Cygnett Apollo for iPhone 4/4S
If Cygnett's Apollo for iPhone 4/4S ($30) strikes you as somewhat familiar, it's likely because the design is clearly inspired by Speck's classic CandyShell. It took awhile, but the idea of combining plastic and rubber is finally catching on, with Apollo falling right in with the pack. Cygnett did put its own spin on the style, with some nice design choices that allow it to be a respectable option in its own right. The case is available in a small variety of colors that should make most users happy.
Apollo’s body is made up of sturdy, fingerprint-proof matte plastic. We like this material choice because it doesn’t show scratches like glossier plastics so easily do. Soft rubber lines the inside with a pattern of concentric circles, and runs up the sides to the outer edge, offering extra protection from drops. The rubber also extends to the bottom edge and back of the case, with openings for the speaker, mic, and Dock Connector port. It’s thin enough to allow the iPhone to make an electronic connection in Universal Docks, although it’s not quite sturdy enough to maintain the connection if moved around.
While the rubber does extend slightly past the glass display, it doesn’t cover it at all; we would have preferred a slight lip to help protect the fragile component. Cygnett does include a screen protector film along with a cloth and applicator card, however, which certainly helps. The opening for the headphone port is a bit larger than CandyShell’s, offering greater compatibility with oversized headphone plugs. Apollo offers button protection too, including one strip of rubber covering both volume buttons. While this works fine, we prefer separate protectors, especially now that the volume up button can be used to take pictures. Speaking of the camera, the camera hole is a size we haven’t really seen before; it’s halfway between the lens-hugging designs that are pretty common and the much larger holes that Speck and some others have taken to using.
Like Case-Mate’s Pop!, Apollo is a very close runner-up to CandyShell, but the differences between them are small and mostly aesthetic. For $30 with a screen protector included, we see Cygnett’s case as a very good solution, and worthy of the same B+ rating that CandyShell and Pop! earned. Those who prefer matte finish cases will likely prefer this over the others for that reason alone.