Review: Body Glove Fusion Cases
Pros: Reasonably priced shuffle, mini and full-sized iPod cases with nice designs, swiveling belt clips, lanyards (where applicable) and screen protection (where applicable).
Cons: Each iPod’s corners and controls are exposed, though less of shuffle’s surface area than others.
When we think of Body Glove accessories, we tend to think “neoprene.” But the company’s new line of Fusion cases for iPod shuffles, iPod minis and full-sized iPods are a far cry from the Body Glove we’ve known - and that’s a good thing. While not as protective as we’d prefer, the company’s plastic Fusion cases look cool enough that you mightn’t mind - especially the iPod shuffle version.
Right now, there are actually four total cases in the Fusion line. One is for the iPod shuffle, one is for the iPod mini, and two (20GB and 40GB) are for full-sized iPods. The 20GB version fits both black-and-white and color 20GB models; we didn’t receive the 40GB one for review.
Each of the cases uses textured white and gray plastic with two black parts: a non-detachable, swiveling one-piece belt clip, and a single black snap. You insert each iPod into the bottom of the case, then close the case with the black snap on the case’s rear. Gray thread connects the case’s sides to the back, and gray plastic pads on the sides of the full-sized and mini cases bear the Body Glove name and logo; the shuffle case has its gray pads on its front instead. Both shuffle and mini Fusion cases also include two-piece black neck lanyards that can be attached to a hole at the top of the swiveling clip, while the mini and full-sized iPod cases have integrated clear vinyl screen protectors.
Notably, there’s an extra hole on the back of the shuffle case for power switch access. In a smart move that we haven’t seen enough in other shuffle cases, the hole is just big enough for your finger to access the switch, rather than expansive enough to reveal the whole thing. Interestingly, however, the shuffle case only snaps closed when the standard USB cap is installed; the lanyard USB cap won’t fit. This turns out to be fine because of the included black lanyard, though your shuffle can only be worn right side up or on one of its sides, not upside down. We didn’t mind this at all.
That’s mostly because regardless of the iPod inside, Body Glove has a nice design on its hands - one that visually is worth wearing around our necks, though as we’ve noted, the mini isn’t the most comfortable iPod to mount there. As a pocket or bag iPod holder, however, Fusion isn’t quite as hot. Every case exposes the iPod’s top and bottom corners, as well as its controls. The iPod and mini versions also have holes for their iPods’ bottom Dock Connector ports. On an absolute scale, there’s too much of each screened iPod exposed, unless you plan to make use of the lanyard or belt clip. That said, there’s less exposed in each case than in MCA’s Hautes Coutures cases, so on a relative scale, the Body Gloves are better than average.
Of the bunch, we’d pick the shuffle case as the best because it’s most practical for neck wear, adds the most visually to that iPod’s body design, and exposes the least of its body. We liked it enough, in fact, to recommend importing it. The full-sized and mini versions of the case are nice, too, and still worthy of attention if you can find them - for now all of the cases are primarily marketed in Europe and Australia. You can find them at stores such as Expansys online.