a larger case. When compared to everything I have talked about tonight, and will continue to talk about, this is by far the ‘fat uncle’ of the Cygnett family.
Once you get past the charcoal smell, the WorkMate is actually a nice case. It’s rugged design will protect the heck out of your iPhone from all the blue-collar drops or drunken tosses you’ll encounter. You set your iPhone into the rubber skin that is thin on the sides but offers mass-amounts of protection at the top/bottom and corners. You then snap that into the rear/side protective plastic piece. I found it some awkward when attempting to connect these two pieces, but after a few times it was simple and easy to do.
Like the Bulldozer, you have complete protection of your device. The volume buttons are easy to use and are fully protected. The mute toggle is actually very difficult to get to, taking a lot of thought of a go-get-em attitude just to mute the device. The sleep/wake button is also pretty difficult to use, it features a raised square piece that when pressed doesn’t actually touch the sleep/wake button, you have to press your finger inside the square to get to the button. It’s odd and clunky, and very difficult to get to.
The WorkMate is actually quite a handsome design. It’s rugged, somewhat overweight, but it offers great protection. But please remember you will sacrifice some usability with this case. All ports at the bottom are easy to get to, but your mute toggle and sleep/wake functions will be difficult. I was sent the Slate Blue version and I will have to say it is one of the sexiest color combos I have seen on a case. I was smitten at first sight!
Buy: WorkMate ($24.99)
This is the richer baby brother of the UrbanShield Carbon Fiber case I spoke to earlier in this late-night rambling. Featuring the same, absolutely incredible, matte finish sides, it feels almost orgasmic in your hands. The brushed aluminum on the back instead of the carbon fiber is a very attractive addition to the UrbanShield line of cases. This case is just as thin as the carbon fiber model, but looks a lot more sophisticated and learned. It’s sexy brushed metal backing that almost seductively touches the smooth matte finish makes your hand jump in joy.
Other than the back design, nothing is different with this case over the Carbon Fiber model from earlier. You have your same open ended top and bottom, easy to get to cutouts for everything, and once again, that gorgeous black iPhone on smooth black matte finish to get you going. I did find this model a little bit grippier in your hand than the slick Carbon Fiber model, which for those that are worried about that grip factor but still like the look and feel of the UrbanShield would probably want to go along the Aluminum route over the earlier mentioned one.
Your level of protection will be the same, no major drops or bangs, but again, I dropped my iPhone while wearing the UrbanShield and it did an outstanding job at protecting it. The phone looks great dressed in the UrbanShield case. I had a few people at work really take to the Aluminum backing on the black iPhone, so it was a smash hit amongst my co-workers. The phone looks great in the case, and it actually feels better in your hand than a naked iPhone, and that is a hard-to-find feature!
Buy: UrbanShield Aluminum ($24.99)
I have used tons of cases in my iPhone having days. Some have been horrible and some of really made me happy to have the protection. It really wasn’t until receiving my iPhone 5 that I was really all that worried about adding a case for protection. I used to get away with a bumper, or nothing at all pre-iPhone 4. But since opening my iPhone to find a scuff, I really didn’t want to add to the drama of ugly gashes. So I’ve been finding myself having an all-new obsession with protection. Especially after spilling a Fat Tire all over my iPhone the other night. It’s been years since I picked up my first iPhone, and finally all that luck has caught up with me and decided to take a rest. I am accident prone and clumsy, so having protection, but not giving up that sweet, sweet design is key to keeping me happy.
Adding some creative and unique designs, all while throwing extras at you, like the screen protector, micro-fiber cloth, and squeegee as well as a case, all for under $30 is huge. I highly recommend heading over to the Cygnett website and checking out all the products they have to offer!
We will be featuring some more Cygnett products in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for all they have to offer, as well as all we have to say!