Is this your new mate at work?
The WorkMate from Cygnett is a maximum protection case in the same category as the OtterBox Defender. At least that is what I assumed when I first opened the packaging. There are however some aspects that it lacks to be a viable alternative to the Defender if you are looking for maximum protection in the workplace.
The WorkMate is made from two layers: an inner silicone, and one outer polycarbonate hardshell. It is really easy to put your phone into is, as there is no front piece. Something that I soon learned the hard way is how sharp the edges are around the screen. These protrude quite a bit to protect the screen, but they also hurt the ear if you hold it too close taking a call. As the edges don’t slant inward towards the screen they also make it a bit uncomfortable to handle the device. I also feel that the screen is quite far away, as the entire device is sunk inside the case. The good part is obviously that it provides great protection.
A feature I think any case labelled maximum protection should have is covers for the headphones, and charge connectors. The WorkMate lacks these, and it is a major oversight as dust and water easily enter these. To use this at a workplace with debris, or water is not recommended. Most outdoor work means that you are open to the environment, and covers for these sockets are needed. Now this is more of a WorkMate for indoor use in perhaps a retail, or office environment.
When the S4 is inside the case you have almost full access to all functions. I say almost due to the sharp edges making the screen less easy to work with. For some strange reason the cutout for the charger is slightly too small to use with the USB cable the S4 ships with. This means that to charge the phone I have to pop off the lower half of the case. You could get another slimmer cord, but I really think that a case should work with the official version.
The volume, and power buttons are covered in silicone that protects the well. Initially they are a bit stubborn to press, but they give in with time. After a couple of days I have no issues operating them.
One thing that the WorkMate does really well is looking cool. The different panels on the back gives the entire phone a smaller more agile look. As these panels also help provide grip is a true strength of the case.
In conclusion I have to say that the WorkMate is not a viable alternative to the OtterBox Defender, as it lacks protective covers for headphones and charging socket. The strange fact that you have to remove it to charge the phone is also detrimental to the experience. It is a shame, as the case looks cool and provides a secure grip.