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Review: iPhone 5 Cases from Cygnett (UrbanShield and Workmate)

By Tony Hannides On Sep 30, 2012 0
4 out of 5 Rating

How many iPhone 5 cases are now available? Hundreds? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Our job here at LTG is to help you narrow down your choices to the some of the most unique and useful cases to protect your new iPhone 5. A few days ago, we announced the new ICON line from Cygnett, an Austrailian case designer. While we didn’t get a chance to look at any ICON cases, we did get to snag a peek at the UrbanShield and the Workmate cases. And, the cases include a free screen protector.

UrbanShield Case


The UrbanShield case is a one piece clip on style case. On the back of the case is a thin sheet of brushed aluminum for looks and durability. In fact, the UrbanShield comes in 3 different styles: brushed aluminum, dark brushed aluminum and carbon fiber. Although the case probably isn’t the best if you’re rough on your phone and tend to throw it around, it’s perfect for the slim-line modern aged look. Since it is one piece, the front left and right sides snap the iPhone into place but there’s no bezel covering the top or bottom of the iPhone. But the plastic is rubbery so it can absorb some of the shock if the phone is dropped. All the openings are easily accessible and the camera in the rear has full view and isn’t cut off.

Because of the brushed aluminum, I thought the phone would just slip out of my hands but the slightly rubbery edges do have some grip. This case definitely says you’re a person of the modern age but doesn’t attract too much attention.

Product Shots


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The case doesn’t have too much protection so if you need something military grade, check out the Workmate.

Workmate Case


Designed for those who need a durable case for work or lifestyle, the Workmate Case is military grade protection. The Workmate case comes in 2 different colors, blue and khaki. The case itself is a 2 piece design. Similar to an Otterbox or Griffin Survivor case, the harder poly carbonate frame surrounds the iPhone 5 while the heftier and durable rubber is stretched into place. Getting the thinner frame around the iPhone is no problem; the struggle starts with the heavy duty rubber cover. There are certain parts of the cover that need to fit into holes and fit around corners; if done improperly, it won’t have a complete seal around the phone.

Unlike the Otterbox and Survivor cases, all the plugs and buttons are either easily accessible and there’s no additional flap to uncover them. The On/Off switch at the top and be depressed with the molded piece,

the volume buttons can be pressed through the case and the toggle switch has an opening. The only plug I’d worry about is the 3.5mm headphone. The case’s rubber edge is very close to the opening so if you’ve got a large headphone unit, you might have some trouble plugging in the jack all the way. Also, the case is not waterproof or even water resistant; for that, look at the LifeProof cases.

Honestly, I didn’t have the heart to try out a drop test since the iPhone 5 was not my own. If you want to see one, click over to here.

Product Shots


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So each case we looked at are for complete opposites of what one might be looking for in a case. The UrbanShield was a slim-line unibody design that had a modern appeal to it. The Workmate can take a beating and is definitely bulkier than the UrbanShield. Without a doubt the UrbanShield feels solid but because there’s very little protection on the front, it’s a case for decoration; not phone safety. The Workmate on the other hand is…a hand full. However, it does fit in the pocket fairly well. However, even though it is military grade, the only screen protection it has is the extra plastic cover you get for free. It’s not like an Otterbox that has a screen protector that’s part of the case.

Based off what I know to be available in the market, you get your money’s worth with any of the cases from Cygnett. Even if the two cases we saw here aren’t your “cup of tea,” they might have a design you prefer. Remember, they have the ICON line with an international known graffiti artist. Also as a brand, they back their products with a limited 2 year warranty; most other places only cover 90 days. These cases are designed with quality in mind so don’t think that the cheap price reflects a cheap product. I would recommend the Cygnett line to anyone looking for a unique iPhone 5 case.

Check out their full line of iPhone 5 cases, as well as cases for other mobile phones and tablets.

Special thanks to loyal readers Peter and Deyanara for letting us borrow your phones to test out these products! Appreciate it!