Nodus Shell Case II review: Mounts anywhere - micro Dock included

The Nodus Shell Case II is a minimalist leather case with a strip of metal hidden inside. The magnetic Micro Dock comes with the case and can be stuck on your car's dashboard, a wall, or anyplace you would like to mount your phone.

The Good

  • Full grain vegetable tanned Italian leather
  • Protective case
  • Textured leather adds grip
  • Convenient docking system
  • Not bulky

The Bad

  • Slightly pricey

Two products in one

Nodus Shell Case II + Micro Dock: Features

Nodus Shell Case II

The Nodus Shell Case is handcrafted from full grain vegetable tanned Italian leather. While it's not a heavy duty case, it's still quite protective. The slim form factor does not interfere with the iPhone's functionality at all. Wireless charging still works fine. Embedded leather button covers allow easy operation of the volume and Sleep/Wake buttons. There are cutouts for the camera and mute switch. The entire bottom of the phone is left open for access to the Lightning port and speakers. The lip of the case does come up just over the screen, so if you place your phone face down the screen won't contact the surface.

The leather has a pebbled texture, which gives the case a little more grip than some leather cases have. The inside of the case is lined with a soft microfiber. Inside the case, there's a shock-absorbing polycarbonate core in case of drops.

The Nodus Shell Case II + Micro Dock is the ultimate blend of elegance and convenience.

There is a slim strip of metal hidden inside the case, in between the leather and the microfiber lining. The metal strip is what allows the case to attach to the magnetic Micro Dock. Note that the metal strip does not extend the entire length of the case; it's only about the same size as the Micro Dock. This means that the phone can only attach to the dock in one spot, just below the camera. The case also contains magnetic shielding, so your phone won't be damaged by the magnetic dock.

The Micro Dock is a small magnet with an adhesive on the back. I decided to mount my Micro Dock in my car. Even though I have CarPlay, I still sometimes want a convenient spot to put my phone besides the cup holder. The Micro Dock would not stick to the leather part of the dash, but it does stick to the metal.

The Nodus Shell Case II comes in three colors: Dark Teal as shown in my photos, Chestnut Brown, and Taupe Grey. The Nodus name and octopus logo are embossed into the back of the case. It's available for all of the iPhone models from the 7/8 to the XS/XR, as well as other smartphones.

Form and function

Nodus Shell Case II + Micro Dock: What I like

I love a thin case, and I love fine leather. The Nodus Shell Case II is both of those things, plus it has the added bonus of the magnetic Micro Dock. I like being able to park my phone in my car safely when I'm not using it.

The dark teal color is nice, a departure from the usual black or brown leather cases. The pebbled texture is smart since leather can be slippery.

Nodus Shell Case II

Hard to find fault

Nodus Shell Case II + Micro Dock: What I don't like

This case is right up my alley. As far as features go, I find nothing wrong with it. It's a little bit pricey, but compared to other full grain leather cases, it's not crazy expensive.

A fantastic case and mount

Nodus Shell Case II + Micro Dock: Bottom line

The Nodus Shell Case II + Micro Dock combines a slim, full grain, vegetable tanned Italian leather case with a magnetic dock you can place just about anywhere you want to mount your phone.

Use the promo code IMORE10 for 10 percent off; this code never expires.

See at Nodus

Karen S Freeman

Karen is a contributor to as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at TechRadar and Tom's Guide. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, CNET, AppAdvice, and WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.