It’s slim pickings right now for iPhone 5 cases and most Apple stores aren’t even stocked yet. We were expecting our first batch of case reviews to be less-than-perfect, as it takes some time to get cases right. Surprisingly, Cygnett has already released a fully capable and protective iPhone 5 case with a really neat design. The Cygnett WorkMate shock-absorbing case got our iPhone 5 through day one, and quite nicely we must say.
The Cygnett WorkMate has a two-layer design. There is a heavy-duty polycarbonate outer shell and a rubbery silicone shock-absorbing inner casing. We’re usually not big fans of these two-piece cases, however the Cygnett WorkMate feels more like a one piece case. In fact, there is no need to ever separate the two pieces, unless you get bored (like us). The back of the case has a rugged appearance, but is pretty soft to the touch.
As case reviewers, and general nit-pickers, we were quick to test out every feature of the Cygnett WorkMate and assess its compatibility and fit. We were impressed that every button and cutout lined up near-perfectly, and it’s a perfect fit for iPhone 5. That is not to say we couldn’t work up a short list of gripes. There are button overlays for the volume and lock buttons. The volume button overlays work well, but the lock button overlay is a bit stiff and takes getting used to. The vibrate toggle cutout is perfectly sized for the toggle switch, however it’s not perfectly sized for a finger; you have to dig. The headphone, mic, speaker, and dock connector cutouts all functioned perfectly, as did the large rear-camera cutout.
In terms of durability and protection, the Cygnett WorkMate is top notch. In Australia, iPhone 5 has already endured a drop test courtesy of Cygnett (below). For all-around protection, Cygnett includes a screen protector.
As one of the first iPhone 5 cases, the Cygnett WorkMate is a great option. The appearance is pretty heavy-duty and rugged, as is the design. With that considered, it’s not especially thick or heavy; in fact it feels lighter than iPhone 4/4S with a comparable case. We do expect thinner cases to be released soon, but they probably won’t be as durable. The Cygnett WorkMate Case for iPhone 5 is currently available in blue or green(shown) for $24.99, a great price. Considering this is an ultra-durable/protective case, and it comes with a screen protector, we expected it would be priced at about $34.99, but nope! It can also be purchased on Amazon for $24.99, but there seems to be a delay on shipping.
The Good: Already on the Market!, Durable/Protective/Rugged, Comfortable, Light, Not Too Thick, Cutouts and Buttons Overlays Work, Good Fit, Good Price, Screen Protector Included
The Bad: Lock Button Overlay is Stiff, Have to Dig for Vibrate Toggle, Silicone Can Pull from Edges of iPhone