We’ve long been fans of Pacific Design’s iPod mini Flip Case — it’s one of our favorite cases for the mini — and we also liked the version of the case for full-size iPods. Pacific Design has now released a version for the iPod nano, but although we had high hopes for this case, a couple details keep us from recommending it.
Aesthetically, the nano version of the Flip Case looks just as good as — perhaps even better than — it larger siblings: Its leather-like material and two-tone “racing stripe” design, available in four color combinations, give the case the same retro appearance that never fails to generate positive comments from onlookers.
And, like the other Pacific Design Flip Cases, the nano version remains thin even with the additional girth of a flip clover, although not as thin relative to the iPod inside as the other versions — the nano is so thin on its own that most cases seem to add a good amount of bulk.
In terms of functionality, the case offers full-body protection for your iPod nano while still providing access to the dock connector port and the headphone jack. (Flipping the cover open exposes all of the controls.) Like the other versions of the case, we like the fact that the flipcover “snaps” close using two small sets of magnets instead of a wraparound fastener; this design lets the case close securely and perfectly without bulky.
Like the full-size version of the case, the nano model includes a built-in belt loop that fastens via both a snap and velcro — an approach that provides more security than using only one or the other.
So far, so good. Unfortunately, the nano Flip Case has a couple flaws not found in its larger siblings. The first is that in our review sample, it was difficult to get the “leather” sleeve that holds the nano in the case (beneath the flipcover) to fit properly — when the Click Wheel opening lined up with the nano’s Click Wheel, the clear plastic window for the iPod’s screen didn’t (and vice versa). But the second flaw was the deal breaker: Whereas most iPod nano cases have taken an “open bottom” approach that leaves the entire bottom of the nano exposed, Pacific Design has tried to offer a bit more protection via three thin bands of material — one to the left of the dock connector port, one between the dock port and headphone jack, and one to the right of the headphone jack. Although this design does indeed offer the bottom of the nano more protection, these bands partially obscured the two ports, making it difficult, if not impossible, to plug headphones or a dock cable into the nano.
We were quite disappointed by these two flaws, as the iPod Nano Flip Case is one of the best looking nano cases yet. If Pacific Design can fix these two issues, we’ll jump at the chance to reevaluate the case.–Dan Frakes