It took years for us to get to this point, but having watched hundreds of companies release cases for Apple’s iPods and iPhones, we’ve officially come to actively hate cases that do nothing more than copy earlier designs for sale at lower price points. Though JAVOedge’s JAVOLeather Hard Form-Fitted Cases for the third-generation iPod nano ($20) and iPod classic ($25) aren’t precisely identical clones of earlier cases we’ve seen from companies such as Vaja and Case-Mate, the formula here is obvious: duplicate the style of the earlier leather-covered hard shells, but drop the quality and the price, and see who’s willing to buy in anyway.
The results here are hugely disappointing both in looks and build quality. Each of the cases has an uneven, cheap-looking application of leather to the shell inside, transforming what should be flat surfaces into unsightly faces as pock-marked as Manuel Noriega’s. Tug too hard to pull your iPod out and you may notice, as we did, that the case literally begins to fall apart—within a short time, one of our iPod classic cases split in two, and an iPod nano case slightly showed its seams.
Soft, small amounts of glue were evident on the sides of the classic case, suggesting that the case wasn’t assembled with much care or planning for normal use. Not surprisingly, the leather is highly susceptible to scratching, as well. The majority of our photos here show the cases right out of the box; they looked worse, with visible bumps and gouges, after only a brief period of use.
As with most of its cases, JAVOedge unfortunately doesn’t add much in frills or protection here, either. You pick each case from black, pink, or red versions; the iPod classic version includes a detachable belt clip and screw-style nub, while the iPod nano one comes with a wriststrap that’s somewhat color-matched to the case. Neither of the cases includes screen or Click Wheel protection, and both have substantial holes to expose either the whole bottom (nano) or top (classic) and corners. Again, you’re supposed to buy JAVOedge’s screen and Click Wheel protectors separately, and live without coverage of the exposed areas of the iPod.
In our opinion, these cases are as close to garbage as we’ve seen for these iPods—derivative, cheap-looking, easy to scratch, mediocre on protection, and susceptible to coming apart. Having seen too many disappointing cases from this company in recent months, we wish JAVOedge would get its act together already and start releasing products that exceed expectations rather than falling a little or a lot short of them; if these cases are indicative of its quality control, don’t be surprised if the next ones aren’t worthy of covering at all.
Company and Price
Model: JAVOLeather Case
Compatible: iPod nano (video), classic