Review: iFrogz Silicone Wrapz for iPod classic
iFrogz has been making silicone rubber iPod cases for two years now, which is enough time for one of its earliest products -- Wrapz for the 5G iPod -- to make a return appearance on a successor iPod. That's pretty much the story behind Silicone Wrapz for iPod classic ($20), which pares down the earlier design into a less expensive, but also less distinctive alternative.
For the uninitiated, iFrogz came up with a novel customizable case scheme consisting of three parts—a rubber case called Wrap, film-styled Click Wheel protectors called Screenz, and wrap-around stripes of color called Bandz. You could buy a full set with one Wrap, one Screen, and one Band for $24, or just buy the individual pieces you wanted, mixing and matching them as the occasion merited. iFrogz now sells this three piece-set for the iPod classic as “Component” for $25, while the version shown here is a little different. Unlike the side bumperless first version, Silicone Wrapz has elevated ridge-like bumpers on all four of its corners, which one might assume would leave space for a wider version of the Bandz rubber side stripes. But instead, it turns out that this version of the case is made to be used without Bandz; instead, you just add Screenz for $4 each, or buy a $23 set with a Wrap and a Screen in the same package. There are insane numbers of Screenz to choose from, and 12 colors of Wrapz.
What’s nice about the current Wrap is that it comes with a clear screen protector, maintains the same level of accessory compatibility as before, and still gives you some customizability based on both the rubber case’s color and the Screen if you choose to add it. But in addition to losing the ability to add Bandz, which added to their looks, these Wrapz don’t take advantage of the 80GB iPod classic’s thinner body. Each Wrap is packaged with a clear insert to make the case’s 160GB classic-sized dimensions fit thinner models, which adds bulk to smaller iPods. Additionally, though many other full-sized iPod cases over the past couple of years have aimed for Universal Dock compatibility and/or included video stands, Wrapz is too big for docks and, apart from its coloration, doesn’t offer anything in the way of frills.
Assuming that you’re just looking for a way to keep your iPod scratch-free in your pocket, these omissions shouldn’t put you off of this otherwise good design. When paired with the Screenz Click Wheel protectors, Silicone Wrapz provide plenty of protection, only exposing small parts of the iPod’s top and bottom, and you still get anti-drop protection thanks to the elevated corners. Similarly, though the Bandz no longer add to the case’s variety, your ability to choose from so many colors and Screenz still puts these rubber cases in an aesthetic league of their own. In fact, many users will prefer the lack of Bandz to the extent that they reduce the amount of work necessary to assemble the case, and slightly reduce the price as well—$20 or $23 is quite reasonable by full-sized iPod case standards. While we’d like to see iFrogz offer more and better in their iPod case designs, this version of Silicone Wrapz does a pretty good job for the price, and merits our general recommendation.