Product Type: Apple Mobile Phone Case
Newest Review: ... 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... more
Bumper is expensive, but probably worth it for iPhone 4 owners
Apple iPhone 4 Bumper
Member Name: andyLDN
Apple iPhone 4 Bumper
Advantages: Improves signal, protects phone from minor falls, has a pleasant appearance.
Disadvantages: Overpriced, needs to be removed to connect to external devices
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.
Summary: Overall a good protector for the iPhone, but far too expensive.
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