Cygnett Workmate for iPhone 5
We generally expect heavy duty cases to be pricey, but Cygnett's Workmate for iPhone 5 costs only $25. The case pairs a thick rubber skin with a plastic backplate that together offer significant protection. It also comes with screen film to sweeten the deal. Workmate is surprisingly attractive and protective, although we did find a few annoyances that may lessen the appeal.
Like most multi-layer cases, this one starts with the rubber directly around the phone and is then augmented by the plastic component. In our testing, installation turned out to be a bit of a pain: the rubber running parallel to the screen sometimes jutted out from the plastic, and had to be tucked in. It’s not a deal breaker, but it’s certainly noticeable. When fully assembled, Workmate actually looks pretty nice. The display is protected by a raised lip around the edge, and there are dedicated openings for the headphone port, speaker, Lightning port, and microphone on the bottom of the device. Our only other qualm with the case is the button covers, which are appreciated for their protectiveness, but make the Sleep/Wake button squishy.
Despite its use of a dual-layer design, Workmate isn’t significantly bulkier than most of the best iPhone 5 cases on the market. While there are a few small issues, they’re not terrible, especially considering the price. Ultimately, Workmate is a very good case and deserving of our strong general recommendation. If you’re looking for extra protection without breaking the bank, it’s worth considering.