Cygnett is one of the biggest household names in Australia when it comes to phone accessories. In recent years, Cygnett has become a much more global company and their products are now available all over the world. As you will see in this review, their products are often high-quality and excellently designed, so if you like what you see in this review, they’re definitely worth a look at if you’re in the market for a phone case or other accessories.
In this review, we have three Cygnett cases that have recently been launched in a range of premium cases for the insanely popular Samsung Galaxy S4; the cases we have on hand are the UrbanShield, the Cache, and the WorkMate Evolution. Unfortunately, I am not one of the lucky ones who owns a Samsung Galaxy S4 so I won’t have any in situ photos, but if you are interested in a case for your new phone, or any other phone that Cygnett produces a case for, you might see something you like.
What’s in the box
Cygnett phone case
Microfibre cloth, Cygnett-branded
1x screen protector for Samsung Galaxy S4
Swipe card for removing screen protector bubbles
Instructions for applying screen protector + warranty for the Cygnett case
Out of the box, the Cygnett cases will have everything you need to protect your beloved Galaxy S4. The screen protector looks decent and the small swipe card for getting bubbles out is a nice convenience. I found the branded microfibre cloth to be a nice touch, and the instructions and Cygnett’s lifetime warranty are standard fare. Wait, did I say lifetime warranty? All Cygnett’s products are covered by a standard 2 year warranty which can be extended to a lifetime warranty. Not bad.
Now onto the stars of the show.
The UrbanShield (RRP AU$34.95/MSRP US$29.99)
Let’s start with the UrbanShield. This case was designed for the “Slick Professional” and there’s little to suggest otherwise; just looking at the case, this Brushed Aluminium version looks fit for a hot-shot executive. The UrbanShield also comes in a grey Brushed Aluminium and also a Black or Grey Carbon Fibre version where the back panel features real carbon fibre.
Apart from the aluminium backing, the UrbanShield is mainly made up of hard plastic which should make for a snug fit around your Galaxy S4. As the thickness of the plastic is quite thin, Cygnett have opted to not use any additional covers for the hold and volume control buttons though this shouldn’t require any fishing for the buttons in the grooves. While the thin plastic will give your phone a very streamlined appearance, I’d guess that the edges of the case won’t come up too far past the screen (if at all), making this a risky choice if you are particularly accident prone.
Furthermore, while the brushed aluminium backing is nice to look at, dropping and excessive friction may eventually cause some marks on the surface. That said, if all you are looking for is a slick looking case that will protect your phone from all the everyday prangs, the UrbanShield should have you more than easily catered for.
The Cache (RRP AU$39.95/MSRP US$39.99)
Also in the “Slick Professional” line of Cygnett cases is the Cache, looking like the other end of executive phone fashion, the notebook-style case. The Cache shown below is the Charcoal offering; Cygnett also offers the same case but in Grey.
The Cache is a more reserved case than the UrbanShield with its conservative notebook appearance which is made up of frosted-canvas. If that description doesn’t tell you enough, I would describe it close to the texture of very smooth woven material that has been waxed over.
The inside of the case is a different story. The inside of the back cover is more of that hard plastic and is even thinner than the plastic on the UrbanShield which should quell any worries about pressing buttons. The front flip cover of the case is actually felt which is a nice touch to the whole fabric “feel” of the Cache. You’ll also notice that the front cover has a slot, which should be able to fit either a credit card or some business cards.
The Cache has one other feature up its sleeve; it also enables your Galaxy S4 to be used in the horizontal incline position. This is possible as the front flip cover is actually anchored not at the edge of the phone, but in the middle of the phone, allowing it to pivot and rest in an incline position. So how does the phone stay in an upright position? This is where the materials of the Cache play a pretty big role. The frosted canvas and the felt on the inside of the front cover actually do a pretty good job of sticking together and stopping any sliding occurring. Obviously you would still experience the occasional slip inherent to this kind of case, but you have to hand it to Cygnett for considering this in their design.
My only concern with the Cache is that pivot point at the back of the phone. Keeping with the fabric theme of the case, the front flip cover is secured to the back of the phone by one row of stitching. It is this stitching which I fear may start to fray and become undone as the case is used more and more. As mentioned before, the case is also thinner than the UrbanShield, so any significant falls might be a worry for the Cache. But small concerns aside, the Cache is a nifty little case if you are looking for that notebook-style case with a unique design that is also usable to stand horizontally without assistance.
The WorkMate Evolution (RRP AU$34.95/MSRP US$29.99)
Our last case (but definitely not the least) is the WorkMate Evolution. The WorkMate is in a different line of cases to the UrbanShield and Cache, called cases for those with “Active Lifestyles”. And just looking at it, you can probably see why.
The WorkMate is a much more rugged offering from Cygnett and has several features that will probably appeal more to… well, active people. The WorkMate is well padded inside and out; the outside of the case features large silicon corners to absorb any large impacts and the back of the case has a rough rubber surface which allows the WorkMate to grip to pretty well all surfaces. As the case is so thickly layered for all that extra protection, this case has button covers for the hold and volume buttons which look to be appropriately sized and placed to allow those buttons to be operated correctly.
The case itself is actually made up of two pieces; a silicon inner case and a hard plastic outer case. This pairing gives your Galaxy S4 a lot of protection, and the fact that the case edges come up quite far past the screen means your screen will be have ample protection. This is in fact the WorkMate Evolution’s party piece, which Cygnett claim will protect your Galaxy S4 from fall damage of up to 3 meters (10 feet). Don’t believe them? Watch this video (also features two of Cygnett’s designers who give a much more technical description of the WorkMate’s constrction):
Believe them now? As cringeworthy as the drop test was to watch, it does appear that the WorkMate is well designed for any escapades your phone might have from up above. Even the 3 metre drop which appears to have dropped the phone on its screen doesn’t appear to have even scratched the Galaxy S4. A pretty impressive case to say the least. Because it is such a thick, protective case though, it does increase the size of your phone by quite a bit, so those of you who have small, tight pockets might not like what it does to your figure.
The WorkMate Evolution is likely to have you covered if you have a lifestyle where your phone is going to get more than a few bumps and bruises; with that kind of protection, AU$34.95/US$29.99 is pretty darn decent.
So that’s three pretty impressive Cygnett cases for a Samsung Galaxy S4: if you’re looking for something slick and professional, you’ll like the UrbanShield. If you’re looking for something equally professional but functional for using your phone for movies and such, the Cache is a very good choice. And the WorkMate is, simply put, a beast. If you find the one that suits your lifestyle, you’ll have a great case that should last the life of your phone.
If you’re interested in having a look at Cygnett’s range of products, or the products that were reviewed here, the links are included below: