Review: Tunewear Poptune for iPod nano
Pros: A set of twelve decorative adhesive films for the iPod nano’s face. Each sticker attaches securely and removes easily, without leaving any residue.
Cons: The solid colors’ slight translucency doesn’t look as good when used on the black iPod nano; very minimal protection of the iPod nano’s surfaces; stickers are only reusable once or twice before wrinkling and/or lack of adhesive renders them useless.
In today’s wildly diverse iPod accessory market, there are countless different types of iPod covers, possessing wildly varying looks and levels of iPod protection. Broadly, they fall into two categories: cases and stickers. The latter category further divides into stickers that are intended as scratch protectors, “films” like Power Support’s Crystal Film for iPod nano (iLounge rating: B+), and those with less focus on protection and more on decoration, like HP’s Printable Tattoos (iLounge rating: B) and Tunewear’s Poptune series of decorative pre-printed stickers.
Tunewear’s new Poptune for iPod nano is sold in a package of 12 stickers for $20. The included stickers fall into three categories; you get four metallic/shiny designs, four solid colors, and four opaque multicolored designs. They’re all plastic or metallic film-based (as opposed to paper-based), which makes them resistant to both tearing and scuffing.
Each of the included stickers uses an adhesive to stick to the iPod nano’s face. The adhesive used is easy to work with in that it attaches well to the iPod, yet still comes off easily, leaving hardly any residue at all. Once removed, the stickers retain enough adhesive to be used again once or twice more, if preserved well on their original backing.
All of the included designs looked great on our white iPod nanos, but several didn’t look as expected when used on black iPods; the solid colors are actually semitranslucent when removed from their paper backing, as are some white colors in the multicolored designs. The result is an unattractive dulling of the colors.
The residual sticker material in the Click Wheel area can be used as a Click Wheel protector. When this is done, Click Wheel scrolling remains usable, and although the nano’s buttons lose some of their affirmative “clicking” due to tension in the sticker, everything still functions properly when pressed. In the photo below, we’ve mixed pieces from two of the included designs.
Unlike Tunewear’s Poptune for iPod shuffle (iLounge rating: A-) and Poptune for iPod mini (iLounge rating: B-), which offer near-complete scratch protection for the iPods they enclose, their latest offering for the iPod nano is merely decorative, covering only the iPod’s front face, leaving its back and sides completely exposed. Though this is certainly something to mention to potential buyers, it’s unfair to allow the Poptune’s lack of protection to factor too much into our rating, when protection is clearly not even one of its goals.
Instead, we rate the Poptune nano for what it intends to be: a cheap, quick decoration to be used, perhaps, inside a more protective translucent case. In this regard, the Poptune nano performs reasonably well, with film that is both easy to apply and clean removing. It’s clearly not for everyone (especially owners of black iPod nanos), but those looking for a simple, safe way to make their iPod nano more “cute” will likely be satisfied.