Griffin Slap vs. iWatchz – iPod nano watch straps

When Steve Jobs introduced the 6th generation iPod nano in his keynote, he mentioned that one of the Apple’e executive is planning to wear them as watch on his wrist. I am sure it was that statement that probably inspired case designers to come up with the iPod nano watch straps. There are a couple of them in the market now. We are going to look at two – Griffin Slap and the iWatchz.

Griffin Slap

Price: $24.99

Griffin slap is basically metal slap bracelet wrapped with silicon. Its a (super) protective silicon case for your iPod nano which has a wrist band around a slap bracelet. You can wear the iPod nano around your wrist by just snapping the bracelet on your wrist. The slap adjusts according to the size of your wrist and holds tight to it. Except the headphones port, all other ports and buttons are covered.

The Griffin slap almost doubles the depth of your iPod. It is prominently visible on one’s wrist and looks like a very fancy piece of accessory. The person who thought about bringing the slap bracelet and silicon together is a pure genius. The screen s the only part of the iPod nano which is always exposed, so its probably a good idea to use a screen protector with this one.

The downside is the increase in depth, which might hinder in certain wrist movements and wearing tight sleeves. The lack of a locking mechanism also makes it vulnerable to snatching in public places. Also, no vents in the bracelet part result in a lot of sweat in the wrist area where you wear it. Another major issue with this case is the fact that the dock port is not exposed and you have to remove the ipod nano to access it. Even if you just use the nano as a watch, you would still need to charge it every week. And removing and inserting the nano in this thing is a real pain. It might look super easy in Griffin’s tutorial video, but trust me, its not.

iWatchz

Price: $24.95

As opposed to the Slap, the iWatchz features a proper watch strap with a clip in the form of a patent pending design which allows you to “clip” your iPod nano to the strap. The design uses the in built clip in the iPod nano to attach it to a plate between the straps. The attachment and removal of the iPod nano is virtually hassle free. And since it features a proper watch strap designed in a way to allow for air to flow between the strap and your skin, it doesn’t sweat when you wear this. Also, since the iPod nano is “clipped” to the strap, you have access to all the buttons and ports without any need to remove the iPod. The plate on which the nano is clipped is very thin (yet sturdy), so it does not add to the depth of the iPod.

However, this strap has its disadvantages too. Since there is no “case”, your iPod is totally exposed and vulnerable to scratches and damages. The probability of such a thing increases since you are wearing this on your wrist – a part of your body which is mostly moving and interfacing with other objects.

Conclusion

Winner: iWatchz

A good looking design is not always the best. Despite the fact that it offers unsurpassed protection for your iPod, it still looses to iWatchz due to the added depth, sweating problem and the hassle to remove the iPod every time you have to charge it. There is also another issue – Since the silicon case which wraps the iPod is pretty thick, it recesses the headphone port by a few centimeters, thereby rendering earphones with thick pin connectors virtually impossible to use with your iPod (this is the same problem we had with the 1st gen iPhone). Although most earphone and headphone manufacturers now a days are making the pin connectors very thin, one can encounter this problem with earphones purchased a few years back. It was really difficult for me to use my Bose QC2 headphones with this thing on. I first bought the slap but returned it after using for 2 weeks due to the above mentioned reasons.

Despite that fact that the iWatchz system leaves your iPod nano susceptible to physical damage, it still wins over the slap due to several reasons. First being the access to the ports and buttons without removing the iPod from the strap. Second, the watch like strap permits air flow thereby reducing the sweat and the clip ensures that the strap is strongly fastened to your wrist. Since it does not add to the depth of the iPod, it can easily be mistaken for a common watch. We do recommend using the Zagg total protection Invisible Shield with this one.

I have been using the iWatchz for a few days now and am happy with it. Atleast until the TikTok and LunaTik start shipping. And I have ordered the Zagg Invisible Shields for my nano.

Griffin Slap and iWatchz are available in the Apple stores within the US, or their respective online stores.

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