Review: Hex Vision
Thanks to Apple’s iPod nano recall, I ended up with an iPod nano that I didn’t really need. However, since the introduction of the sixth-generation iPod nano almost two years ago, I always was intrigued with the idea of an iPod as a watch. Numerous manufacturers came up with bands that clip on the iPod, but many were plastic or not exactly my style. August Accessories’ Hex division offers the $50 Vision and similar Vision Classic, two leather watch bands.
Made of a mix of leather and a stainless steel plate (black, red, or white leather on the Vision, black, tan, white, or grey on the Vision Classic), the band is not unlike many other watchband accessories for the iPod nano. The two models are very similar, except for color choice and that the Vision has little dimples in the leather, while the Vision Classic features a plain strap. Both have a look that is more at home in a professional setting, provided you are okay with showing off the relatively large iPod nano face. Although there are some products out there (some even in Hex’s lineup) that look like they would be more at home on the arm of a child or teen, the Vision just looks good.
The Vision uses Hex’s “Clip-In, Clip-Out System” for attaching the iPod. There’s a 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ opening that you weasel the iPod’s clip around. I’ve seen some products which fit around the device, but this uses the iPod’s own clip to lock in place. The only way you could conceivably lose the iPod is if the clip broke (unlikely) or it was off your arm (also unlikely). The downside to this design is that the device is exposed to everything—the elements, bumps, and scrapes. Despite the relatively toughness of the iPod’s glass screen, a screen protector might be a good insurance policy.
Removing the iPod nano is just as easy, although there is a bit of a scraping sound from the clip sliding against the stainless steel. Hex advertises the plate as coated to improve scratch resistence, and we haven’t noticed any scratches on the iPod or the plate thus far. Still, this may not be a concern, since the Vision allows for use of the Dock Connector without removing the iPod. It also seems to have received the seal of approval, as it is sold in Apple’s retail stores.
The only real problems with the Vision come from the basic problems with the iPod nano as a watch itself—it’s a bit too big, not waterproof/water resistent, and doesn’t connect with your other devices, like the forthcoming Pebble or Cookoo. It also makes for a somewhat expensive watch—although the Vision isn’t the most expensive iPod nano watch band out there, it’s still $50 on top of a $129/$149 device. If you still are insisting on an iPod nano watch (which still makes a great backup iPod for the car, flash drive, and/or workout companion), the Vision is just the right mix of classiness and usability.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
Although there are a lot of cheesy or very expensive iPod nano watchbands, Hex’s Vision is a great option for those who want something a bit more “grown up”.
Pros: Quality construction, sturdy attachment, professional look
Cons: iPod face very exposed, iPod nano-as-a-watch idea still flawed