capsule review

Review: Cygnett Icon Art Series (for iPhone 4/4S)

At a Glance
  • Cygnett Icon Art Series for iPhone 4/4S

Cygnett’s $40 Icon Art Series for iPhone 4/4S is a line of hard shell cases featuring limited-edition artwork by Australian illustrator and artist Nathan Jurevicius. The series consists of three colorful, whimsical designs, titled “Chihoohoo’s Tea Party,” “Dr. Maybe’s Underwater House,” and “Hootsville.”

The first thing to notice is that this case shows off the artists’ work—its not just a coverup for your iPhone. It’s a hard plastic case, inside and out, with a rubberized matte finish that’s extremely smooth to the touch. The artwork is not just limited to the back of the case; it wraps all the way around the sides. I tested the “Hootsville” design, which is primarily yellow and festooned with colorful owls. The colors were a bit more muted than how they appear on Cygnett’s website, but I still found them appealing.

The Icon ships with a protective screen film, a card for applying it, and a microfiber cleaning cloth. The screen protector comes in handy, because the edges of the case do not come up over the screen at all. The case isn't slippery, but doesn't provide much grip, either—it actually feels much like a naked iPhone without any sort of protective covering.

The case is very slender, and adds very little bulk. If your dock-cradle accessories allow room for any case at all, its likely that the Icon will fit. However, it’s not an easy case to remove, as is typical for slim, hard shell cases with little flexibility. Generously sized cut-outs allow full use of the Ring/Silent switch and volume buttons. The majority of the top and bottom are open, so there is nothing in the way of the Sleep/Wake button, headphone jack, dock-connector port, and speakers. The camera cut-out gives plenty of clearance and does not interfere with the camera or flash usage.

If you’re looking for a unique case that adds aesthetic appeal to your iPhone, but you don’t necessarily need a lot of protection, then Cygnett’s Icon Art Series is definitely worth your consideration—if these vibrant designs suit your style.

[Karen Freeman is a writer, teacher, and Apple fan. Follow her on Twitter @karensfreeman.]

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At a Glance
  • Cygnett Icon Art Series for iPhone 4/4S

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