Apex Armor are at it again, this time with a new watch case for the iPod Nano 6G and 7G made from CNC machined aluminum called the Ikonik. After reviewing Apex Armor's aluminum iPhone 4 bumper case, we soon came to love the relatively new brand name amongst a sea of top competitors. Apex Armor's Ikonik gives users a similar choice as the notorious LunaTik to convert their iPod Nano into a full-fledged dedicated Multi-Touch watch. The Ikonick does have some nifty tricks up its sleeve that sets it apart from all the rest. Should you be rocking your iPod Nano inside this aluminum watch kit? Find out in the full review right after the break!
We're lucky to be one of the first to test out the Ikonik before it's released in December. So far in the game I've ran into a few kinks that I hope will get fixed before it officially ships out to you guys. In any case, if you're ready to strap that Nano onto your wrist like a boss, the Ikonik will set you back $89.99. That's respectably pricier than most of the very few aluminum watch kits out there, but there's a good reason for that. The Apex Armor Ikonic is the first watch conversion kit for the iPod Nano that serves a multi-functional purpose other than just looking pretty. It has what's called a "hot swappable" strap design. Meaning that you can effortlessly change between different types of straps. That is if you're got more than one because the Ikonik only comes with one strap in the color of your choice.
As of this review, Apex Armor gives you the option to choose from black, orange and gray Maratac Mil-Spec series and Zulu one-piece wrist straps. All you survival gear enthusiasts and military personnel geeks out there are most likely familiar with these types of wrist strap brand names. And those who aren't, these straps are considered to be outstanding durable straps and are highly regarded. And I can vouch for that myself. These might not be your fuzzy bunny, soft-feeling rubber silicone wrist straps like the ones on LunaTik and TikToks, but they are pretty close in terms of comfort. It all comes down to personal preference. With that being said, I would have liked Apex Armor to design a more customized wrist strap for the Ikonik.
There is however one big advantage to these simple nylon wrist straps in that they do not attract any lint and dust particles like the rubber silicone straps do. But if you mist insist on keeping that familiar rubbery feeling (oh boy), then Apex Armor has got your back with a few other strap options as well. One drawback I've had with the Ikonik's wrist straps was that they are very short and will not fit you if you've got large wrists. luckily my wrists are on the slim side and these fit my just right.
Setting up the Ikonik so that your iPod Nano can sits inside is a matter of using both the included hex tools to unscrew both the metal bar hinges which set both halves of the Ikonik apart. The iPod Nano smoothly and effortlessly glides into one side while you secure the other with the second half of the aluminum casing. It's simple and takes a few minutes to install.
Flipping the Ikonik around and we can see the four rare earth magnets which are probably the most praised feature that makes the Ikonik so unique. Apex Armor designed the Ikonik so that it can magnetically cling to an optional Apex Armor Armband and then back onto your wrist in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately we didn't get the chance to try this magical feature as the Ikonik's neoprene Armband accessory is yet to become available. Having those magnets at the bottom also let you attach your iPod Nano to virtually any magnetic metal surface. Also, the bottom of the Ikonik is cut out so that you can still use your Nano's built-in clip should you want to.
Moving onto the actual Ikonik's aluminum housing is a very distinctive tactical look to it that I think really looks great teamed up with these nylon wrist straps. The Ikonik's design isn't your clean cut, elegant stylish iPod Nano watch conversion like the LunaTik. It's got a more mean, Batmobile-esque exterior look that I don't think everyone will necessarily come to love. Obviously the colors Apex Armor put together are very military-like. The Ikonik has an anodized, matte aluminum finish and comes in 6 different colors.
As far as how the Ikonik feels to wear, it's surprisingly very comfortable but slightly bulky as well. The sligh curve in the bottom aluminum casing is a nice touch to help better conform to the natural shape of the wrist. I can wear it all day long and not feel like my wrist is itching or to the point that I have to adjust its position. I thought I wouldn't come to like the Maratec nylon strap, but after wearing the Ikonik for more than a week, I really think it's fantastic.The metal hardware works very well to secure the excess strap end. Of course there are a few different types of straps to choose from and not all have the same exact securing features as the one I've been using above.
Looking at the iPod Nano's screen, the iKonik provides a decent amount of screen protection with a surrounding edge that overlaps and recesses the screen for normal daily wear and tear. Is it really necessary to remind you to stay away from water? Reaching the side buttons is easy as eating delicious apple pie with a dash of whipped cream on the side. And you can sync and charge your Nano as you would normally as well.
All in all Apex Armor has a solid iPod Nano aluminum watch converter here with the Ikonik. This is tactical at it's best in a multi-functional package. Apex Armor knows aluminum cases and it shows with the Ikonik. There are some drawbacks to consider which mostly come down to personal preferences. The price is still pretty steep at $89.99 with only a single wrist strap and no additional accessories that take full advantage of the Ikonik's unique magnetic clinging feature. As for that awesome two-tone color scheme, we aren't sure whether Apex Armor is going to offer such a color option or additional separate half casings to mix together.