It’s a tradition: every new iPod quickly winds up with a large assortment of new silicone rubber cases, and the fourth-generation iPod nano is no exception. Today, we’re reviewing nine new rubber nano cases from seven different companies — as well as a few related second-generation iPod touch cases from the same companies — picking the great, good, and OK options from the collection. As all of the cases cover the nano’s sides and back, we’re going to focus largely on key differentiators in other aspects of their protection, style, and pricing. This review covers Griffin’s FlexGrip Cases for the iPod nano and iPod touch ($20 each).
Screen Protection. Whereas the iPod touch version of FlexGrip comes with two full-face screen protectors, the iPod nano version comes with zero, and the case’s screen opening is on the overly generous side. This puts the touch version in the “completely protective” category for the touch, and in the deficient category for the nano.
Click Wheel and Button Protection. The iPod nano version includes no Click Wheel protection, but the iPod touch version has complete rubber button coverage that is fully play-through.
Top Protection. The iPod nano version, like all of its competitors reviewed today, has a hole for the Hold switch; it’s a little generous in size but also very easy to use. FlexGrip for iPod touch is fully protective of the device’s top surface.
Bottom Protection. Both cases have largely open bottoms, compatible with Universal Docks and virtually all headphone or Dock Connector accessories. The iPod touch version is on the fine edge of having the touch slip a little out of its bottom hole, but in practice, this isn’t a real issue.
Style, Colors, and Bulk. FlexGrip is sold in two colors, with the only design innovation on the back: Griffin’s red case has recessed black rear stripes, while the black case has gray rear stripes. They both provide slight added grip for the cases, which are otherwise very smooth. We’re not huge fans of the design, but it’s not bad either, and doesn’t add a lot of thickness to either device.
Other Pack-Ins. What’s most impressive about FlexGrip is the bundling: each case is sold in two-packs, with two differently colored cases for each device. Both case packs also come with a cleaning cloth for the screen.
Pricing and Conclusions. Once again, Griffin’s strongest advantage over competitors is very aggressive pricing. These two-packs sell for $20 each, which some other companies are more than willing to charge for a single case—in some cases with less to offer. The price aggressiveness alone bumps these cases above what they’d normally merit on design; the iPod touch version’s added protectiveness earns it a slightly higher mark. Both are good cases, but the touch version is an especially strong value for the price.
For iPod touch
For iPod nano
Company and Price
Company: Griffin Technology
Compatible: iPod nano 4G, touch 2G