When I attended International CES at the beginning of this year, I was enthused by accessory maker Cygnett, based out of Melbourne, Australia. The company, like many others of it kind, makes cases and other accessories for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and select Android smartphones and tablets.
But an interesting fact about Cygnett is that it partners with highly-regarded designers throughout the world to make premium and stylish products. Take a look inside as we go hands-on with a number of Cygnett cases for the iPhone 5, iPad, iPad mini and fifth-generation iPod touch.
iPhone 5: Cygnett Purple Vector, Orange Bulldozer
These first two cases are softer on the hands, designed with impact-resistant silicone and thermoplastics and form-fitted for the iPhone 5. Both have textured patterns on the rear and an open style on the front, leaving the front-facing camera, screen and entire bezel fully exposed. The volume and sleep buttons are covered, while the case has accessible openings for all other buttons and ports.
Both cases are easy to put on and off the iPhone. Both are protective enough. Overall, these cases meet at the intersection of form and function as Cygnett promises. Purple Vector will run you $18.99, while Orange Bulldozer will set you back a dollar more at $19.99. Look for a matching Purple Vector case for the fifth-generation iPod touch at $16.99. All of the cases include a screen protector and small microfiber cloth.
iPhone 5: Cygnett The Bronx Case
Cygnett teamed up with New York City visionary artists Tats Cru: Mural Kings to make a lineup of cases for its Icon Art series. What you’re looking at above is The Bronx for iPhone 5, a designer case with a smooth finish and snap-on function. This is your standard fitting case, with openings for all buttons and ports and a fully exposed frontside of the iPhone.
The case is made of a harder plastic that should withstand most drops from an average height, while preventing scratches and normal wear and tear. On the inside, however, is a softer material so that the case itself does not damage your iPhone. Includes a screen protector and microfiber cloth. The Bronx is priced at $29.99, with a matching fifth-generation iPod touch case for the same price.
iPhone 5: Cygnett Black UrbanShield Case
Next up is the UrbanShield brushed aluminum case in black, although it’s also available in silver if that’s your preference. This case is ultra-slim and has a premium feel to it because of the materials used. It’s almost a natural fit for the already gorgeous design of the iPhone, which can be a shame to cover up with a case sometimes. At least if you’re going to put a case on, this one will look nice.
Much like the other Cygnett cases above, the UrbanShield provides ample access to all buttons and ports on the iPhone. It also does not obtruse with the front- or rear-facing cameras, and leaves the front bezel and screen of the smartphone fully exposed. Likewise, look for a screen protector and microfiber cloth inside. To get your own UrbanShield, you’re looking at $24.99 for the black or silver model.
iPhone 5: Cygnett FlipWallet Case
I have seen a fair share of wallet cases for the iPhone over the past number of years, and the FlipWallet by Cygnett shares a lot of similarities with the competition. You have a magnetic, flip open style case with four slots for your license, credit cards and other plastic on the lefthand side, a cash pocket along the top, and a hard plastic holder for your iPhone on the right.
But where the FlipWallet might pull ahead of some of its competitors is in terms of the design. The case has a two-fold design that is easy to open, with a soft velvet-feeling finish and embossed Cygnett logo on the outside. All buttons, ports and cameras are accessible. Included with the FlipWallet, which retails for $39.99, is a screen protector and microfiber cloth.
iPad: Cygnett Alumni Case and Lavish Earth Cases
Moving past the iPhone, we have the purple and sandstone Lavish Earth and cobalt Alumni folio cases for the full-sized iPad. We’ll start with the Lavish Earth, a folio case that has a multiview, adjustable stand that allows you to set a viewing angle that you find ideal for watching movies, browsing the web or doing other tasks on your tablet. The folio has concealed magnets that automatically wake or sleep the iPad, while preventing the case from opening simultaneously.
All three folio designs are very stylish, with the Lavish Earth featuring what appears to be a faux leather finish with stitching along the edges. On the other hand, the Alumni folio has a nice fabric finish with an inside pocket instead of multiview stand. The Alumni, like the Lavish Earth, is also magnetic. Lavish Earth runs for $59.99 (purple, sandstone), Alumni for $29.99. There is also an iPad mini version of the Lavish available, pictured below in purple.
iPad mini: Cygnett Vector Case
Last up is the Vector for iPad mini, a soft thermoplastic case that is surprisingly impact-resistant and durable. Available in both red or black, the Vector case has a textured, ridged look and feel on the rear, while leaving the frontside bezel and screen fully exposed. These are characteristics we’ve seen across virtually the entire Cygnett case lineup. The volume controls and sleep button are protected, while all buttons and ports are left open. $19.99.
Cygnett has been making cases and accessories for the past decade, and their experience in this industry is rather evident. All of the cases that I looked at for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch were stylish, protective and simply made sense. All of them are highly recommended, all of them are backed by a manufacturer’s guarantee and two-year warranty, and most are offered at fair price points. I would like to thank Cygnett for making this review opportunity possible.