capsule review

The Cygnett Apollo is a basic hard-shell case with an emphasis on protection

At a Glance
  • Cygnett Apollo Hybrid Case (for iPhone 4/4S)

Cygnett’s $30 Apollo is a hard-shell hybrid-style case for the iPhone 4/4S with a scratch-and-fingerprint-resistant surface and a grooved, shock-absorbent interior. It comes in purple, black, or white, each with a smooth matte finish and grey rubberized accents. Cygnett refers to the Apollo as a “hybrid” due to its dual-material design.

Some cases feel flimsy without an iPhone in them, but the Apollo is not one of those cases. Despite its relatively lightweight and slim profile, the Apollo is a rigid, well made protective case in every regard. It has raised, rubberized edges along the iPhone’s screen, so when the iPhone is set (or dropped, for that matter) facedown, the surface rests on the case’s edges rather than on the screen. If even that level of protection isn’t enough for you, Cygnett includes an adhesive-film screen protector (along with an applicator) to complete the package.

The Apollo has cutouts for the iPhone’s camera and LED flash, Ring/Silent switch, speaker, microphones, headphone jack, and the dock-connector port, most of which work flawlessly with the case on, though I did occasionally have issues when toggling the Ring/Silent switch.

The volume buttons and the Sleep/Wake button are covered by raised, rubber, use-through buttons, which I was surprised to find give a very satisfying click when pressed. I’m not usually a fan of these kinds of rubberized overlays, but on the Apollo I actually enjoyed using them.

My one gripe with this case is that I found it really hard to remove. If you use a dock-connector accessory that’s made to conform to the iPhone’s thin profile, this case will almost certainly frustrate you.

That said, the Apollo’s sturdiness and rigidity are probably what makes it so difficult to remove, so if you don’t foresee needing to remove it often, I highly recommend this case.

[Frank Tisellano is a user-interaction designer, born and raised in New York City. When he gets fed up with markup, he plays hockey or writes about technology, politics, and design at his blog.]

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At a Glance
  • Cygnett Apollo Hybrid Case (for iPhone 4/4S)

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