Thoughts on aluminum bumpers?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by boba7523, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. boba7523 macrumors regular

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    May 14, 2011
    #1
    What do you guys think of aluminum bumpers such as these?

    I don't see the popularity of aluminum bumpers in this community, I wonder why? IMO aluminum looks better and has a more premium feel than TPU...
     
  2. vishavg macrumors member

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    Oct 2, 2014
    #2
    I am also interested in seeing some aluminum bumpers! I was planning on covering the back with a skin and placing an aluminum bumper around the edge. Anyone have experience with this?
     
  3. Jman13 macrumors 68000

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    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #3
    A lot of aluminum bumpers (especially cheaper ones that don't take any design effort) cause signal problems. The bumper acts as a faraday cage and reduces signal considerably.

    There are some well made aluminum bumpers designed with breaks, or with material between that can help mitigate these issues, though there's still usually some signal loss. The Spigen Neo Hybrid Metal cases, for instance, don't appear to drop signal too badly, though there is still a loss.
     
  4. webslinger85 macrumors 6502a

    webslinger85

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    Nov 8, 2010
    #4
    Personally i don't think the design of the 6/6+ lends itself well to Bumpers.
     
  5. Trebuin macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

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    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    #5
    There's a lot to consider in regards to this.

    Impact:
    Bumpers don't provide as much protection as TPU along the back of the case. Aluminum bumpers protection only is affective as the aluminum crunch; as soon as the crunch reaches its limit, if there's any momentum left, damage will be done. Something like the Spigen Neo Hybrid Metal will provide protection with the looks, at the cost of bulk.

    Screen protection:
    Bumpers do provide better screen protection from a face drop because they tend to have a larger buffer from contact (iPhone 6, 6+ only). Some TPU cases only provide 4mm clearance, the same as a glass potation. If the phone screen contacts anything hard, the protector will crack, possibly the screen itself. It will not protect the screen from scratches...you need a screen protector for that. Keys may cause scratches as a friend of mine has proved.

    Signal:
    Bumpers do not cover the back antenna bands, but do cover the side antenna bands. Aluminum would in theory have an effect. I will be testing that in the coming days. TPU or a plastic bumper will not inhibit the signal as much.

    Bendgate:
    Both full cases and bumpers will help keep the phone from bending.

    My opinion, If you can find a decent skin and screen protection (provided the bumper provides a TPU coverage), it may be best to get a bumper for protection. Looks become a matter of opinion, I like full cases, but that's my opinion.
     
  6. newone757, Oct 4, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2014

    newone757 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    #6
    Here's mine


    [​IMG]

    That's a plus BTW. Sometimes I think my hands make it look smaller than reality

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Notice the little pill shaped holes in the side of the case here. I think this is an effort to try and mitigate some signal loss ( they are lined up with the intersections of the antenna lines).

    My WiFi reception on the AC band was unaffected. However I couldn't connect to my digital camera's WiFi with the bumper on (camera WiFi throughput is probably very weak).

    As far as cell reception I used field test and it went from -97 with no bumper to -106 to -110 with the bumper. No as bad as aluminum bumpers I tried on the iPhone 4 - maybe acceptable depending on your needs and coverage.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. vishavg macrumors member

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    Oct 2, 2014
    #7
    That's a nice bumper, do you have a link from where you bought it?
     
  8. newone757 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 5, 2011
    #8
    Don't have access to my eBay account from this phone but It was some cheap eBay seller for around 10 bucks. It says "Love Mei" on the side so if you do a simple search for aluminum bumper you will find plenty of reputable sellers with them in an array of colors.

    One thing I will caution is that I'm not sure it won't scratch the aluminum casing of the phone. It does come lines with some thin foam but it seems pretty cheap. For this reason I'm still waiting on my full body protector to come in before I go full time with it. That way I'll have 360 degree scratch protection and minimal side drop protection. I don't tend to drop my phones but I do scratch them up pretty bad. I'll be sure to post more once I get my set in and this bumper back on (I'm going to order it in gold and blue as well)
     
  9. Trebuin macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

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    #9
    Looks like there is no lip to help protect the screen on that one.
     
  10. newone757 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 5, 2011
    #10
    Not at all. All it does is cover the sides of the phone.

    Works for me since I don't need to lay my phone face down on a table (why do people need to do this anyways?) and like I said I've been pretty fortunate not dropping my phone in the last couple years so I'm comfortable with it. It makes it feel as close to a stock naked iphone as any bumper you'll ever use. If you need that raised lip I definitely suggest looking elsewhere for a different bumper
     
  11. Trebuin macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

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    #11
    The only real payoff I would think is if you drop it onto concrete or something coarse and it ends face down, it will save it from scratches or breaks.
     
  12. newone757 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 5, 2011
    #12
    That's true. Cause my daughter dropped then kicked my iPad and the screen was drug across the pavement
     
  13. Trebuin macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

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    #13
    My dropped my iPad 2 and the screen cracked. I got a $100 screen replacement but I was livid.
     
  14. newone757 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 5, 2011
    #14



    Off topic but I still have 2 iPad 3's both with cracked screens that my kids use. I want to get the screens replaced but it's either really pricey or really shady (the 3rd party repair shops).
     
  15. posnera macrumors regular

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    Jun 13, 2010
    #15
    Try icracked. I've had very nice service from them.
     
  16. johnnylam macrumors member

    johnnylam

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    Sep 21, 2013
    #16
    Whoa that looks awesome! :eek: can you provide link where you ordered it from? Hope they offer a iPhone 6 (4.7) version.
     
  17. Trebuin macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

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    Okinawa, Japan
    #17
    You should be able to get those replace for around $100 as well.
     
  18. JonMPLS macrumors 65816

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    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    MN
    #18
    I tried a few AL bumpers on my earlier iPhones. I did not mind the effect on the phone signal, but it REALLY screwed with the GPS signal, so I quit using them.
     
  19. vishavg macrumors member

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    Oct 2, 2014
    #19
    Thanks for that, I will take a look. I also ordered a skin from slick wraps to protect the back and sides, and a screen protector from iloome. Hopefully this aluminum bumper will be compatible with the screen protector. I will be posting pictures as soon as I have my setup!
     
  20. stryderlis macrumors newbie

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    Nov 14, 2011
    #20
    I got the same one in black to go with my galaxy grey, they are all over ebay if you search aluminum iphone 6 bumper. I believe the one I got was like 10 bucks and since they took a while to ship to me they are sending me a tempered glass protector as a courtesy.

    There is a very small lip between the screen and the bumper. On the back, the camera sticks out more than the bumper lip so if it's dropped on the back it will land on the camera.
     
  21. newone757 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 5, 2011
    #21
    I can't imagine the iloome would interfere with the case. It almost literally adds nothing to the device so no worries about interference with screen edges

    That I haven't tested out. But, fortunately, if it does turn out to be an issue, this is a tool-less designed case so one quick flip of a switch and it comes off in the rare event I need to use GPS for local navigation. For a longer trip where I'll need it a lot I'd likely bring a different, more protective case.

    But good point. I'll be sure to test GPS once I start using the bumper again

    ----------

    You have any pics of your black on space grey? I thought about picking that up as well
     
  22. boba7523 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 14, 2011
    #22
    Cool beans guys!

    Ever since iPhone 4 where the aluminum bumpers affected reception to the point where there's "no service," I've kinda gave up on them. But their aesthetically pleasing nature got me thinking about wanting one again... In hopes that signal loss issues wouldn't be a problem in iPhone 6.

    *So the AL bumper with "Love Mei" on the side has thin pads to protect it from scratching the phone? I asked this seller if his AL bumper had pads, he said they didnt...

    ----------

    Are there apps that can display wifi, reception, and GPS signal in digits so I can see their strength more precisely? Probably going to buy one of these AL bumpers and see how much they affect my signal...

    I wonder if there's any AL bumpers out there that provides clearance for the rear camera of the 6 Plus?

    Oh, and I'm guessing if I get tempered glass screen protector, full body skin, and install one of thsee AL bumpers, I'd be all set in terms of providing at least some protection against drops and the bumper scuffing up my phone, eh? :cool:
     
  23. vishavg macrumors member

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    Oct 2, 2014
    #23
    Hey newone757, how responsive are the buttons?
     
  24. Alchematron macrumors 65816

    Alchematron

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    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    Maui Hawaii
    #24
    The Vapor by Element Case always caught my eye, buts its discontinued. I wish they made it for the 6+. There have been some aluminum bumper cases mentioned here for the 6/6+ see links below. I like the sleek minimalist look, but drop protection is questionable, and prices of these particular cases are not minimal. Bric Plus claims to not alter reception.

    Element Case

    Devil Case

    Bric Plus

    Designed by M
     

    Attached Files:

  25. stryderlis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #25
    I will post up some pictures tomorrow so you can check it out.
     

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