MUSUBO RETRO – A Unique Case from Years Past

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My experience with the MUSUBO RETRO has been interesting, perhaps even enlightening. MUSUBO certainly has an eye catching brand — though I’m not entirely sure whether its the cases or the ladies that get you staring…  Either way, MUSUBO’s glitzy image had me expecting a few weeks of toting my phone around in a case one Bedazzler shy of a teen girl’s dream phone.

So with that shining introduction, lets dig a bit deeper, shall we?

Protection

Despite my griping, the RETRO is actually is pretty decent when it comes to protecting your phone. MUSUBO checks off a number of the must-haves for quality protection, which was a bit of a surprise for a case that looks to be marketed to someone who would have their phone safely buried in a purse that cost more than the phone itself.

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The case features a common (and effective) two layer design approach; an inner silicon skin  cushions the phone while a hard exterior shell protects from abrasion and pointy threats, as well as serving to distribute any impacts force across the silicon liner. The hard shell covers the corners of the phone, as well as the sides and back, leaving few angles unprotected from drops.

One area that I was particularly impressed with was how little dust and sand has made its way between the case and my phone. Dust intrusion has always been a problem with nearly every case I’ve used (except the SEIDIO OBEX, but it’s waterproof so that isn’t quite fair), and if you aren’t careful dust and sand buildup can leave very unsightly marring and scratches all over your shiny new phone. After a month with this case, I’ve only had to take the case off and clean it out once – I usually do it 2-3 times a week with most of my other cases- which is fantastic.

The case itself is incredibly well fit and snug, causing the silicon sleeve to act like a gasket. It doesn’t seal perfectly, but there is no noticeable intrusion around the front of the case or through the camera/flash/speaker openings, and only small amounts of dust come through the USB and headphone jack openings.

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Also of importance, the case provides a raised bezel around the screen to keep the screen raised off surfaces when the phone is face down. This is, of course, an all important feature considering the risks of  shattering that lovely glass screen with the all to common ‘screen flop.’

Overall, MUSUBO did a solid and commendable job designing the RETRO for day to day abuse and beyond. I was very comfortable trusting my phone to this case for day to day use. I wouldn’t recommend it fur heavy abuse, but it would be more than enough for 95% of users.

Build Quality

The RETRO is actually one of the most solid phone cases I’ve used, and was. The fit between the phone, silicon sleeve, and the hard outer case is impeccable – no play, warping, or misalignment of any kind. All of the buttons are perfectly aligned and the port cutouts perfectly centered. The materials used for the silicon rubber sleeve and the outer shell are fairly unremarkable, which in this case is more than enough to have cobbled together a solid case.

There really isn’t too much more to say – MUSUBO has a solid win with pure simplicity and quality design.

Functionality

As I said above, this case is pretty simple. The case really provides nothing more than minimal protection, so functionality is a bit of a low bar to reach. The most important thing is to interfere as little as possible with every aspect of normal use, and the RETRO exemplifies that well. The case doesn’t appreciably change the size of the phone, all of the buttons are easily accessible, and the smooth plastic exterior prevents the silicon rubber case from snagging in your pocket. Other than that, the RETRO delivers nothing more than a clean and unobtrusive experience.

Summary

Though the RETRO is bit of an odd design, in my opinion, I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. The case does a great job protecting your phone while doing little more than that –  clean and simple experience. I suppose it looks good while it does it, but the design may grate on some as a bit too gaudy, but to each their own. If you’re looking for s simple case, and like the design, this is definitely a good buy.

Pros:

  • Good impact protection
  • Raised screen bezel

Cons:

  • Possibly objectionable design style

t3chniq’s final verdict: A simple and satisfying case to protect your phone, a definite buy if you like the design. You can pick one up on Amazon: iPhone 5 / Gallaxy SIII

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