Android smartphones seem to be eternally cursed with having far less options when it comes to accessories, and that especially applies to cases. While there is a huge plethora to choose from for Android phones, particularly the Galaxy S4, the more unique, quirkly, or novel cases are often only available to the iPhone. You could argue that you could get printed skins for your phone, but then you lack the protection from a case. So when Cygnett released the ICON Art Series cases for Galaxy S4, bringing with it its focus on artists, it was always going to be something special.
The ICON Art Series is the embodiment of Cygnett’s “passion for creativity, art and design” featuring original works from career artists to create cases that feature both their art and artistic vision. The two cases we have on hand are the Quiet Storm case by Tats Cru, and the Perentie case by Ronnie Tjampitjinpa.
Also known as “The Mural Kings”, Tats Cru is a world renowned graffiti art group comprised of current active members Nicer, Bg183, How, Nosm and Totem2. The group was founded in New York by Wilfredo “Bio” Feliciano, commonly referred to as a “true master of New York style painting”, to help spread the art of graffiti around the world.
For more about Tats Cru and their decorated history, visit their website here
For their ICON case, Tats Cru shows one part of a wall which was painted by founder Bio in The Bronx, New York where so many of the graffiti artists call home.
Ronnie Tjampitjinpa is an indigenous Australian whose paintings feature strong influence from the Tingari Cycle, a concept bestowed onto initiated men in Aboriginal culture. Ronnie is among the first among traditional artists who successfully made the jump to modern art mediums, and continues to influence artists and have his works featured globally.
To read more about Ronnie Tjampitjinpa, visit the Aboriginal Art Online site here.
The Perentie, for which this case is named, is a native goanna in Australia which can grow up to 2.5 metres. The Perentie features prominently in Aboriginal dreamtime stories, and in this particular case, the painting is depicting two women who tracked and killed a Perentie, which after its death, turned to stone and became a mountain in Kintore, Australia.
The ICON Art Series cases aren’t designed for heavy impacts, but they still feature Cygnett’s basic polycarbonate hard shell which should be more than sufficient for everyday knocks and bumps. They can roughly be equated to the Feel case that Cygnett released for the Galaxy S4 Mini (read the review here), except for the obvious addition of artworks adorning the case.
The case snaps onto the Galaxy S4 snugly and provides enough of an edge to prevent face-down damage. There are also sufficient recesses left to access all the various holes but the hold and volume buttons are slightly misaligned, leaving the button very close to the edge of the recess and making it quite difficult to access. All-in-all, the case provides the minimum level of protection you would expect from a case.
The artworks are printed on the backs of the cases, resembling the texture of canvas. Remarkably, this printed part of the cases is remarkably durable and although I wasn’t going out of my way to dig into it, it looks like the art could survive some time unscathed on the back of your phone. There is an Achilles heel, however: the edge of the printed section is a little fragile and can be scratched off quite easily, so if there’s anywhere that would likely show wear and tear first, it will be the edges of these printed areas.
In the box, you’ll find all you need to protect your Galaxy S4 whether it’s new or pre-loved, including a screen protector, a swipe card for helping to put the protector on, a microfibre cleaning cloth, and quick instruction pamphlet as well a reminder of Cygnett’s guarantee policy.
The Cygnett ICON Art Series cases aren’t going to be for everyone; if you’re looking for something that can withstand 10 metre drops or get submerged in 3 meters of water, these are not the cases for you. But if you are looking for a Galaxy S4 case that gives you decent protection and looking for something unique and meaningful, like a globally renowned artist’s work with a story and history behind it, then the ICON Art Series cases is right up your alley.
The ICON Art Series cases cost $29.95 AUD and are currently only available in the styles that appear above for their respective artists, but hopefully these cases become a more common thing and we get to see even more art and culture get slapped on the back of our phones.
If you want to know more information about Cygnett’s range of products, visit their website here. Product pages for the two reviewed cases are below: