iPod Nano Accessory Review: HEX Vision Metal Watch Band

Article first published as iPod Nano Accessory Review: HEX Vision Metal Watch Band on Blogcritics.
HEX Vision in Gun Metal

What may have started as a fleeting comment during a Steve Jobs keynote has quickly expanded into a new industry. The iPod Nano watch market is filling up with many brands and styles ranging from a simple rubber strap to one with classic metal links. I had the chance to wrap the HEX Vision metal watch band around my wrist for the past few weeks, and I've found that I don't miss my regular watch much. Read on to find out why.

Out of the Box
The product inside may be simple, but HEX Vision made sure the elegant look continued all the way through to the packaging.  A white cardboard sleeve surrounds a dark black box, now the typical packaging symbolic of a high tech gadget. Inside, the metal band wrapped around a holder appeared just as you would expect of a fine timepiece. An instruction manual and several extra metal links (which can be added or subtracted by your local jeweler) are also included.

Onto the Wrist
The patented clip in system was extremely easy to use, and with only one configuration and direction to insert, it's nearly fool proof. As a runner, I need to be able to remove the iPod Nano when needed, and I was pleased to find the clip system gives me access within seconds. Conversely, when I need to go to work with my watch, clipping the iPod back in is also easy to accomplish. The Nano feels secure when clipped in, and there's a nice audio clicking feedback mechanism, so there's no chance of the device flying off your wrist. The well designed band also maintains quick access to the dock connector, so charging your watch (nano) is akin to plugging in your phone at the end of the day.

Out in Public
Admittedly, I was skeptical about how the look of the iPod as watch would be received. Having worn the watch for a few weeks now, I've received several compliments (more so than I expected), and zero (at least to my face) comments of "what is that thing on your wrist?".  In particular, many students (I work in a large high school) have been in awe and have either inquired how to get one or they confirmed that they already have one. I owe most of this to the solid stainless steel look of the HEX Vision.

Naturally, there are some downsides to using your iPod as a watch. The first and most significant is that to see the time, you have to press a button. This is a radical departure from a typical timepiece. However, since this "watch" can do so much more, it may be a small price to pay. Second, I have to charge my iPod every week or so. The more I use the Nano, the more frequent the charges, and again, this is something you wouldn't have to deal with when using a regular watch. One potential upside is that I may not have to replace a watch battery, at least as long as the iPod's battery is in good shape.

For those technophiles that switch cases or skins often (you know who you are), the multiple clock faces that Apple includes will appeal directly to you. In these past few weeks, I have rotated through several analog faces and my favorite digital screens. With different bands available, the number of combinations is limitless.

The HEX Vision metal band has hooked me into wearing my iPod Nano as a watch. I love the classic metallic design, and the clip-in, clip-out system works extremely well. This makes the combination look and feel as close to a traditional watch as possible. The easy to lose Nano is secure on my wrist, and I know that I can take it off with ease when I go for a run. Now, if only I could see my calendar on it...

The HEX Vision metal watch band for iPod Nano Gen 6/7 comes in Gun Metal and Silver and is available direct from Hex for $69.95.

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