Company: Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO)
Model: nano fling for iPod nano
Compatible: iPod nano
DLO nano fling Fashion Wristlet Case for iPod nano
Pros: A flashy metallic leather PDA-style case for the iPod nano with matching detachable wrist strap and rear strap holder. Superb protection for the iPod nano’s body. Includes cosmetic mirror inside of front lid.
Cons: Bottom left corner of nano is exposed at all times - relatively trivial - and there’s no belt clip or loop option. Lid must be opened to access nano’s screen and controls.
Last summer, we reviewed a series of shiny, girly iPod mini cases from Speck Products called Mini iStyle (iLounge rating: B), which at the time we called “trashy-trendy,” “like the Beastie Boys in faux spacesuits,” and “good trash, if you’re in the mood for trashy.” DLO’s new nano fling Fashion Wristlet Cases for iPod nano ($30) pick up almost where Mini iStyle left off, but use superior workmanship and parts to make their metallic pink and silver leather look better than what Speck mustered. Instead, they offer a young, fashionable girl’s take on what’s otherwise mostly a traditional PDA-style iPod case.
Mostly? DLO had a couple of smart ideas with nano fling, first incorporating a thin mirror into the inner side of the case’s front flap. (The touch originally appeared in an iPod mini version of this case that was planned for release right when the mini was discontinued; we haven’t received or reviewed it.) When closed, you see only pink or silver leather - virtually every part of the nano is covered, save for its two bottom corners. But when opened, there’s a mirror on the top, and your nano on the bottom, its screen and controls covered by a single continous sheet of clear plastic. Use of both the Click Wheel and screen is easy inside, though the plastic’s not perfectly clear. While we’re not fans of PDA-style cases, the mirror inside this one justifies the design a lot better than the half-hearted card pockets in most PDA cases.
Magnets properly hold each case closed, and there are two other small differences between these and other iPod PDA-cases: a matching detachable wrist strap with a silver lobster claw, and an elastic and leather loop on the back to hold the doubled-up wristlet when it’s not in use. A small DLO charm is on the D-ring that connects the wrist strap to the case’s right side. If nano fling has any failing for its target audience, it’s that the wrist strap holder is too small to serve as a belt loop for most belts; it’s easy to picture girls wanting to have another non-wrist way to carry and display this case.
There are a few other differences - generally positive ones - between this case and Speck’s earlier take. DLO’s cases feel better made, with nice puffed front lids and superior workmanship around the edges. They are also substantially more protective - with the exception of the needlessly exposed left bottom corner of the nano, and the reasonably open headphone port, there isn’t a thing left open on the nano to be scratched. Great work, DLO. The only consequence is that it’s a little harder to remove the nano, but pressing on the case’s front face eases nano out fairly quickly.
And finally, they’re more expensive by a factor of about two, the only factor which gave us some pause on the appropriate rating for these cases. Because of the $30 price, we were on the edge of B+ and A- ratings here, but DLO’s great protection, flashy looks, and unique inclusion of a cosmetic mirror won us over. nano fling is a real eye-catcher, and beautifully designed for girls with iPod nanos.