As the resident gamer dude at AP, I’ve been lucky enough to cover mobile gaming for years, going hands-on with a plethora of products, from the best games to controllers, and even the occasional handheld streaming device. While the Analogue Pocket may not run Android, my life-long love of all gaming portables means I had to buy one, and so I was lucky enough to get into the second round of sales, which is precisely how I was able to review the elusive device earlier this year.
Well, seeing how I covet the handheld, I knew I would eventually get a case, but since the device is so rare, cases are hard to come by. Thankfully Waterfield saw a hole in the market and has produced several high-quality cases, pouches, and bags for the Analogue Pocket, and they were nice enough to send a few my way to go hands-on, so that’s exactly what I’ve done and what this article is all about. Let’s dig in.
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What is Waterfield?
First, the little background. Waterfield is a high-end case and bag manufacturer based in San Francisco, and all of its products are made here in America. This affords the company plenty of room to quickly spin up new designs, which is more than likely how it will become one of the first manufacturers to offer a case for the Analogue Pocket (a pouch, as a matter of fact). It has recently ramped up production where the company now offers three separate products to carry around the gadget, all ranging in size, two of which I’ve had the chance to personally test over the last two months.
The Analogue Pocket Pouch
First up is the Analogue Pocket Pouch. This was Waterfield’s first case for the Game Boy lookalike, and it offers a slick magnetic closure that keeps the latch closed when a device is inserted. There’s a zippered pocket on one side that can fit a couple of Game Boy games or a cable or two, though, with the Analogue Pocket inside the pouch, there won’t be much room left to fill up this zippered pocket.
The inside of the pouch is a soft plush material made out of short fibers. Ideally, this offers protection when sliding the Pocket in and out of the pouch so that you won’t have to worry about scratching your screen on such a soft material. However, thanks to the magnetic closure, dust and debris may be able to get into the pouch when carrying it in a larger bag, like a backpack or suitcase. Should any debris like sand or lint get inside, there is a chance small particles will stick to the soft fibers inside. It’s a slight chance, but it’s definitely something to be aware of.
Currently, there are five choices of colors and materials, ranging from red, green, blue, waxed canvas, and nylon. I was sent the Forza Blue pouch, a dark blue color that goes well with the pouch’s black zipper and lanyard loop attachments.
It’s a stylish case that offers superb build quality, made of premium materials and sewn with perfect tolerances. This is not a case that will fall apart quickly, that’s for sure, which means it will protect its contents quite well, as it’s also thick enough you won’t have to worry about dings while carrying the pouch in a larger bag. So for a $50 price tag, you can’t really go wrong with the Analogue Pocket Pouch, as the prices only go up from here.
The CitySlicker Case for Analogue Pocket
Perhaps by taking a few lessons learned from the Analogue Pocket Pouch, the CitySlicker Case forgoes the magnetic opening at the top and opts for a foldable flap. This flap is made of thick leather and attaches magnetically, while the rest of the case is nylon unless you choose to go with waxed canvas (my favorite is also paired with a leather flap). This means you have a choice of a black flap, a white flap, a brown flap on a black nylon case, or a brown waxed canvas case that comes with a brown flap.
The primary compartment offers a material that feels closer to microfiber, where the fibers are packed more densely than what’s available in the Analogue Pocket Pouch, so retaining loose debris, should any find their way around the flap, is much less of a worry over the Analog Pocket Pouch.
You still get a zipper pocket built in, just like the Analogue Pocket Pouch, and this pocket is located in the rear, but its outer material is made out of a flexible fabric, which means you can fit a few more games or cables compared to the Analogue Pocket Pouch. You also get an extra compartment in the front under the flap, which can hold a game or two.
So the CitySlicker Case does offer slightly more storage over the Analogue Pocket Pouch while retaining a similar footprint, which is probably why it’s slightly more expensive at $80. However, this price makes sense as the leather flap is a quality hunk of skin that’s thick and meaty.
For me, the CitySlicker is my go-to case for my Analogue Pocket. Not only do I not have to worry about debris entering the case, thanks to the flap, the unit I received is waxed canvas, which simply feels incredibly premium paired with that thick leather flap. Add on top quality stitching that feels incredibly sturdy, and the cost is well worth what you get.
Can these cases be used with anything else?
Absolutely. My love of handheld gaming goes well beyond the Analogue Pocket, and so I’ve collected and built quite a few modded Game Boys over the last few years in my never-ending search for the perfect handheld. What I don’t have is a slew of cases to store them in. In comes Waterfield with its Analogue Pocket cases, where I’ve discovered these products can indeed hold and protect classic Game Boys just as well as the device they were designed to hold, the Analogue Pocket.
Ultimately, you don’t need to own an Analogue Pocket to purchase one of Waterfield’s excellent Analogue Pocket cases, as they are also perfect for carrying around any Game Boy, be it the OG classic, a Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Color, or Game Boy Advance. After all, the Analogue Pocket is similarly sized to the OG Game Boy, just slightly thinner. So if you’re like me and have amassed a ridiculous collection of modded Game Boys and would like a quality case to carry them around, I can certainly recommend checking out Waterfield’s Analogue Pocket line. The build quality is superb, and thanks to the footprint that lends itself well to all Game Boys, these cases are also versatile and can fit a range of similarly sized products.
All in all, whether you’re lucky enough to have scored an Analogue Pocket or simply enjoy the Game Boy modding scene, if you’re looking for a new case, I can certainly recommend the CitySlicker Case along with the Analogue Pocket Pouch. Oh, and if you’re looking for something a little bigger to carry around your devices and games for long trips, perhaps the Analogue Pocket Pack is more your speed, as this can fit all of your accessories, power cords, games, and console . While I don’t have one yet, my Game Boy collection continues to grow, so I have no doubt I’ll be picking one up soon enough.