Review: RexRegina Conrad 5G Cases
Today, we're doing reviews of several fifth-generation iPod cases that we consider to be somewhat similar to one another: using familiar shapes, they differ mostly in materials and pricing. For several reasons, none merited our standard-level recommendation; in a marketplace crowded with 5G case options, all of them could have benefitted substantially from design and price tweaks.
Our best way of describing RexRegina’s new Conrad 5G cases ($60) is that virtually any company could have made or sold them: the design is highly similar to Apple’s old packed-in iPod cases from years ago, here using a single piece of material wrapped around the iPod’s front and back, joined together with additional material on the sides. This leaves the iPod’s top and top corners exposed, as well as its bottom sides slightly open. There’s a non-detachable, matching belt clip on each case’s back, above an embossed RexRegina logo. All that’s novel is the material: RexRegina sells several models of Conrad, each different from the others in texture or color, the most distinctive features of these designs relative to other leather cases we’ve seen.
RexRegina uses Italian leathers with various types of dyes and surfaces. Its Conrad Classic collection - illustrated by the “London Bus Red” case shown here - uses smooth leathers and vegetable tanning, and is the least novel of the bunch. Both the Nouveau collection, as illustrated by the brown crocodile case, and the Avant-Garde collection, shown in tangerine crocodile, use aniline dyes and either crocodile or pebble textured leather. Nouveau’s colors are natural, Avant-Garde’s brighter. All three collections of Conrad 5G cases are sold at a premium $60 price intended to reflect the quality of their leather and dyes, which we will concede in the Nouveau and Avant-Garde versions are stand-outs, if not quite our style.
As we’ve said in many iPod case reviews before, we’re not going to complain about a high-priced case if it offers the sort of protection and/or features we’d expect for the price, but conversely, it’s not enough to just wrap an expensive material haphazardly around an iPod and charge a premium price for it. RexRegina’s designs aren’t quite haphazard, but apart from their material, they’re nothing special, either. For instance, three holes are cut out for the 5G’s screen, Click Wheel, and Dock Connector port, and as with the other cases we’ve reviewed today, the problem’s in the alignment: all three holes are a little northeast of where they should be, detracting from the cases’ looks. RexRegina hasn’t included any form of screen or Click Wheel protection, either, making these cases far less protective than the top iPod options we’ve seen overall, a major problem in our view given the prices being asked here.
Like too many other iPod cases, the Conrad series feels like a one-trick pony - RexRegina clearly hopes you’ll love these colorful and/or textured leathers so much that you’ll be willing to compromise on protection and other frills, such as padding and a detachable belt clip, to get them. At or around this price - one we’re frankly reluctant to pay for any iPod case - you can get a comparatively superb Vaja leather design, which will offer superior looks and protection. In our view, decorating the iPod’s nice, but cases at this price should do that and more; a more thoughtfully designed protector would be a better use of your dollars.