updated 03:20 am EDT, Sat June 2, 2012
We check out the LunaTik and iWatchz Q for iPod nano
Although the iPod nano did not receive much love from Apple at its last revamp from a hardware perspective, Apple acknowledged its popularity as a digital watch by giving users a number of new clock faces taking the total to 18. One of the first on the block with a band designed to accommodate the iPod nano was the LunaTik. iWatchz has also come to the party with the Q watch band, among others in its range. Electronista has been giving both a try this past couple of weeks. Read on for our hands-on take.
The LunaTik was developed by Scott Wilson, a Global Creative Director for Nike Watches and was crowd-funded through Kickstarter.com. Since its launch, the company has added a number of different styles to its line-up, as well as adding the AnTik analog watch module to its range. We also had one of these on hand for our comparison, as you can see from the photos embedded with the story.
The LunaTik sells for $80 and is created out of aircraft grade aluminum for the nano-case, while the straps are made from compression molded high-grade silicone rubber treated with an anti-dust coating. The additional hardware componentary is made from stainless steel. Everything arrives in nicely designed packaging to complement the product, conveying an air of quality.
The LunaTik comes with a small set of tools designed to allow the case to split into half to allow the insertion of an iPod nano or its AnTik analog watch module into it. It's easy to put together, while offering a little bit of fun as you assemble it. Everything screws together solidly with no chance of it coming apart. It complements the iPod nano really well, and gives the impression to the casual observer that the nano was in place from the start.
The LunaTik is very comfortable to wear, while its size and style are quite eye-catching with more than one or two people taking note of it. It's a lot shinier in the flesh than can be discerned by looking at the photos on the LunaTik website. The web photos give the impression that the finish is slightly more matte than it looks when in hand. If the 'nano as a watch' concept appeals to you, the LunTik is definitely worth a look.
LunaTik have also developed the AnTik as an alternative to users who would like an always-ready way of telling the time. One of the drawbacks of using the iPod nano as a watch is that it requires the user to reach across and press a button to wake if from sleep to tell the time. Apple have given users the option of setting it so that the clock is the first thing that you see when waking it, if that is the primary reason you use the nano.
The iPod nano is certainly fun to use as a watch, with its added capabilities as pedometer, Nike Plus functionality, radio and music player. However, it is isn't waterproof or even water-resistant. This is where the AnTik module comes in really handy, as it is water-resistant to 30 meters, while also utilizing a Japanese quartz movement. However, all it does is tell the time, but users can mix and match AnTik modules to create different looks. At $80 it is reasonable value for what is also a nicely designed product.
Like LunaTik, iWatchz has lined up a deal with Apple to sell its iPod nano watch bands through the Apple Store. There are a number of different iWatchz bands on offer, although we had the iWatchz Q on hand to try out. It is not quite as robust as the LunaTik and leaves the iPod nano more exposed when in use, so a screen protector for the iPod nano almost becomes essential. Like the LunaTik, it uses a silicone wrist band, although the nano clips in to a plastic holder locking it securely in place. Hardware is also stainless steel.
Its more streamlined appearance is very stylish and is not quite as 'loud' as the LunaTik when in public, but looks no less cool. It looks good and fits comfortably onto the wrist, at least at first blush. We did notice that the way iWatchz has designed the clasping function that the second of the two rubber bands to hold the strap in place can get uncomfortable over a day's use. Loosening the strap helped to alleviate the discomfort, but this did not feel instinctively like the way we wanted to strap it to our wrist.
However, at $30 it is a lot cheaper than the LunaTik and is good buying at the price. Although its materials may be slightly less sturdy, it feels perfectly well made and the design is effective. It executes the 'nano as a watch' concept very well, although users may want to consider one of the alternative models that iWatchz sells from an overall comfort perspective. iWatchz Q is strictly designed for user with an iPod nano-only and won't accommodate the AnTik module, which we thought was worth a try.
If you own an iPod nano, both LunaTik and iWatchz offer users a number of different watch bands that you can fit it to. Even with more purpose-made smart watches coming on to the market at the moment, the iPod nano certainly has continued appeal for use in this way. Both bands still allow for a set of headphones to be connected unimpeded. Even if you own a smartphone it is handy to have the option to use the iPod nano to play music, or listen to the radio when on the go.
By Sanjiv Sathiah