Review: Cygnett WorkMate and TubeMap protectors

With consumers investing a lot of money into new mobile devices, the least they can do is use a fraction of that investment to protect their precious device from bumps, drops and every day wear-and-tear.

Cygnett's TubeMap (left) and WorkMate (right) mobile phone protectors (image: Cygnett)

Mobile case and accessories maker Cygnett as a wide range of protective covers for almost any type of device, and their WorkMate and TubeMap covers are some of their best-selling.

What we like about it

Mobile phone covers serve many purposes, but most importantly they are there to protect the phone. Cygnettt’s hard case covers do exactly that – the hard backing will protect the phone from drops and bumps, and will also protect it from dust.

While it is not waterproof, the cover does come with two self-adhesive screen protectors, which are very easy to slide onto the mobile phone.

In terms of design, the WorkMate is aesthetically pleasing, with its indented hard cover, surrounded by soft corners on the outside. A complaint from many consumers of hard covers that protect mobile phones is that these covers often make pressing buttons troublesome.

The WorkMate luckily has soft buttons, which are slightly concave, so it is very easy to press the desired buttons. The buttons are made from the same soft material as the outer corners, and do not prevent them from being pressed.

The TubeMap hard-backed cover is great in retaining the Samsung SIII’s shape, as most covers tend to change the feel and shape of the phone. It is somewhat easy to fit onto the phone, as it literally just pops on. As with the other cover, the TubeMap will also protect the phone from bumps and drops, although it lends the phone a lesser degree of protection due to its semi-exposed nature.

Where the WorkMate cover the entire phone device except the screen, the TubeMap only protect the back, as it does not wrap around the edges like the WorkMate does.

What we do not like about it

In terms of the WorkMate cover, it can be a bit frustrating to slip the cover onto the phone. It is the nature of the hard cover beast, and the problem is not unique to Cygnett. Since the covers are made from an unbendable substance, it is difficult to get the sides to fit perfectly.

Another problem is the button placement – when slipping on the cover, the buttons will not automatically line up, and users might have reapply the cover, taking care to line up the cover’s buttons with those of the phone.

As for the TubeMap cover, the London Transport series of covers are a bit nonsensical. It does not say “I’m from London and ride the tube everyday”, but rather says “Hey, I’ve been to London once as a tourist” – which is a bit of a let-down, as there are so many other options Cygnett could have gone with, that embodies London.

But luckily there are a great selection of different designs, including the Union Jack flag and a clear case – which not only retains the shape of the phone, but also allows for the original cover’s colour to show through.

As mentioned before, the cover probably is not the best choice for an outdoor-type person, as the cover does not fully protect the device. While it sufficiently covers the back of the phone, it does leave the edges of the SIII exposed – which could cause the screen to crack when dropped.


The two different Cygnett covers are both great in their own right, and serve two distinctly different purposes. The hard-backed cover protects the phone from everyday nicks and scratches, while the heavy-duty WorkMate cover protects the phone from much harder bumps and drops.

As with the wide range of Cygnett products, both covers come in different designs, and function exactly as their manufacturers say they will. While the WorkMate cover could present some problems in terms of button placement, the TubeMap allows for the buttons to be pressed easily, as they are exposed to the user.

Cygnett has a great range of covers to suit the tastes of all users, and they are definitely worth checking out when shopping around for mobile phone protection.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor