Casetify, a company that makes customizable iPhone, iPad, and MacBook cases, has also begun selling Apple Watch bands, which can be printed with any design. Available for both the 38 and 42mm Apple Watches and in two finishes, bands can be customized with photographs or artwork or ordered from Casetify's pre-designed artist collection.

casetifybandopen

Fit

Casetify's Apple Watch bands are made from polycarbonate and are closest in nature to the Apple Watch Sport bands. I've been wearing a 38mm Casetify Apple Watch band for just over a week and while it is comfortable, the material of the band is not as soft, flexible, or as thin as the fluoroelastomer the Apple Watch Sport bands are constructed from.

casetifybandcomparedtoapplewatchsportband
Bands come in two sizes, one for each watch. The 38mm band fits wrists sized 140 to 200mm, while the 42mm band fits wrists sized 150 to 210mm. The underside of each band is ridged, with the Casetify logo printed on each side.

casetifybandsunderside
At about an eighth of an inch thick, Casetify's bands seem to be approximately a third thicker than the Apple Watch Sport (there's maybe about a millimeter of difference between the two). That's not a huge thickness disparity, but it is noticeable when wearing the Casetify band after wearing a Sport band, especially on a small wrist.

casetifybandthickness
My wrist is under 5.5 inches in circumference so the Casetify looks and feels a bit bulky on my arm, but this may be less of an issue for people with bigger wrists. Part of the reason for the bulk is that I need to wear the band on its second to last loop, so there's a lot of extra band at the underside of my wrist.

casetifybandonwristback
It's definitely thicker and less flexible than the Apple Watch sport band, but the Casetify band has still been comfortable to wear all day long, even during exercise and when it gets wet. The band has a lot of holes to adjust the fit, so it's going to fit well on a lot of different wrist sizes.

casetifybandonwrist
Most Apple Watch bands are relatively easy to put on one-handed, this band from Casetify is not. It's a standard buckle watch, so it takes some maneuvering to get it on your wrist with one hand.

Hardware

The Casetify bands attach to the Apple Watch using stainless steel adapters, in either a matte silver or a matte black finish, and each watch has a matching stainless steel buckle.

casetifyadapter
Bands attach much like any other Apple Watch band, sliding into the groove on the side of the Apple Watch until it snaps in place. The Casetify bands don't slide in and out of the Apple Watch as smoothly or as easily as Apple's own bands, but they do lock into place in the same way.

casetifybandswithbuckle
One of the bands that I received from Casetify was assembled backwards, causing it to not slide in properly or lock, so that's something to watch out for if you order one of these. Fixing it would require unscrewing the adapter and turning the band around.

I have a stainless steel Apple Watch and the matte silver of the adapter does not match the shiny finish of the Apple Watch, but when wearing the watch, the difference in finish isn't overly noticeable from a distance. If someone's close to your wrist, though, the difference is easy to see.

casetifyadaptercolordifference
The matte silver also does not quite match the aluminum of the Apple Watch Sport, and the mismatching finishes is definitely going to be a deal breaker for some people when it comes to the Casetify bands. The incongruity between the band adapter and the Apple Watch is what bothered me most about the Casetify band, but no one seemed to notice but me.

casetifybandattachedtoapplewatch
Casetify provided me with a band that has matte black adapters, but I didn't have access to a Space Black or Space Gray Apple Watch to make a fair comparison on color. I did notice a tiny bit of chipping on the matte black Casetify adapter after I put it on my Apple Watch, so I am concerned that people who buy the matte black version might have similar problems with it. Casetify says that the chipping I saw is uncommon.

spaceblackchipping

Printed Designs

Customizability is the key feature in Casetify's Apple Watch bands, and designing a band that precisely fits your style and specifications is the main reason to purchase one of these bands. Casetify sells pre-designed Apple Watch bands in a range of colors and patterns, but you're also able to create your own using any image.

casetifyprinting2
You can upload an image or connect to Facebook or Instagram to use a photo from one of those services. Bands designs can use one, two, or five photos, and built-in tools on the site and in the app let you resize and move photos as necessary to create a desired design.

casetifybandcreator
Design wise, the possibilities are nearly endless. You can create a band with photos of kids, pets, or favorite cartoon characters, or use a more abstract design or photo. Things like flowers and sunsets turn out particularly well. A high resolution image is necessary for the best print quality, especially when using only a single image.

It's also worth taking a look through Casetify's artist's gallery for designs that have been created by others. There are a lot of whimsical, colorful designs that are fun to browse through.

Print quality on the Casetify bands is good, but it's not something that I'd describe as crisp. Up close, designs look a bit fuzzy due to the pixelated printing process, as you can see in the photo below.

casetifyprinting
At a reasonable distance, Casetify's band designs look quite nice, but I wouldn't choose a photo that has a lot of very fine detail for the printing process. Printing only covers the front of the band. The sides of the band are a light gray color, as is the back of the band.

casetifybandprintingdistance
So far, the design on my band has held up well over a week of heavy use and through attempts to damage the printing through scrubbing, twisting, bending, and rubbing. I have not been able to test the band over a long period of time, but the printing seems reasonably durable, as does the band -- it can stand up to a lot of abuse since it's made of polycarbonate.

Bottom Line

Casetify's bands are more expensive than the Apple Watch Sport band and have some caveats like their thickness and adapters that don't quite match the Apple Watch, but they're also the only Apple Watch band that's customizable, and that makes up for a lot of minor flaws.

If you want a band that's more colorful and has more personality than what you can get from Apple, or if you want to wear a band that's outfitted with pictures of your cat, Casetify's Apple Watch bands are the way to go. $70 is a lot to shell out for a band that's not quite as high-quality as the Apple Watch Sport band, but the tradeoff for customizability is worth it for Apple Watch owners who want something that stands out.

casetifybandspacegray2
One thing to keep in mind - there aren't many third-party Apple Watch bands on the market yet, and that's because Apple hasn't solidified its "Made for Apple Watch" program. Apple has published guidelines on band and adapters (lugs) for third-party accessory designers, but it's not yet approving accessories. Casetify's bands, like all current third-party bands are not "Made for Apple Watch" approved.

In the coming months, we may see a lot more band options hitting the market. For the time being, third-party bands are few and far between, so it's nice to have options like Casetify that let the Apple Watch be better customized to fit different styles and tastes.

Pros:

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Customizable -- endless designs
  • Waterproof/sweatproof
  • Fits a wide range of wrist sizes

Cons:

  • Thicker, less flexible than Apple Watch Sport band
  • Adapter's matte silver doesn't quite match Apple Watch finish
  • Matte black version coating chips easily
  • Printed designs aren't crisp

How to Buy

Casetify's Apple Watch bands can be ordered from the Casetify website or the Casetify iOS app for $70.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

GrumpyMom Avatar
78 months ago
Thank you for the review. You told me everything I had wanted to know about the Casetify bands.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
testcard Avatar
78 months ago
Those bands scream "cheap and nasty".
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iBlazed Avatar
78 months ago
Overpriced for what it is. You can get a third party leather band for $25. And the buckle is ugly.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2457282 Avatar
78 months ago
I find these straps rather fun.

However, I don't have an Apple Watch, so they're lost on me.
well for just an additional $395, you could rectify this problem. :D
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kuwxman Avatar
78 months ago
To switch out bands on your own, you will need a Wiha P2 screwdriver to undo the pentalobe screws holding the adapter together.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nagromme Avatar
78 months ago
Designing your own is a really neat idea, and of course costs more than an off-the-shelf stocked model.

But I don't like that clear plastic ring/loop. A black option might look better.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple watch 6s 202009

Bloomberg: Apple Watch Series 7 to Feature Thinner Screen Bezels, Faster Processor, and Updated Ultra Wideband Tech

Monday June 14, 2021 3:41 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 7 is likely to have thinner display bezels and use a new lamination technique that brings the display closer to the front cover, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The Cupertino, California-based tech giant is planning to refresh the line this year -- with a model likely dubbed the Apple Watch Series 7 -- by adding a faster processor,...
m1 imac back

Some M1 iMac Models Shipping With Crooked Mountings

Monday June 14, 2021 12:50 pm PDT by
Some M1 iMacs appear to have a manufacturing defect that causes the display to be mounted on the stand in a way that's not perfectly aligned, leading to a crooked display. YouTuber iPhonedo over the weekend published a review of the M1 iMac, and he found that his machine appeared to be tilted on one side, a mounting disparity that was visibly noticeable and proved with a ruler. Another...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

When Can We Expect the Redesigned MacBook Pros Now?

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:11 am PDT by
With no sign of redesigned MacBook Pro models at this year's WWDC, when can customers expect the much-anticipated new models to launch? A number of reports, including investor notes from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush analysts, claimed that new MacBook Pro models would be coming during this year's WWDC. This did not happen, much to the disappointment of MacBook Pro fans, who have been...
apple new iphone case colors

Apple Releases New Sunflower, Cloud Blue and Electric Orange iPhone 12 Cases

Monday June 14, 2021 11:12 am PDT by
Apple today released silicone iPhone cases for the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, and 12 mini in a series of new colors that include sunflower, cloud blue, and electric orange. Sunflower is a bright yellow shade, cloud blue is a soft, light blue, and electric orange is a bright orange that's darker than the kumquat color and more orange than pink citrus. The new cases are priced starting...
ipad iphone duo ios 12

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 12.5.4 Security Fix for Older iPhones and iPads

Monday June 14, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released new iOS and iPadOS 12.5.4 updates, with the new software aimed at older devices that are unable to run the iOS 14 update that's available on modern devices. The iOS and iPadOS 12.5.4 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software...
files app ipados 15

iPadOS 15: Files App Gains NTFS Support, Progress Indicator, and More

Tuesday June 15, 2021 3:41 am PDT by
Apple in iPadOS 15 has added the ability to access NTFS-formatted media from within the Files app. The additional support for the Windows-related format, first discovered by YouTuber Steven Fjordstrøm, is read-only, so like on macOS you can't modify files stored on NTFS devices, but you can at least copy any data on them for working on elsewhere on your iPad. The Files app has also gotten a...
maxresdefault

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Sideloading Apps Would 'Destroy the Security' of the iPhone

Wednesday June 16, 2021 10:49 am PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook this morning participated in a virtual interview at the VivaTech conference, which is described as Europe's biggest startup and tech event. Cook was interviewed by Guillaume Lacroix, CEO and founder of Brut, a media company that creates short-form video content. Much of the discussion centered on privacy, as it often does in interviews that Cook participates in. He...
maxresdefault

Demo: Check Out AirPlay 2 on a Mac in macOS Monterey

Tuesday June 15, 2021 11:57 am PDT by
With macOS Monterey, Apple has introduced expanded AirPlay 2 support, so you can AirPlay content from an iPhone, iPad, or even another Mac to your main Mac. We thought we'd do a quick demo of this handy new feature in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. With AirPlay to Mac, you can extend or mirror an Apple device's display to a Mac, and since ...
nomad airtag wallet card 2

Nomad's Latest Accessory Makes It Easier to Put an AirTag in Your Wallet

Monday June 14, 2021 12:00 pm PDT by
Nomad, known for its range of accessories designed for Apple devices, today announced the Card for AirTag, which is designed to make it easier for an AirTag to fit inside a wallet for tracking purposes. With Card for AirTag, an AirTag fits inside the middle of a card-shaped holder that's then meant to fit inside of a wallet. According to Nomad, the design offers a smooth, uniform shape that...