Mophie Relo Radura
Pros: An attractively contoured, durable clear hard plastic case that leaves the enclosed nano easy to use, and will integrate with a number of planned add-ons from the same company.
Cons: Looks fundamentally the same as other, same-priced clear hard plastic cases out there, doesn’t include any of the frills. Very challenging to remove nano from the case.
Made of a clear composite hard plastic that emphasizes the colors of the second generation nano, the Relo Radura ($20) uses a two-part design that allows the nano to snap securely in place and receive easy on-the-go screen and body protection. More interestingly, Radura is part of Mophie’s Relo line of cases, for which a number of planned accessories ranging from belt clips to second cases and headphone port relocators can be integrated into the base case design, a unique idea.
Relo Radura’s shell consists of two interlocking pieces of durable, hard plastic that snap in place around the body of the nano, resisting scratches and scuffs while preserving the nano’s good looks. As its name suggests, Radura’s molding is contoured with interesting curves around the nano’s sides, but perfectly aligns with its screen and controls while providing access to the Hold switch and bottom ports. It’s a tough, well-built case.
We found our nano to be very easy to use and navigate while inside the Radura case: the openings for the headphone port and Dock Connector are generous in size, allowing for use of even larger-plugged headphones and thick Dock Connector plugged accessories, which we liked. On the other hand, we found it unusually difficult to remove the nano from the back of the case, for which we deducted a point. Radura isn’t a case you’ll want to put on and take off a lot; once it’s on, leave it on.
Unfortunately, Relo Radura did not score as well in the Special Features category: outside of its unique but yet to be fully realized concept of integrating with other accessories, which merits a point here only because of the interesting idea, it doesn’t offer anything new or exciting. You’ll need to spend additional money to get simple add-ons such as a belt clip, which comes with many other cases, but on the other hand, the idea of adding a visually matched FM transmitter or second layer of metal casing (like Knox, a metal wallet shown here) is sort of cool. With only prototypes in hand at the moment, we’ll have to see what Mophie makes of this idea.
Radura scores respectably on Protectiveness. The case protects most of nano’s front, including its screen, plus its sides and back, with a thick hard plastic shell. On the other hand, the Dock Connector/headphone port cover and Hold switch are left completely exposed, for which we deducted points, and there’s no integrated or film Click Wheel protection, either. Other cases of this sort, including Contour Design’s iSee nano V2, do better for the price.
By comparison with other clear plastic cases offered for the second-generation nano, Relo Radura is a fair but not great value. We would have liked to have seen more in the package for the price, either in protectiveness or pack-ins, to distinguish it from the other $20 offerings out there. But Relo Radura is acceptably priced, given that it offers a substantial degree of protection for the nano and looks good. It’s worthy of our standard recommendation, and if its added accessories materialize and offer solid value for the dollar, it may be the start of an interesting trend in case development.
A Note From the Editors of iLounge: Though all products and services reviewed by iLounge are "final," many companies now make changes to their offerings after publication of our reviews, which may or may not be reflected above. This iLounge article provides more information on this practice, known as revving.