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Apple iPhone 4 Bumper Case Review

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After waiting in line for the iPhone 4 (all night along with hundreds of other foaming from the mouth Apple fans), I ordered my free Bumper case the next day via the iPhone 4 Bumper Case App. I wasn’t home to accept the package, but happened to be present when my brother-in-law Kael’s Bumper arrived.

First Impressions of the iPhone 4 Bumper Case

After opening the thin bubble wrap packaging, I was surprised at how minimal the Bumper packaging was. Definitely very “Apple-esque” with its thin plastic cover and thin paper backing with installation instructions.

Upon inspection of the Bumper itself, it was nice to see metallic volume and sleep/wake buttons. Rubber surrounds plastic and the installation of the Bumper is a very tight, almost perfect fit. The Bumper fit amazingly well with my full body iPhone 4 invisibleSHIELD. It’s a perfect harmony of two protective solutions.

The Bumper does immediately take away from the unique antenna design of the iPhone 4, and makes the phone feel bulkier. But the peace of mind when placing the iPhone down on a flat surface is definitely worth it. Before the Bumper, I always had to delicately place the iPhone 4 down on any surface. Now I can rest a bit easier.

Would I pay $29.99 for the Bumper, if Apple hadn’t given them away for free? Yes. After installing the case on my iPhone 4 and realizing the almost perfect fit, it’s definitely a nice case to have. While it won’t protect fully from huge drops, it does give you that extra bit of confidence when carrying your iPhone 4.

Update 1 (Aug 31/2010):

  • My Griffin FM tuner does not work with the Bumper case. I thought it did but it doesn’t.
  • 3rd party battery chargers won’t work either with the case on.

Have you received your Bumper yet? How do you like it?

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  • Asdfasdcadfc

    got it today and i love it! it’s a case that doesn’t completely hide the sexiness of the iphone

  • packman

    what i don’t like about is that no third party charging cables fit (in the car accessories) because the opening is so tight that the original cable fits only. that sucks because everytime i want to charge it in the car i have to take it out of the case.

  • Blang

    I’m absolutely in love with the look of the bumper; but being that it doesn’t fit any of my already existing 3rd party iPhone chargers and docks, it’s useless to me. I’m extremely disappointed!

  • Canuckdaneh

    I love mine, lets you still feel the thinness of the phone yet protects it a bit from scratches. Have the Invisishields to protect the glass.

  • Anonymous

    I got my bumper a while back and was not impressed. It has three major issues that other cases I’ve tried do not suffer from.

    1) Depth-wise, the bumper is significantly wider than the iPhone. When you’re holding it with the bumper on, it feels awkward because the bumper is so much wider than the rest of the phone. It makes the back side feel indented. It’s a very uncomfortable grip and just doesn’t feel “right”.

    2) The bumper isn’t a perfect fit. It might fit well with the full body InvisibleShield, but on a bare phone it’s slightly loose. It’s like it was *made* to fit an iPhone 4 that already had a layer of protective covering around the antenna. It has a bit of wiggle room when used on a bare phone, which is slightly annoying. You can feel it flex and slide as you type and do other stuff on the phone with two hands.

    3) As mentioned already, the bumper doesn’t fit third-party USB cables or accessories. This was a petty choice on Apple’s part, IMO. I’m not about to spend 50 bucks on an Apple brand USB cable when the $4 ones online work just as well.

    Three strikes and this ‘case’ is out. Though each one of those issues is a deal-breaker in itself, never mind the combination of all three.

    I’m quite disappointed in the Apple bumper. This free bumper is going to get as much use as money I paid to get it in the first place – zilch.

  • Anonymous

    Got my pixelskin hd last night. It’s a nice fit but one major problem… It pushed my invisible shield up on the front. 🙁

    Ordered a replacement shield, will not be using the pixelskin when the new one arrives.

  • Hyunyoup

    excellent can u post a pic with a phone inside? that would make viewers see wat we really wanted to see. ^______^

  • Ex

    Agreed.

    I also find that it cheapens the iPhone by hiding the band and if you’re watching videos, you can no longer lay the iPhone sideways!

  • Spyyip

    The bumper is good for a free case.
    Things i have discovered i can no longer plug in my AV cable to play in the car i have tried a couple but with the bumper i can’t. I guest there must be a apple one that will fit right.
    You also cannot use a older USB cable with the bumper i have a few of the older cables laying around the house i tried to plug one in with the bumper it will not connect so if i lose the one it came with i cant simple use my ipod cable.

  • Mitch

    i got the speck black tartan case and it did the same thing…had to order replacement shield….and because im in canada it takes like 3 weeks for zagg to send it to my house ><

  • Anonymous

    I just bought the otterbox commuter. A bit pricey but i defiantly recomend. It’s not as bulky as a defender case but it defiantly feels like it world protect my iphone. The hard soft case combination feels tight and doesn’t slip. The case comes with a front screen protector although I have a zagg full body invisishield and the commuteur fits over it great. Definatley recomend this case.

  • Anonymous

    Although I did order the bumper it isn’t my main case. I just put it on to see which accessories work and which ones don’t.

    So far I had no probs with my:
    – Griffin RoadTrip FM Transmitter (last years model with no iPhone holder)
    – All my L-Shaped headphones fit perfectly
    – Sony ICF-CS10iP Clock radio (once I removed their iPhone holder)

  • Anonymous

    Classic magnetic case from Piel Frama…. Expensive, but worth it. Finest case in the world IMHO.

  • I have the same Griffin FM transmitter and it works fine with the case.

    The case if good for what it is but it’s not perfect.

  • Mrmozart

    incase snap case is the best guys…. it even provides some protection. This one provides no protection… what do u think guys?

  • Bernardo

    i wish i could recieve a case. i bought my iphone in toronto, but i traveld abroad on the following day. so how could i get the case if apple doesnt ship to my country? bernard.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone has their own style and what works and what doesn’t :PI like my Gelaskins with my Sena Ultraslim (which should arrive next week), but some like an Otterbox… There are possibly hundreds of different cases out there. It really depends on what you like

    The bumper helps with the antenna issue if you have, and still allow you to see the beauty of the front and back of the phone. If you don’t want to see the back then cover it up.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone has their own style and what works and what doesn’t :PI like my Gelaskins with my Sena Ultraslim (which should arrive next week), but some like an Otterbox… There are possibly hundreds of different cases out there. It really depends on what you like

    The bumper helps with the antenna issue if you have, and still allow you to see the beauty of the front and back of the phone. If you don’t want to see the back then cover it up.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone has their own style and what works and what doesn’t :PI like my Gelaskins with my Sena Ultraslim (which should arrive next week), but some like an Otterbox… There are possibly hundreds of different cases out there. It really depends on what you like

    The bumper helps with the antenna issue if you have, and still allow you to see the beauty of the front and back of the phone. If you don’t want to see the back then cover it up.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone has their own style and what works and what doesn’t :PI like my Gelaskins with my Sena Ultraslim (which should arrive next week), but some like an Otterbox… There are possibly hundreds of different cases out there. It really depends on what you like

    The bumper helps with the antenna issue if you have, and still allow you to see the beauty of the front and back of the phone. If you don’t want to see the back then cover it up.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone has their own style and what works and what doesn’t :PI like my Gelaskins with my Sena Ultraslim (which should arrive next week), but some like an Otterbox… There are possibly hundreds of different cases out there. It really depends on what you like

    The bumper helps with the antenna issue if you have, and still allow you to see the beauty of the front and back of the phone. If you don’t want to see the back then cover it up.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like you will have to purchase a case… $30 for a decent case is not bad. If you want a bumper they are like $5 or less on ebay.

  • roadcarver

    Have not received the bumper yet but I’m using the Roots Tuffskin for the Iphone. IMHO, its the best solution.

  • Fan_Boi : )

    Been waiting for the free bumper, when it arrived, just tried it once. Got disappointed with the middle inside hard plastic that will definitely scratch the metal band if you don’t have a side shield. Ordered sena ultraslim instead and will keep my iPhone naked, enjoying the beauty of the industrial design. Just being careful and never dropped a phone yet. Hope, I won’t, just taking the risk.

  • Dan C

    +1 for the bumper not being a perfect fit. I stopped using it because of this. It’s loose and flimsy on the iPhone 4.

    I am surprised the reviewer (above) said its a perfect fit.

  • Cshupe2

    my bumper is tight

  • Brigden

    My bumper is very tight and doesnt move at all. I’m actually surprised to hear anyone say that theirs was loose as I was very impressed with how well it fit.

  • Looks like it’s time to break out the Dremel!!

  • Same here, it must be the invisibleSHIELD protection on the sides.

  • Dan C

    Hahahaha. Dremel should do the trick. I want someone to do it first and then I might. I wanna know if the material is dremable.

    It could fracture crack or break, who knows. Until someone does it. Do it blang!

  • Dan C

    The longer sides are loose. You can easily pull it apart with your fingers. The bottom and top are tight. When you pull it out of your pocket or hold it a certain way (hehe s. jobs) the sides are noticibly flimsy. Other cases are tight all around and feels secure.

    Main reason i took it off because it was secure on the sides. It could be possible I have a crappy bumper. But I like a case thats tight all around and no room for error.

    Plus its been reported (maybe on this site or another) that due to the flimsy sides dirt gets trapped inside and scratches the metal. I noticed a few spots on mine after using this bumper.

    anywyas im switched backed to my belkin case which is quite nice.

  • Dan C

    I just wanted to add a thought,

    The loose sides could be due to design due to the fact that the bumper doesnt have a back. Other cases with a portion will obviously hole the sides in place.

    In addition, it is a beautiful case, second to none. Metal buttons are brilliant.

    Just wish the longer sides were tighter (which may not be possible).

  • Mrmozart

    incase snap case is clear… u can see the beauty and use the beauty lol … not only see the beauty and say ‘ I wish’

  • Mrmozart

    Hi guys….

    Where can I get BodyGuardz dry for Iphone 4 ( Ontario-prefer in Hamilton- or Vancouver))

    Thanks

  • Lee

    I love my bumper! It’s super tight, I don’t know what everyone is talking about with it being loose on the sides, mine is a tight fit. At first I didn’t like how it made the phone seem bigger, but now I really like it. The fact that it’s raised on both sides makes the phone feel more protected since the glass front or back never touches the surface you sit the phone on. Also, I have a bad habit of when I pull the iPHone from my back pocket, it goes flying across the room but the bumper now gives me a grip to hold on to when pulling it out of my pocket as well. I’d definitely pay more for it. Only thing like someone else said, it doesn’t really work with any accessories! I tried to connect it to my BMW last night and it doesn’t work, the connector doesn’t go in far enough 🙁 I’m trying to find a male to female dock extender so that I can convert a normal cable to it. Also the headphone jack, I tried to connect 3rd party speakers to it last night when having a party here and it doesn’t let you plug them in all the way, and they’re just normal plugs not some big fat thing or anything.

  • Davebrake10

    I like the bumper but it is a pain to have to take it off to put it on the Apple docking station every night. You would think Apple would have taken this into consideration.

  • Ex

    For this reason alone, I removed my Bumper permanently.

  • The bumper dose a good job, but im crazy about getting scratches. (i dont like Invisible shield… dont hate me.. lol)
    So that being said i like the Griffin Reveal case. its basically a Bumper with clear plastic on the back. That glorious apple on the back cannot be scratched! lol

  • Oh hey… just an FYI. if your going to buy a case until you get your free one. Stay away from Case-Mate Barely there. I bought one a couple days ago, and it dose NOT reduce the signal degradation like all the other cases i have. i gripped it and i dropped down from 3 to 1 bars. were my bumper and other cases maintained a solid 3.
    just a heads up ^_~.

  • Chrome262

    the shield works well for scratches, but the first thing i did was order a gelaskin for my phone before i got it. i put it on the first day. so scratches are a think of the past. Now i am waiting for my free case, its the incase one i think.

  • Jay

    I received the bumper case within 1 week of order it, which was excellent (I live in Ottawa). The fit was good, but I wasn’t impressed with how touching the top of the bumper case (top of the phone) pressed the power button. Just holding the case and touching the top part would turn on / off my iphone.

    I tried taking the bumper case off and putting it on again many times to try and get a fit which wouldn’t cause this issue with the power button, but it kept happening.

    I also didn’t like the extra thickness, or the ridges, the phone had with the bumper case on it.

    In the end, I looked at all the available cases in all the cellular stores in the local mall, and decided to get a case from Bell – they were selling a two case combo (one clear and one black) which is hard plastic which the iphone clicks into. The case is very thin, covers the back and both sides, with a cut out for the volume / mute buttons. there isn’t any plastic on the front nor on the top or bottom. The phone is a bit thicker, but not as much as the bumper case. I have the clear plastic case on and this keeps the looks of the iphone 4, which I like. The only issue is that the case scratches (on the back from putting it down), and you can see dirt caught between the iphone and the case.

    The antena issue, is no longer an issue.

    All in all I’m happy with my case choice.

  • Ti

    The bumper scuffed up some of the anodized aluminum on one of the edges of the phone every time I put it on (or took it off). Very disappointed with the metal bands and the bumper.

  • Misteedawn61

    I got my bumper 1 week after receiving my iPhone 4. It works great. However the iPhone won’t fit into the Apple dock with the bumper on.

  • Misteedawn61

    I agree.

  • It really dose suck, but that’s the situation with all apple docks (
    except the universal dock )

  • Vurbsoundproductions

    I find the Case-Mate Barely There to be an alright case… pricey for what you get though, IMO. The protective screen that comes with it is sub-par, but the case itself is pretty good because like the name says, it feels and looks like it is barely there. My phone doesn’t suffer from the signal degradation problem, so I can’t comment on that part of the case’s performance.

    Funny enough, if you have the case in one of the colours other than black, people who see it and don’t know any better tend to freak out thinking you have some sort of exclusive coloured iPhone. I’m still waiting for a good belt clip case to be released…

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