iPod touch 2G/iPhone 3G
iPod nano 4G
Company: Shades Cases
Compatible: iPhone 3G, iPod nano 4G, touch 2G
ShadesCases Shades for iPod nano 4G, touch 2G + iPhone 3G
Fundamentally similar to the company's earlier half-case, half-skin Shades for prior iPods and iPhones, ShadesCases' new Shades for iPod nano 4G ($15), touch 2G ($17) + iPhone 3G ($17) are the same two-tone translucent plastic covers as before, with clear integrated screen/control protection and differently colored body protection. They're each available in multiple colors.
The single biggest factor weighing in Shades’ favor is their simplicity: you slip them on like gloves and don’t need to worry about multiple pieces of film, or separate button protectors. The controls on the iPod touch are completely covered, with just a smart slit-like opening on the bottom for accessories; the iPhone is similarly covered save for its ringer switch, speakers, mic, camera, and bottom Dock Connector, also exposed via a slit. Only the Hold switch and bottom of the iPod nano are exposed, so all three of these models offer very significant coverage relative to most of the cases we test. On the flip side, the quality control and polish is off on all three cases: the clear plastic gives the iPod and iPhone screens a somewhat streaky look relative to crystal film, the colored plastic has a tendency to look “wet,” and the seams and holes are somewhat rough. Additionally, during testing, we had trouble getting some of the iPod nano 4G versions we were sent to even slip onto our nanos properly, but others worked, and came off easily. Similarly, the iPod touch and iPhone versions went on a bit tight but did come off without a hassle; all of the cases offered nice control protection with only slightly diminished sensitivity. Our ratings are a little lower this time based on the quality control issues and inconsistencies; hopefully the next round of these cases will be better-made, as they’re very convenient and reasonably priced.