Review: Apple iPhone 4 Bumper
Posted 30 July 2010 - 08:15 AM
Posted 30 July 2010 - 08:19 AM
I'll probably not use the bumper case, because I rarely hold my phone in a way that affects the signal. In my experience (admittedly, a single data point), the whole "Antennagate" controversy seems overblown. But the review is right: the bumper is more than just a rubber band, and it is attractive, although I actually prefer the way the iPhone looks naked.
Posted 30 July 2010 - 10:07 AM
To be fair, many third party cases don't work with other third party accessories either. A simple fact of physical constrain, not necessarily Apple arrogance, IMHO.
Posted 30 July 2010 - 11:31 AM
The bumper also provides enough friction that when I set it down on a smooth surface - like the leather on the center console in my truck - it doesn't immediately slide off.
Posted 30 July 2010 - 02:51 PM
I had to shave some rubber off of my favorite ear buds' plug to get them to work, but it fixed the problem for me.
But I think I have another problem. I'm beginning to think that the bumper somehow effects the mic. Recently, whenever I try to use the speaker phone (with the iP4 resting by itself on a flat surface, like a table), folks at the other end say they can't hear me or that my voice is muffled.
Others have this experience? Could the holes in the bumper just be too small for sound to reach the mics adequately?
Posted 30 July 2010 - 04:10 PM
True, although the Bumper's openings are the smallest of any case I've seen, preventing you from using a greater number of third-party headphones, and even keeping you from using Apple's own older dock-connector cables.
Your air resistance theory would certainly be applicable when dropping the iPhone from great heights, but over the typical "Oh, no, I dropped my phone!" distance, air resistance has a negligible effect. (Empirical evidence: I just dropped my iPhone three times onto my office floor, from a height of six feet each time—a service we provide for our readers . Each time the phone was nearly parallel to the floor at the start of the fall, and remained essentially parallel all the way to the floor.)
I think it's fairer to phrase your comment conversely: As long as you drop your phone on a flat surface, you'll be fine—the Bumper's raised edges will keep the iPhone's screen and back from being scratched or otherwise damaged when placed or dropped on a flat surface. But even one piece of gravel on the street can scratch—or, worse, crack—either side of the iPhone.
That said, my beef with the Bumper isn't just that it doesn't protect as well as other cases. It's that it doesn't protect as well while also obstructing ports, jacks, and buttons more than cases that offer significantly better protection. It's a fine case for people who only use the iPhone's stock accessories and who really want to keep the back of the iPhone visible. Otherwise I'd recommend any of the other cases Apple is offering through the iPhone 4 Case Program.
Posted 01 August 2010 - 10:17 AM
Every time I "dropped" mine I it fell out of a pocket as I bent over or sat down or whatever. I've also seen people drop a phone because they were trying to hold multiple things in one hand and the phone slipped out. So while holding a phone isn't that hard, there are certainly situations which can easily lead to dropped phones. One reason I got the Apple bumper was to make the phone tackier so it would be less likely to slip out of a pocket or off a dash. So far so good on that count.
Posted 01 August 2010 - 12:09 PM
I disagree, and the iPhone is one of the worst, with its polished-stone-like slick surfaces. I bought a case partly because without a case, it always feels like it could slip between fingers at any time, so I must consciously maintain at least a moderate grip on the iPhone lest it slide out during an arm movement.
With a case, you get enough additional friction it takes very little muscle energy to prevent a drop. And if you aren't going to drop it in the first place, right there you have lowered the chance that the phone's going to need a good shock absorber at the end of the drop.
I am curious about whether these bumpers are made of the same silicone that is used for the snug wraparound cases (not the hard plastic ones). My friends and I have found over time that the silicone cases get very loose and open up a bit, and the phone starts to rattle around in them, even falling out. I wonder if the bumpers will end up the same way: worthless
This post has been edited by moose_n_squirrel: 01 August 2010 - 12:10 PM
Posted 01 August 2010 - 12:14 PM
The bumper has a hard plastic strip running around the edge with one gap where there is only the silicone. This gap is what stretches to allow the phone to slip in and out of the case. Since this gap is quite small any loosening due to ware should have minimal impact on the fit. Time will tell though.
Posted 01 August 2010 - 07:56 PM
None of the cases Apple is offering for free through the iPhone 4 Case Program is made of the traditional "silicone skin" case material. All are TPU or other rigid or semi-rigid plastic. The closest to a silicone-skin case is the Griffin Motif, and it was one of my favorites of the bunch, despite the fact that I generally don't like silicone-skin cases.
Posted 22 August 2010 - 07:40 AM
I can charge mine fine with the bumper on. I can even get my older cables to fit with just a little wiggling.
As to the bumper case itself, I love it. I actually think it improves the look and feel of my phone. I never liked using a case for my 1st gen because, like 'lymond' said, I liked the feel and look of the phone without. I got one of the transparent protective skins for it too but took it off after a while because they are never truly transparent. Why pay all that money for a beautiful display only to muck it up with a skin? Over the two+ years I had my 1st gen, the screen only picked up one significant scratch and even then it was unnoticeable when the display was lit. My iPhone4 looks and feels amazing naked or with the bumper on. The soft rubber feels nice in my hand and gives the phone just enough extra heft and stickiness to give me the confidence I won't drop it easily. And like others have said, I can set it down on my lap or other surface and it won't slide all over the place (or off!). The only worry I have is of it stretching due to repeated removal. (Unlike the 3g, the iPhone4 fits perfectly in the dock that came free with the original!) I can see people being annoyed with the headphone opening, but since my 1st gen already had that issue by itself, I have headphones that fit (Shure SE30). Anyway, that's my two cents...
This post has been edited by Earwacks: 22 August 2010 - 07:50 AM