If a super-slim, high-quality leather iPhone case is on your wish list, the Nodus Shell case has a few perks that make it my new recommendation and go-to everyday case.
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The Shell case & Micro Dock |
The Nodus Shell case is a very thin, no-frills iPhone case made from top grain vegetable tanned leather. But it gets my recommendation for those looking for a slim leather case over the many competitors because of the included magnetic mounting system. It comes with one Micro Dock, a small magnet measuring 20x20x6mm that can be used to quickly dock an iPhone using the Nodus Shell case.
The Micro Dock has an adhesive pad on the back that lets you stick it in just about any handy location. Next to an outlet to get your phone off the floor while charging, in the kitchen where you might often need to be hands-free, or your car dash are a few of the obvious examples. Nothing extra is required for iPhone other than the Shell case which has magnets built in. An extra adhesive is included in the box if you ever want to move the Micro Dock, and you can buy an extra set of two docks for $30.
The idea is that you might want to have one in all of the places mentioned above and more, allowing you to quickly dock your device when needed throughout your house, office, and elsewhere.
There are lots of solutions for stands and mounts, but I quite enjoyed using the Micro Dock. I only got to play with the one included in the box with my review unit— I tried it on the wall next to an outlet where I often charge my phone at night, and also on the dash of a car for using the device while navigating, etc. The magnets are strong enough so that there’s no concern of the device coming off the magnet, even if you continue to use the iPhone once docked. The company says it uses the “world’s strongest N52 magnets” and that it uses proper shielding to protect against any issues with magnetic interference, of which I experienced none.
I would have loved if two docks were included in the box as that would have been a sufficient amount for me personally, and the extra $30 expense seems a bit of stretch unless you really had need for docking all over the house. But the price of the package with the case isn’t much more than you’d pay for another case of similar quality without the docking feature.
And if you wanted to get creative you could easily come up with a way to make your own custom magnetic mounts where the Micro Dock doesn’t work. Or use already magnetic surfaces, like a fridge as pictured below.
The case comes in three colors– Chestnut Brown, Ebony Black, and Yellow:
I reviewed the Chestnut Brown on the left, but you can see from my photos throughout that the leather aged naturally with use (as does all leather) and became much darker in the couple of months I’ve had it.
The company says the case has a poly-carbonate core for shock absorption and there’s also a soft microfiber lining so your phone doesn’t get scratched.
Should you buy it? |
It’s a bit pricier than a comparable leather case. Compare the $75 US price tag to Apple’s very similar $40-$50 leather case. But the Nodus Shell case itself feels a bit sturdier than Apple’s and the leather has a distinctive natural look and feel you don’t get with Apple’s. Add in the Micro Dock system and the fact that the case has held up very well in recent months, and I feel fine recommending the case over Apple’s at $75.