Nodus Shell Case II for the Apple iPhone 11 Pro: Stylish leather with strong magnetic mount option

One thing I love about using an iPhone is the number of excellent case options. Nodus offers elegant Italian leather options and its latest cases offer good protection, great looks, and a reliable minimalist mounting solution.

Owners of an iPhone XS: Is it worth upgrading to the iPhone 11 Pro?

With the popularity and yearly release of Apple's iPhone, you can count on a large selection of phone cases. I keep going back to using the Apple iPhone 11 Pro and for the past couple of weeks I've been wrapping it in a couple Nodus Shell Case II cases. I tried the standard one and one with the card slot on the back.

Nodus is focused on offering phone cases only for iPhone models with the current lineup supporting the iPhone 8, XR, XS, and 11 model phones. It offers a shell case, shell case with card slot, and a folio case option (Access Case III). Colors available include Ebony Black, Chestnut Brown, Dark Teal, and Taupe Grey.

Also: iPhone 11 Pro review: Apple scores near perfect 10, thanks to battery life, cameras and phenomenal performance

Shell Case II

The Shell Case II for the iPhone 11 Pro is priced at $65.24 and is available in all four Nodus colors. I tried out Dark Teal and Chestnut Brown colors. The Dark Teal is a dark green that contrasts well with the Midnight Green iPhone.

The iPhone 11 Pro snaps into the Shell Case II very securely with a tight fit to make sure it stays on your iPhone even if dropped. The polycarbonate core is wrapped in full-grain vegetable tanned Italian leather that looks, feels, and smells great.

Apple Pay and Qi wireless charging work well with the case on your iPhone with very little bulk added by the case. There is an ample cutout for the three rear cameras and most of the bottom is open for speaker, Lightning port, and microphone access.

There are raised bumps in the leather for the volume and right side buttons, but I personally find them a bit too subtle. For my fingers, the volume buttons are a bit hard to distinguish from the leather sides. After regular use you get used to them and they are very responsive so it is likely just something you have to adapt to over time. There is also an opening for the ringer switch, which I prefer over a button.

The inside of the case has a microfiber layer to protect the back of your iPhone. The Nodus name and octopus icon are found on the inside and also stamped into the back of the leather. It is subtle and looks good on the case.

Also: iPhone 11 review: The best iPhone for most people

Shell Case II +1 Card

A variation on the Shell Case II is the Shell Case II +1 Card case that adds a card slot to the lower back of the case. This is priced at $71.77 so it's only just over $6 more for the card slot.

The card slot is designed to hold one card, but since my ORCA transit card is very thin I was able to slide in both my door access card and my ORCA card. With Apple Pay on the iPhone, I really only need to carry my transit and door access cards on a regular basis. Some day, we will have support for driver's licenses or passports on a phone and I won't even need a physical ID card.

The Shell Case II +1 Card case is the same as the Shell Case II in all design elements with the additional card slot secured onto the back. It is constructed of the Italian leather and sewn well on three sides with the top open so you can slide the card into place. There is a small cutout in the left corner of the slot to help facilitate card removal.

If your card is thin enough, Apple Pay and Qi charging should work. My door access card is a bit thick so when I have that in the slot I cannot charge up the iPhone 11 Pro wirelessly.

Micro Dock III

It is nice to have the ability to secure your phone in an automobile, an office, or somewhere else where you are regularly working. Nodus includes the Micro Dock III with each of the cases. You can purchase additional Micro Dock III units for $13.04 each.

The Micro Dock III is a small metal bar, available in silver or black, that connects magnetically to the back of the Shell Case II cases. There is a 3M VHB adhesive strip on the back so you can mount the Micro Dock III to virtually any surface. You then simply place your iPhone 11 Pro in the Shell Case II and it will securely attach to the Micro Dock III. I was frankly surprised by the strong connection that is sure to hold your phone even down on uneven road.

The Nodus name and logo are stamped on the top of the Micro Dock III. It has a scratch resistant coating too so it is actually a nice looking and minimalist mounting solution.