Welcome to our new, continuously-updated First Looks - a collection of previews showing brand new iPod, iPhone and iPad accessories that we’re currently in the process of testing. Here’s what’s hot right now:
How confident is Spigen in the size, shape, and dimensions of Apple's as-yet-unannounced iPhone 6 / iPhone Air? Enough to debut Thin Fit and Thin Fit A ($15), new form-fitting shells made to protect the sides and backs of Apple's next-generation 4.7"-screened iPhone. The basic Thin Fit versions come in clear and opaque versions, including one non-slip black version, slightly pearlescent white, and light blue. Each has holes for the side-mounted controls and rear camera, plus complete coverage gaps for the iPhone's top, bottom, and front. Thin Fit A adds a circular cut-out for the Apple logo, albeit with clear protection to keep the logo from being scratched; it comes in flat black and gunmetal versions. As the photos show, each case's rounded sides, noticeably greater height, and slightly larger width suggest that the next iPhone's 4.7" screen will be markedly larger than the 4" iPhone 5/5c/5s displays. Updated September 8: Spigen has added Aluminum Fit ($30) to the collection -- a version with a "100% aluminum" plate built into the otherwise plastic frame. We'll have to see how the sheet of metal works with the new iPhone's wireless capabilities.
Model: Pulse O2
Compatability: All iPads, iPhones, iPod touches (iOS 5.0+)
Billed as Withings' new product, and the sequel to last summer's Pulse Activity Tracker, Pulse O2 ($120) is actually a simple update with some new software. The sensor itself is exactly the same as before, but it ships with updated firmware that can detect blood oxygen levels, which is especially important for mountain climbers, those training in high altitudes, and people with breathing problems. This firmware is available for existing Pulses. There's also a silicone band included in the package now, so the device can be worn as a watch.
In time for the World Cup, Uniq Creation has released a huge new collection of cases based on the flags of participating countries. Sportif is available for iPad Air ($50), iPad mini ($45), and iPhone 5/5s ($27). The tablet cases are pretty standard folios with hard plastic shells. Their covers are one color, with two strips running down the right edge. As for the iPhone case, it's reminiscent of Spigen SGP's Slim Armor. The core is rubber, with a plastic plate that fits onto the back and wraps around the sides. That shield can be removed to insert a credit card for tap and go payments.
Although it appears to borrow heavily from other OEM-designed iPad cases we've seen over the years, Kujali's Classic for iPad mini (£30/~$50) is noteworthy for the company's charity aspect; we won't offer a full review, but want to mention the option. A "leather styled" folio -- it seems to be faux leather -- the case is lined with suede on the inside, and has an elastic handle on the interior of the front cover, along with two viewing angle ridges. The tablet is held in a two-piece shell on the right side. It first gets fitted into a thin rubber skin, which then goes into the hard plastic piece that's attached to the case. Button coverage is provided, as are flaps over the ports. For every case Kujali sells, it donates a mosquito net to charity, with the intention of protecting African children from malaria.
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