It recently occurred to me that one of the cases I use regularly had yet to be reviewed here at t3chniq. The case in question is the Black UrbanShield Aluminum case made by the Australian case-maker, Cygnett. The UrbanShield is a shell-style case so if you’re looking for a shell case that compliments the beauty of the iPhone, read on to see if this is the case for you.
The UrbanShield is a one piece shell case that is actually made of two different materials, a soft-touch rubber shell with a brushed aluminum inlay on the back. The combination gives the case a beautiful, contemporary look that compliments the design of the iPhone. The inlay is available in either black (as reviewed) or silver but the soft-touch shell is black on both models. There is a chrome trim around the inlay that adds a nice contrast to break up the black-on-black transition to the soft-touch shell.
The cutouts for the volume buttons and mute switch on the side are adequate in my use but if you have larger fingers I could see them being hard to press. Instead of using cutouts for the lightning port and sleep/wake button, Cygnett decided to leave the top and bottom of the phone mostly exposed in these areas which I find works better than having individual cutouts. Unlike many of the other cases I’ve used, there is no problem fitting a Lightning to 30-pin adapter or headphone plugs that are larger than the ear pods included with the iPhone. It is important to note that this case will work with both the iPhone 5 and the 5s.
Build Quality/ Protection
Being a shell-style case, the UrbanShield inherently provides minimal protection from drops and is mostly for scratch protection. Judging by the scratches that have accumulated on the back of the case over several months I can say that it is definitely doing a good job protecting the phone from scratches. While the case does show quite a few scratches and dents over time, I’d much rather see them on a $25 case than a $750 iPhone, so mission accomplished. The case itself has a solid feel to it and the soft touch rubber gives good grip on the sides without making it difficult to remove from a pocket. The soft touch shell extends slightly past the front of the screen which keeps the screen off the surface of a table if you place it face-down.
So the big question: Should you buy this case? Being someone that doesn’t typically like to have a case on my phone, I keep coming back to the UrbanShield. The case itself offers just enough protection from scratches without adding much bulk. If you are looking for a thin shell for your iPhone with a premium design that compliments the iPhone: Yes. If you are looking for a case that allows you to drop your phone at the construction site then you should probably be looking at a Otterbox case.
Price: $24.99 from Cygnett
- Contemporary Look
- Comes with Screen Protector
- Aluminum shows scratches after months of use
- Minimal Protection