Review: Moshi nanoPouch
Pros: Like its quality predecessors, a soft, relatively simple bag that cleans and protects the iPod nano inside, fully protecting entire body when drawstring is closed, holds earbuds. Resists water and static. Clean looks, and washable.
Cons: A little less practical than prior iPouches because of nano’s bottom-mounted headphone port. Price has gone up a bit since release of prior, larger editions. No control or screen access when inside, little anti-drop protection, few (though accceptable) colors.
Moshi has previously released two pouch-like cases we previously liked quite a bit: iPouch and mini iPouch (iLounge ratings: B+). Now it has updated the iPouch in a size specific to the iPod nano, named this version “nanoPouch,” and boosted prices for all of its Pouches up from $15 to $20. We look at nanoPouch with our new capsule review system, which spotlights six critical factors in a case’s design: appearance, build quality, ease of use, special features/innovation, protectiveness, and value for the dollar.
Appearance: Apart from color and size, the design of Moshi’s iPouches is identical from case to case: the company always uses what appears to be a soft, fleece- or microsuede-like fabric to form a simple iPod sleeve, cinching it at top with a strong fabric drawstring capped by plastic. nanoPouch is the same: a pocket on its front is embossed with a headphone logo, and has enough room to hold Apple’s earbuds, or comparably sized alternatives. There’s also gray and green Moshi logo on each nanoPouch’s bottom right hand side. You can choose from white, black, blue and pink colors, each except black with a white drawstring and cap - the black version has black parts instead. Overall, the nanoPouches look good, though simple; more colors would be nice.
Build Quality: The fabric isn’t fleece or suede - it’s Terahedron, a super-soft anti-static and anti-splash material that actually removes smudges and fingerprints from your nano while inside. If only it could remove scratches; it can’t, but it won’t scratch nano’s body, which people will love. How does it hold up? We’ve put our prior iPouches for iPods and minis through some serious punishment - most notably accidentally leaving one in a parking lot overnight, but also using them actively for weeks at a time. They’ve been washed without falling apart, and aside from a small parking lot-created rust stain we couldn’t get out, the cases have survived everything we’ve thrown at them. nanoPouch is the exact same case, just sized to fit the iPod nano.
Ease of Use: This is nanoPouch’s biggest issue. Though they were similiarly incapable of letting you see your iPod’s screen unless you popped the iPod out of their bodies, prior iPouches benefitted from the fact that the iPod’s screen was always at the top of the case. Popping the iPod partially out was only a small inconvenience, and you could partially use the iPod’s controls through the case. That’s not necessarily the situation with nanoPouch. Here, nano’s most natural position - because of its bottom-mounting headphone port - is to be positioned upside down inside. Consequently, you’ll either need to pull the entire nano out to use it, or run the headphone wire from bottom to top of nanoPouch, which is less than ideal. A headphone port hole on the bottom might have made nanoPouch a bit more convenient, though arguably equally less protective.
Special Features/Innovation: It sounds trite to say this, but what sets Moshi’s iPouch series apart from other cases is that their simplicity actually makes them more practical than some other cases we’ve tested. Because of the drawstring up top, you get the protectiveness that you need, so it’s mindless to toss your iPod inside and take it out only when you need to play with the controls. Same thing with your earbuds - the extra pocket makes them easy to carry or not carry. We’ve been surprised at how often we’ve turned to iPouches as a quick way to pocket our iPods and earbuds when we’re running out the door.
That said, nanoPouch isn’t right for everyone. Depending on the way you use your nano, nanoPouch can either be simple and fun or entirely useless - if you’re buying a case to carry your iPod from home to car, or don’t fidget much with its controls, nanoPouch will meet your needs wonderfully. But if you play with the iPod’s controls a lot while you’re using it, or want a case that will never come off of your iPod once put on, this isn’t the right case for you.
Protectiveness: With the drawstring fully drawn, nanoPouch covers all of an iPod nano positioned upside down, and virtually all of it when positioned rightside up with the cable running up its side. For the scratch-attractive nano, this is great, though it bears repeating that a fabric case is not the best way to protect an iPod nano against drops. This one’s a bit thicker at its edges, but shouldn’t be mistaken for a rubber shock protector.
Value: Moshi’s pricing is okay. Though the price has gone up from its abnormally low (and great) price before, $20 isn’t an awful price to pay for a fully protective fabric case - at least, when it’s generally well designed. The case is tailored to the specific size and shape of the nano, looks good, and works pretty well. Because of the nano’s odd bottom headphone port, it’s not as well-suited to nano as its predecessors were to larger iPods, but it’s still worthy of consideration.