Bumper Review (w/high quality photos)

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Mark Booth, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. Mark Booth macrumors 65816

    Mark Booth

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #1
    Call me a heretic, but I'm not overly enamored with the appearance of the iPhone 4. When the earliest iPhone 4 prototype photos were leaked, I found myself hoping Apple's final product would be a little more sexy, and a little less 'industrial'. Personally, I felt (and still feel) the iPhone 3G/3GS was a better looking product. Now, put away your pitchforks and torches! I am not saying I think the iPhone 4 is ugly or anything. Its appearance is OK, but I simply don't find it as attractive as the previous generations.

    That situation posed a little bit of a problem for me, because I like to use my iPhone naked (the phone, not me :) ). And I'm simply not a fan of rubbery slipcovers or leather cases with folding flaps.

    So, when Apple introduced the iPhone 4 at WWDC, the iPhone 4 Bumper also caught my eye. Rather than covering everything except the screen, the Bumper only covered the edges. The very part of the new 'industrial design' that I wasn't particularly excited about. Hmm...

    On Wednesday, when my iPhone 4 arrived, and I finally had a chance to handle one in the flesh (err, glass and stainless steel), my fears were confirmed. My hand craved the rounded smoothness found in previous generations of the iPhone. The iPhone 4 felt hard and sharp. Abrupt. Industrial instead of sleek and sexy. I knew immediately that I would have to give the Bumper a try.

    A visit to my local Apple Store on Thursday morning allowed me to procure an iPhone 4 Bumper in black (my preferred choice). When I opened the package, I was pleased to discover that the Bumper was not simply a big 'rubber band' you stretched around the iPhone. Like all things Apple puts its name on, the Bumper had its own level of sophistication and clever design!

    The Bumper is constructed of two materials. There is an 8 cm wide band of (what appears to be) flexible PVC material that runs all the way around the edges of the Bumper (except for a small gap in the material at the headphone jack). This PVC material actually has a nice gloss to it. It's a design feature that makes the Bumper look far more attractive than all of the rubber slipcovers I've seen. The rest of the Bumper is constructed out of black rubber. That includes the gap area around the headphone jack, as well as the part of the Bumper that wraps around to the front and back of the iPhone.

    Sliding the Bumper onto the iPhone 4 is a piece of cake. Yet, it holds in place firmly once you've installed it. Or course, cutouts are provided for the iPhone's speaker, microphone, dock connector, headphone jack, and ring/silent switch (the last one is a big plus, because having the switch recessed eliminates the chance of accidentally flipping the switch). The Bumper even has a little hole for the noise-cancelling mic. All of the cutouts line up perfectly with the associated iPhone 4 areas.

    But Apple didn't stop there. Rather than simply providing a flexible rubber area over the sleep/wake and volume buttons (like all of those traditional rubber slipcovers), the Bumper has its own metal buttons. One button each for sleep/wake, volume + and volume -. Finding (with your finger) and pressing the Bumper's metal buttons provides exactly the same tactile feedback that you get from using the metal buttons on the iPhone 4. It's a very thoughtful design decision!

    The Bumper probably isn't for everyone. But it sure has turned out to be exactly what I needed. The Bumper is smooth, rounded and very "grippy". Not only does it improve the appearance of the iPhone 4 (to my eye), it greatly improves the iPhone 4's feel in my hand. It also provides a nice little layer of protection to the edges of the iPhone. Plus, its rubbery feel will help to prevent dropping the iPhone in the first place.

    A photo of the black Bumper installed on my iPhone 4 is shown below.

    Additional photos (including high quality closeups of each edge) can be found at The Photo Booth.


    [​IMG]

    Edit: A note about USB/dock connector cables... The USB/dock connector cable that came with my iPhone 4 connects perfectly, even with the Bumper in place. However, I have a non-Apple USB/dock connector cable that has a slightly fatter plastic housing at the dock connector end. That cable will not fit into the opening provided in the Bumper. Apple should have given just a bit more clearance for non-Apple cables. But if you use the supplied Apple cable, you'll be fine.

    Mark
     
  2. StevenT42 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    #2
    Thanks, mine should be here tomorrow if FedEx Home Delivery comes through.

    Did it alter your reception? Or are you having handgrip/reception problems?

    - Steve
     
  3. Mark Booth thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mark Booth

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #3
    Sure, if I intentionally held the iPhone 4 (sans Bumper) with the palm of my left hand over that one seam, the signal strength would drop. But it never dropped a call. Plus, I'm right handed so I didn't have the problem in the first place. So, the reception issue is not why I was interested in the Bumper. I knew I wanted to try the Bumper before the iPhone 4 was even released.

    And, no, the installation of the Bumper did not impact the reception or alter the number of signal strength bars being displayed.

    Mark
     
  4. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #4
    Problem w/ the bumper is that a) its too expensive for what it is and b) it offers zero protection for the glass back, which we now know is a lot more fragile than Apple advertises.

    To me paying $30 for a bumper is the equivalent to paying $1 for a donut hole.
     
  5. CDutch macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #5
    Now if you could only connect a USB cable with the bumper on the phone, then we'd really be in business. Smh...
     
  6. myphone macrumors 6502

    myphone

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for the review. It looks really nice.
     
  7. Mark Booth thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mark Booth

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #7
    Thank you for reminding me. I've added an Edit to the bottom of my review.

    Mark
     
  8. rkdiddy macrumors 65816

    rkdiddy

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    OC Baby!
    #8
    Nice review - I'm anxiously awaiting my bumper. I believe that in combination with my PhantomSkinz (front and back) will be the perfect combo.

    Cheers.
     
  9. turbineseaplane macrumors 68020

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #9
    Does the Bumper interfere with any of the screen protector films?
     
  10. 28Fiend macrumors member

    28Fiend

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Location:
    5280
    #10
    I would love to see a drop test with the bumper, how much protection would it really provide?
     
  11. Mark Booth thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mark Booth

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #11
    I can't imagine it would. I don't use screen protector film so I don't have any experience with the combo.

    Mark
     
  12. Mark Booth thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mark Booth

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #12
    I'd love to see that too! I look forward to the video of your test! :)

    Mark
     
  13. glen e macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale
    #13
    the only problem I have is the bumper won't work with the new dock - that is ridiculous when the two products are made by the same mfr.
     
  14. turbineseaplane macrumors 68020

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #14
    It's even more ridiculous since it's starting to look like the Bumper may be a requirement for the phone to work correctly.
     
  15. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Location:
    15 minutes in the future
    #15
    I bought my bumper with my iPhone on release day and I love it. I love the rounded edges and the reception fix and the way it fits. Definitely worth the purchase.
     
  16. cheapa55 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    #16
    Anyone have problems with the bumper being a little loose? There is wiggle room, I thought it'd be a tighter fit.
     
  17. calbearfan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #17
    Nope, mine is snug. Although I wouldn't want to keep removing it to put in a cable or dock connector.

    I'm using the bumper with the ZAGG Invisible Shield, with no problems so far.

    I really wish all my old USB cables still worked with the bumper, though. The new iPhone 4-specific one works fine with the iPhone 4 still in the bumper, but the old ones do not.
     
  18. bhsu21 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    #18
    I had a Incase Slider for a year so I got used to the feeling of having the back cover.

    I'm using the bumper now and it looks great. But it doesn't feel as secure in my hand.

    Also it isn't as easy to take in and out of my pocket with the rubber.

    I'll keep using it and looking at other cases as they are released
     
  19. ihonda macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
  20. james92se macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #20
    I feel EXACTLY how you do about the "industrial" look. You put those feelings into words better than I could.

    I've got two bumpers on the way. Great pics. I've been looking for high-def pics of the bumpers.

    I have no reception issues whatsoever so I don't care about the reception aspect of the bumper. I wanted them for the look and for the glass protection since the glass has its edges exposed (and that's the weakest point).

    What people don't understand is that the glass isn't "weak", it's just more exposed since the corners of the phone are glass on both sides. So, if you drop the phone, and it hits one of those corners, it's likely to break the glass!
     
  21. turbineseaplane macrumors 68020

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #22
    @OP:

    Nice hi-res pics and thanks for sharing...

    ...but why on Earth are you watermarking them?

    Do you really think we all have some commercial use for pictures of your phone with a Bumper on it?
     
  22. Mark Booth thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mark Booth

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #23
    In case another web site or blog decides to display them (in-line) separately from my review. Those photos didn't "magically" happen. I spent a good hour setting up my portable product studio/Elinchrom strobes and processing the photos. So, if another site ends up displaying them, at least I'll get photo credit.

    Mark
     
  23. turbineseaplane macrumors 68020

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #24
    Ahh. I see. I knew there must have been a reason!
    Thanks for sharing! Great pics!
     
  24. macfan881 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    #25
    lmao you just paid 300 bucks on a phone and cant pay 30 bucks for a cover seriously?
     

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