North Face Etip gloves hands-on

It's cold, the snow is blowing in your face, and you’re waiting for your train to appear, even though it’s been telling you that it’s coming in 5 minutes, for the last 20.

The problem is that while you’ve been waiting you’ve grown bored and so you want to turn to the device that will alleviate that boredom: your phone. Trouble is, if you get it out of your pocket to play with you’ll have to take your gloves off (okay BlackBerry users you can keep quiet at this point) and that means your hands will certainly turn into icicles.

You see touchscreen phones like the HTC Desire, Samsung Galaxy S, or the Apple iPhone need fingers to let you interact with them, your naked fingers in fact.

That means using your phone equals cold hands.

The latest company to offer a solution is The North Face, who’ve launched the The North Face Etip gloves which should keep your hands cosy and warm while also allowing you to tweet, play games, and generally navigate your way around your phone when out in the cold.

On the hand and the gloves offer a close fit that allow you to still do plenty of other tasks. They are thin rather than massively padded, because you still need to use the tips of the gloves to type on a touchscreen display, and to be honest anything bigger wouldn’t work.

We tested them with a number of touchscreen devices: the Apple iPhone 4, the Apple iPad, the LG Optimus 7Q, a HTC Wildfire, and our laptop's trackpad.

The gloves work by having a conductive tip made of silver metallized ripstop nylon on your thumb and index finger that touchscreens are responsive too. The other three fingers on each glove are normal.

The palms of the gloves are padded for better grip, and we found the gloves very comfortable, and although thin, they are still very warm (we've had the perfect weather in the UK to test them).

Typing did take some getting used to, although we eventually got the hang of it. It is a case of starting slowly and then gaining speed as you go. Auto-correct will be your friend when it comes to typing for example.

There are plenty of gloves available from various manufacturers with materials varying from synthetic (as found in these gloves) to woollen ones - there's even a way to pimp your existing pair. The North Face Etip gloves are the most expensive of the lot coming in at £25.

That said, we found the Etip Gloves offer a comfortable wear that is both stylish and effective. 

This hands-on was first published in December. 



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