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After years of avoiding the Apple revolution and stubbornly refusing to conform to the societal norm of owning something with a little i at the beginning of its name, I recently succumbed and bought myself an iPod Touch 4G. A few days and an apple-shaped hole in my bank account later I had finally joined iSociety.
Like any purchase I make though, especially of the wallet-crippling kind, I read review after review of the iPod before I made my purchase. Whilst my desire grew, one of the things that cropped up repeatedly in the reviews I read was the keenness for the back of the iPod to develop scratches and quickly become quite shabby looking. Not being one to fork out so much money on a gadget which quickly resembles something from lost and found, I decided to heed said warnings and launch a pre-emptive strike against the dastardly scratches by buying a silicone case for my new iPod Touch.
=== How Much and Where From ===
I eventually decided on the Wave Hydro Gel Silicone case which cost me £2.39 from amazon marketplace. It is currently priced at £2.35 and is sold with free delivery. I wasn't prepared to pay an exorbitant amount for a case/skin after the initial expense of my iPod purchase so spotting this great looking case for such a cheap price was ideal.
=== Style/Fitting it ===
Naturally, the case arrived before my actual iPod so I was left feeling rather inadequate with an empty silicone protector and nothing to protect. My first impressions of the case were very good though - it was smart, stylish and well-made. I felt confident I had made the right purchase and eagerly awaited the appearance of the iPod Touch itself.
After my iPod finally decided to show up it slotted into the case with minimal fuss and only a smidgen of manoeuvring was necessary. The silicone case holds its shape well but is moderately flexible and can be twisted slightly to ease the entry of the iPod. I found it easiest to fit it in lengthways, first putting the top of the iPod in and then pulling the slightly more flexible bottom of the case over the bottom of the iPod.
The case is designed to fit the 4th Generation iPod touch (i.e. the newest model) and forms a very snug fit which doesn't add too much bulk to the iPod itself. This is ideal because it allows the iPod to remain thin and light. The case surround the sides and back of the iPod leaving the screen fully accessible but with a thin border around the edge raised about 1-2mm above the surface.
I really like the design of the case and especially the two-tone silicone back with the glossy black contrasting with the matte grey. I also like the gap on the back of the case which shows the Apple logo on the iPod. To me, the case looks sophisticated but also quite trendy (although I'm no expert in either of these areas). Both sides of the case have a comfortable bobbled thumb hold which makes it easy to grip and less likely to slip out of your hand. I also find that the silicone material doesn't attract dust, grime or fingerprints very easily and therefore keeps its attractive shiny/matte look without too much upkeep.
I do think the case works best with a black iPod like mine and would be sceptical that it would 'look right' on a white model but the contrast may well appeal.
=== Usability ===
With the case designed specifically for the iPod Touch 4G all the necessary functions can still be carried out whilst in the case. There is a long slit in the bottom of the case allowing you to connect the charger and earphones easily. The camera and microphone are also fully functional when in the case with an appropriately placed hole in the back. This hole is also styled into the design of the case so it doesn't look like it has just been cut out for the sake of it. Even though the microphone on the iPod is slightly embedded in the hole it is still very receptive. I have an app on my iPod which requires blowing across the microphone to make sounds as though it is a flute (!) Even in the case, the microphone picks this up perfectly although the appeal of that particular app has since waned.
There are no gaps for the volume buttons or the power button though but the case has raised bobbles at these points so that when you press them, the corresponding button on the iPod is also pressed. I didn't reckon much to these at first and have had trouble with this type of design in the past but on this occasion they work brilliantly. I don't have to press too hard and I can still feel the satisfying click of the iPod's buttons depressing through the case. The alternative would be to have extra gaps which I think would ruin the appeal and make the whole thing look a bit messy.
=== Protection ===
Removing the iPod from the case is very easy and quick. I have done this on occasions to inspect the back and have been relieved and happy to see that no scratches have formed on the silver back (I refer to the back of the iPod, we're not talking about gorillas here). The circular hole which allows the apple logo to peep through has not proved to be a threat to the small section of the back that is unprotected and no scratches have formed here either.
I don't think the case provides much in the way of shock protection though so if you plan on dropping it then I would advise a more rugged case. Having said that though, the case does surround the sides of the device and the screen is also slightly embedded within the case so it is possible to drop the iPod without it coming into direct contact with the floor. The case is a couple of mms thick as well so provides a small defensive barrier should the worst happen. How well the device survives will depend on the height you drop it from, the type of floor it lands on...and luck. My advice - don't drop it.
=== In Summary ===
Overall I would definitely recommend this case if you have or are thinking of buying an iPod Touch 4th Generation device (4G). Some form of protection for the highly scratchable back of the iPod is essential to keep your device in top condition. I prefer this type of silicone case to the full body pouches you can get because with this case the iPod remains thin and is more enjoyable to use without the excess bulk that a pouch adds.
For the remarkable price of £2.35 from amazon.co.uk it is an excellent quality and highly attractive case which looks much more expensive than it actually is. If you are looking for a cheap stylish case that does the job, this is it.
Thanks for reading :-)