capsule review

Cygnett WorkMate for iPhone 4

At a Glance
  • Cygnett WorkMate

    Macworld Rating

    The WorkMate is a thick, silicone case that wraps securely around your phone to absorb drops, bumps, and other rough handling. It's tough to imagine a typical drop causing significant harm to a...

Cygnett describes its WorkMate as an “extra-tough case for iPhone 4.” It’s a thick, silicone case that wraps securely around your phone to absorb drops, bumps, and other rough handling.

I found it easy to put the WorkMate on my iPhone 4, as well as to take it off again (not always the case with rugged cases). The bumpy, silicon surface offers extra grip, but there’s no mistaking the added girth the case provides—you’ll feel the increased thickness of the iPhone in all dimensions, and the chubby case looks as intimidating as an iPhone case can look. It’s clear this is a case meant to withstand a beating.

The WorkMate’s edges intentionally extend a bit beyond the iPhone’s screen in the front. Should you drop your iPhone butter-side-down, the case, and not your screen, should absorb the hit. In my (admittedly cautious) testing, this functionality indeed worked just fine when the phone was dropped onto a flat surface.

All of the iPhone’s buttons, ports, and cameras remain usable through the case, though I did find that the Home button, protected beneath the thick silicone, was a bit more difficult to depress than I would prefer.

Included with the case are a microfiber screen-cleaning cloth and the company’s OptiClear adhesive-film screen protector. As with most adhesive films, the OptiClear film was annoying to apply to the iPhone’s screen. I’m not a fan of screen films, but if you like them, this one seems fine.

Of all the rugged cases I’ve tested, the WorkMate’s the only one I would consider using for my day to day iPhone use. I’m a semi-frequent iPhone dropper who’s been lucky so far, and I can’t imagine a typical drop causing significant harm to a WorkMate-clad iPhone.

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    The WorkMate is a thick, silicone case that wraps securely around your phone to absorb drops, bumps, and other rough handling. It's tough to imagine a typical drop causing significant harm to a WorkMate-clad iPhone.

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