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I received my iPhone bumper case when Apple were being besieged by complaints about antenna issues. The case was supposed to eliminate this problem whilst adding protection for your phone.
The case fits snugly around the phone with all the needed gaps to access the volume buttons, on/off button and headphone socket. It is a very elegant and simple design that will protect the edge of your phone from abrasions and scratches. It will also stop it sliding off slippery surfaces or keeping it safe if loose in a car. It is very easy to put on or take off of your iPhone. However there is no extra protection for the screen or the back of the phone.
I have found the case to be very good looking and fits well but after using it for a couple of months it stretched and therefore does not fit so well around the phone. This not only takes away form its looks but also means it comes off very easily, especially when taking it out of my pocket.
Was a very welcome freebie to help with the antenna problems and to give some protection but would have been disappointed if I had to pay for it.
iPhone 4, or 4s bumper - currently £26 at Apple stores
The Bumper is a band that goes around the edge of the Apple iPhone 4 or the iPhone 4s covering the metal edge of the phone. The bumper is available in six colours -- white, black, blue, green, orange or pink.
It slips around the edge of the phone with a rubber overhang that overlaps on both the front and back of the phone (only by a very small amount so it will not affect your viewing pleasure). The bumper has buttons integrated into it, to ensure that you can press the relevant buttons on the edge of the phone.
When I first got the bumper I had a black iPhone, and a black bumper which for me wasn't the greatest combination, as it made my phone that much harder to find in my handbags.
It did however offer a degree of protection when it was dropped so the concept is a good one. I negated the issue of the totally black phone by getting a brightly coloured bumper. Although I personally feel thay are not the most attractive of phone accessories, I am very clumsy so it was worth it's weight in gold to me, to ensure that my phone stayed in one piece.
I would recommend the bumpers to people, but I would also say no need to buy the original from the Apple store, I have bought a perfectly good coloured rubber cover for much less than the £26 that these cost. They not only do the same job, but some of them look better than the originals, and with the cost being so much less I can have one in every colour to go with different outfits.
I received a black iPhone 4 bumper with my purchase of the phone and didn't expect great things, but it has exceeded my expectations. The case fits snugly around the outer edge of the iPhone 4 only, with holes for the charger and 'silent mode' switch. There are silver buttons over the 'sleep/wake' button and +/- volume buttons on the side of the phone. Therefore, all functions are still easily accessed. Since the case obviously doesn't cover the front and back of the phone, you should probably consider using scratch resistant plastic covers/skins on the iphone body to ensure scratches don't ruin your new phone! The bumper seemed to stay in place throughout its use. One minor issue was that if I used one of Apple's old style charger connection leads (mine was from my iPod Nano first generation) instead of the charger connection lead meant for the iPhone 4, it wouldn't fit into the hole unless the bumper was removed. However, it is fine with the correct lead. If you decide to purchase, be aware that my bumper's silver casing that overlay volume and sleep buttons fell off, making access more difficult and the edge started to show wear and tear after about 4 months. I have dropped my phone on concrete before and the bumper spread the shock very effectively - no cracks or scratches on my phone surface - just on the bumper!
I fundamentally disagree with a number of recent reviewers who have put up significantly negative reviews of this bumper for a variety of reasons.
Apple were hit by a barrage of rather vague connectivity issue claims when the iPhone 4 was released which no matter how hard I intentionally tried I failed to replicate having purchased the iPhone myself. Regardless of where or by whom this rumour was started, Apple went above and beyond their call of duty and offered all iPhone users a free bumper as well as including it with all future iPhone purchases completely free of charge. Given that this response was so far beyond anyone's expectations and the fact that all this was done absolutely for free, I fail to see how people can be negative about the gesture.
The bumper itself is a very well made piece of kit. It is a mixture of rubber on the outside, some stronger materials in various places and a much harder plastic in the corners to protect the phone from damage. The bumper fits nicely around the perimeter of the phone and does a good job in protecting it when falling on flat surfaces as regardless of the fall angle, the bumper absorbs the impact.
All buttons and holes are appropriately catered for and the bumper looks to be a very good quality product which does not detract from the design of the iPhone and is inconspicuous. The one minor drawback which stops be rating this 5 stars is that the volume buttons on the side are allowed to protrude beyond the extent of the bumper. It is fair to say that it is hard to imagine what the case would need to look like in order to protect these buttons, but I have managed to scratch and chip mine already where the rest of the phone is very well protected.
I've spotted a trend with Apple product releases recently, not only do the company draw you in with their impressive can't-be-without gadgets, but also a range of clever accessories which are seemingly necessary to get maximum enjoyment out of the product. The iPhone is fragile, you have to have a cover. The iPad's screen needs protecting, so there's the magnetic cover for that too. I'm sure all future releases will come with an optional array of rainbow coloured, Apple branded accessories as well.
I bought the iPhone on the day it came out last year. I reserved it and queued up patiently at their Westfield store. At the time I decided I didn't need a cover. My previous iPhone didn't have a cover and only had a few scratches, so I didn't think it was worth the £26 for what is essentially a small bit of black plastic, which is all it is.
Soon after, "antennegate" happened, where some users complained that the signal strength fell when holding the phone at the bottom left hand side, so that your hand connected the spot where the phone's two antennas joined, causing dropped calls in areas where the signal which was weak. This personally wasn't an issue for me and I think this was probably over hyped by the media. Still when Apple offered customers a free case to resolve this issue, I chose the official Apple bumper.
The bumper is basically a small ring of rubber measuring 12 x 6 cm which locks around the phone, with the outer layer being moulded plastic the same colour. At launch, only the black colour was available but you can now also get green, orange, white, pink and blue. The side controls still function with metal buttons built onto the device which press the relative buttons underneath. There are also holes for the dock connector, speakers, headphone socket and silent button. Although I've got used to this, the silent button is now fiddly to use (need nails to flick the switch below the case) and some headphones will no longer fit through the small hole in the bumper. To charge or use a docking station, you need to remove the case which is something I do often. Despite it's continued use for a year with me continuously pulling the phone in and out of the case, it's held together with no snags or rips and almost looks as good as the day I bought it. Although I have the black bumper, users of the coloured versions report discolouring of the plastic through continuously pulling them in and out of pockets etc. Despite being prettier, I'd recommend the black bumper for this reason.
From a protection aspect (which really is what the bumper is designed for), I can relax a little more about having something so expensive in my pocket. A few times I've dropped my phone on the floor in a toilet or something and I'm sure it's prevented a few scratches and chips. Of course the glass front and back of the phone are not protected. If this bothers you, you can get plastic stick on covers to protect the device further, however from my point of view, they spoil the look and functionality of the phone. I want to enjoy it and if I get the odd scratch, so be it!
Since launch, hundreds of third party cases are available at a fraction of the £26 charged by apple and although I can't comment on these I'd certainly investigate before paying a small fortune for the apple branded cover. Although excellent, it's not anywhere near the value of it's price tag.
I brought the bumper case when I found out about the iPhones problem of losing connection when you are holding it at the wrong position.
The case has protected my iPhone from a drop as i worry with the iPhone having both a glass front and back and as the case wraps round the back and the front of the phone it protected it.
One drawback of the product is that the silent switch which is used to put the phone into or out of silent monde is hard to operate as its just a cut out in the case which hasn't been thought though very well.
The volume buttons work well as the case has both volume up and down on surface level that is quite responsive also the power button works well as it is the same as the volume rockers.
The headphone jack can be a problem as if the headphone wire is thick it will not fit though the gap i have had to stop using some of my headphones.
Just a quick update to my review my bumper case has now ripped on the back leaving the rubber that wraps around the back hanging of, and also i would have to say that if you are planning to get this case and use your phone both in and out of the case i would not buy as it marks the metal sides of the iphone
The Apple iPhone 4 Bumper is.....yes, you guessed it.....a "bumper" which fits around the outside edge of the iphone in order to protect it from damage when it is inevitably dropped.
The bumper does fit easily around the edge of the phone, and not only protects the edge of the phone, but also gives you something to grip onto as I have found the very attractive but shiny exterior of the iPhone to increase the liklihood of it being dropped from a great height. I've lost track of the number of times it has slid off the arm of the sofa onto the floor....but actually the bumper provides it with some traction and makes it slightly more slip-proof.
Although it does not protect the screen, I think the bumper seems to act as as shock absorber and so even though it is possible to still shatter the screen if the phone lands awkwardly, the bumper does provide it with some protection, even if this protection is not directly obvious. However, I have used an Apple Bumper previously with my iPhone 3G and I did still manage to shatter two screens and so if you're as careless as me, then you may want to go for something that offers more protection.
The bumper does also seem to help with the much publisized signal attenuation problems associated with the iPhone 4. Since using the bumper, I have occasionally still had an issue with connectivity, but these occurrences have been few and far between, whereas previously I was encountering problems on a daily basis.
Its a bit annoying then when I'm wanting to plug my iPhone into my computer to sync with iTunes, I have to completely remove the bumper or it won't connect - but this is a minor issue for me and something that I can easily live with.
My main beef is that I feel it should be standard on all iPhones and that we shouldn't have to shell out to buy something which is fairly necessary if you want your iPhone to last more than 5 minutes! At present, Apple are giving these away free as part of their iPhone Case Program - but otherwise this can cost you around £20 which seems far too expensive for a piece of rubber.
I would recommend this is you want some basic protection for your phone - but there are better cases out there on the market by Belkin and Griffin.
The Apple iPhone 4 bumper has 2 jobs.
It was originally released to help the iPhone 4 cope with it's singal problems, but it also protects the iphone for damage.
I have numerously dropped my iPhone by accedent and luckly it's always landed on its side. This case protects the iphone from any major damage it would have suffered otherwise. It absorbs impact and protects the corners from scrached or dents.
My iPhone 4 didn't have noticable signal problems, and when it did I would put it down to my terrible network provider. However, the science is behind it. This case bridges the gap between the 2 aluminium plates at the bottom left of the phone which are causing the infamous signal probelms. By bridging this gap, Apple have manage to fix the signal problem without a major redraw of the iPhone.
Best of all this product is free. Courteous of Apple.
There is much debate to whether the Apple Bumper has been designed to provide protection, or to help reduce the signal problems of the iPhone 4, by covering the antenna. Either way, it does it's job, both protecting from scratches and drops. Available for free, it's a great product, but the coloured versions become discoloured, and the Bumper does add a bit of 'bulk'.
First, the packaging is really simple, and provides a good view of the product and the colour. It even includes a diagram on how to fit the product, in case anybody would ever forget!
The Bumper is made out of both rubber and plastic, with the plastic providing the solid shape of the Bumper, and the rubber surrounding it. The rubber provides shock absorption and the plastic helps to keep the product sturdy. The design is very elegant, and unlike other cases, the iPhone 4 still looks both modern and beautiful afterwards. The metal buttons on the phone are also covered by metal buttons on the Bumper, which have a nice click. The build quality is really good, and it feels like the product will last. This is apparent with great engineering which sees all of the buttons and holes line up perfectly, unlike other cases.
There is a range of colours available, with a sleek modern Black, Orange, Blue, White, Pink and Green. The black works really well, as it is really robust and after use, you can hardly tell. However, the orange Bumper becomes discoloured after uses, as the phone is pulled out of pockets and other things. After only 1 month of use, it isn't really the best option, and not worth the money.
The Bumper only covers the sides of the product, leaving the front and back open. I like this, as it keeps the beautiful looks of the phone, but it does leave the glass prone to scratching. This means that you might be wise to spend money on a ZAGG Invisible Shield. However, it does lift the phone off the ground, so it doesn't scratch the back while it is resting.
The signal problems are reduced by the Bumper, as it stops your hand completely covering the antenna. However, it will still drop a few bars, as you are still covering it with your hand. The effects are greatly reduced though, as it only drops 1 bar, instead of 2/3.
Finally, the Bumper does have a few problems. First, the mute switch is hard to access, so you have to use a fingernail to switch it. Also, the holes, such as the Dock Connector, and the Headphone port only fit Apple products, which means that most 3rd party products, such as chargers won't work.
The Bumper usually sells for £25, but you can get the Black version for free through the Apple Case Program.
Overall, a great product that offers both drop protection and helps reduce the affect of covering the iPhone antenna. However, it is quite costly, and the colours can become discoloured.
Also posted on www.applebitesize.com
The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word 'bumper' as meaning "a horizontal bar or strip fixed across the front or back of a motor vehicle to reduce the damage in a collision or as a trim" , which is exactly what Apple's new iteration of the iPhone needs due to the exposed (and much discussed), and therefore vulnerable antenna.
As I recall for the first month of the iPhone 4's life only the black bumper case was available, the most popular due to its sleek and subtle look. I, however, opted for the shocking orange bumper case, which, so far, I haven't regretted, other options include; White, Pink, Blue and Green. The bumper case comes in simple and well designed packaging, bar the humourous diagram on the back of the packaging detailing where the case should be applied to the phone... Such a, to coin an internet phrase, 'facepalm' moment, that I even deemed it tweet worthy.
A bumper case comes in two shades of the chosen colour, a more pastel colour around the edges and deeper colour surrounding the antenna. This is due to the seemingly two different materials, a rubber around the edges to ease with application and plastic/sylicone around the antenna for maximum shock absorption (one would assume).
The thing that most people need to get their heads around is that it acts as a bumper... nothing more. The glass screen and backing are still unprotected from scratches and the like. I recommend the obvious solution of using screen protectors, out of which I believe Zagg's INVISIsheild to be the best solution, making your phone scratch-proof, with the bumper case absorbing any impacts of your phone and the ground which may occur, presumably due to the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol or the application of butter to one's fingers.
The bumper cases are precision manufactured so all the holes and buttons are in the correct places, the volume buttons and sleep/wake button even have buttons on the case itself, which in turn press on the device's buttons. I personally have two grips with the holes in the bumper case: firstly the hole arond the dock only accomodates the usb connector supplied with the phone itself, docks or third party charging acessories are more than likely not to fit. Secondly the mute switch is rather difficult to get at and requires the use of a finger nail. I could also see that there could be a problem in the fact that the hole for the headphones only allows for Apple's own headphones, annoying if you prefer to use third party ones, this however, does not affect myself.
A few postiives of the design of the case are that it slightly lifts the phone off of a flat surface when place upon one, so the back doesn not become scratched/dirty. As well as this it also allows the phone to fit more comfortably in one's hand as it adds a curve to the 'sharp' edges.
And finally... what everybody has been waiting for... whether it helps with the signal attenuation.... In short, yes.
Bumper cases were originally priced at £25, which is ridiculous even with the so-called 'Apple Tax"' but due to the over-played signal attenuation issues Apple now offer a free case to 'early adopters', meaning that you can get a bumper case for free (check on Apple's website to see when this offer ends). From what I can see of the free options, a bumper case seems like one's best bet.
It's difficult to remember who hurled the first stone. Bloggers leaked the iPhone 4 design early, landing an editor in seriously hot water; Steve Jobs responded with 'not-so-nice' comments regarding the blogging community and their authenticity as a news source; then the community made a video showing the signal dipping on the phone that the blogosphere syndicated into a delightful media frenzy.
Regardless of the events that transpired, it seems that the result has been an Apple 'mea culpa' and a free case for all those that have purchased an iPhone 4 thus far. Included in the selection is Apple's very own 'bumper': a sleeve that guards the edges of the Smartphone. But is the protection offered adequate enough, and does it detract from the device's overall beauty?
Those who've read my review of the iPhone 4 will note that while I loved Jony Ives' new creation, it didn't seem quite as delightful as the original iteration with its slick bevels. The bumper, a mix of rigid plastic and flexible rubber, easily affixes to the sides of the phone softening the edges to give it a more curved flavour.
Surprisingly, it still looks rather elegant without the stainless steel trim, although the choice of bumper colour directly affects just how tasteful the resulting combination appears.
Does the design help with signal attenuation? Yes, without question. While the bars still dip (after all, you're still covering the antenna with your hand), they do so at a far less erratic rate. Even in a 'death grip' stance my phone still displays at least two bars and, in a first for me, has been known to climb back up to three!
There's a simple reason why Apple named the device 'bumper' and not 'case'. A 'case' conjures up the image of fortification and security, whilst the Apple bumper offers virtually nothing at all in the way of front/rear protection. Dropping the device from your sweaty palms won't necessarily save you from a cracked screen.
That said, from relatively low heights, you'd be amazed at how efficiently it evades damage. The phone slipping from your lap to the floor no longer means an instant call to your provider with insurance details. Although I've avoided throwing the phone around too much, there are plenty of videos on YouTube demonstrating the efficacy of the bumper at heights of 6 foot or more.
While I couldn't guarantee that your phone wouldn't land awkwardly and shatter, it certainly seems to be far more successful than initial naysayers gave it credit for.
BUTTONS & CONNECTIONS
The sleeve design fits quite snugly over the phone, with the raised rubber edge keeping the phone from coming in to contact with the surface beneath. This is helpful when it comes to resting the iPhone on slippery textures like glass and marble.
The bumper has raised metal switches for both the power and volume buttons. This helps to retain a professional finish and feel whilst giving good access to the toggles below.
The only real negative has to be the impact the casing has on the connectors. Yes, Apple failed to take into account the added size of the bumper, so the phone won't start syncing with your dock without removing the casing first; yet another short-sighted move on Apples' part and something I've already covered extensively in my iPhone 4 review.
Similarly, anything but slender fitting 3.5mm jacks will present a problem. Of the half dozen earbuds and headphones I have lying around the house, half won't fit - there simply isn't the clearance required for a successful connection!
VALUE FOR MONEY
And here's the final rub. While I'm more than happy with my free case, complete with antenna-correcting properties, I'd be hard-pressed to recommend forking out £25 for the official bumper; there simply isn't enough of it to warrant that high asking price.
Early iPhone 4 adopters should (and I think will) be quite happy with their freebie, but those grabbing one after the deadline at full RRP could do better by investing their cash on something a little more substantial with fewer connection issues.