Android Central

We finally got our hands on the LG Nexus 4 bumper, so is it worth the wait?

It's here. It's finally, finally here. Proving far more difficult to lay hands on than any accessory ever should, the LG Nexus 4 bumper has proved somewhat elusive. The order for a bumper was placed on the same day -- launch day no less -- as the phone, but while the phone arrived, the wait for the bumper went on. Emails and phone calls to Google Play customer services passed, only to discover there were stocking issues. And, all this despite -- in the UK at least -- the Play Store claiming the item was in stock to ship within 3-5 days. 

Indeed, some customers in various markets got theirs almost immediately, but for many others the wait went on, and on, and on. But, ours has finally arrived just a day after receiving the shipping notice. So, we ripped open the box, fired up the camera, and went hands on. We'll take you through it after the break. 

The notion of a bumper may seem odd to some. Take a phone like the Nexus 4, glass front and back, and which parts of the device would you want to protect most? Top of the list isn't likely to be the sides. One positive however, is that it completely covers up the chrome trim around the edge of the phone. Never mind the glass, that thing's a potential scuff magnet. 

The bumper itself has enough flex in it to allow for easy fitting over the phone. It isn't at all rigid so the Nexus 4 just snaps in there without any drama. It's a nice, tight fit, and when on there it actually adds a slight amount to the profile of the phone that some may find makes it nicer to hold. It also actually raises the phone ever so slightly when you set it down on a flat surface.

This then brings us along to the next point in question. The Nexus 4 has a grippy, soft touch finish around its edges. The Bumper most certainly does not. Instead we're presented with a silver plastic strip which runs around the edge. So, that means that the phone will now become slippier to hold in the hands, right? Not really. While it is true that it isn't as nice and reassuring to the touch as the soft touch on the phone, you're not going to all of a sudden start dropping your Nexus 4 every time you pick it up. It's just like having a plastic phone. The Galaxy Nexus was made of plastic, and we weren't complaining about dropping that because it was too slippy, were we? 

None of the ports are obscured in anyway, there's a suitably large clearance around both the microUSB port and the headphone jack. The buttons work well too, with the plastic buttons on the exterior of the Bumper catching on to the corresponding buttons on the phone well. The same tight fit applies as with the whole unit on the phone, and at no time was usability hindered. 

And that's about it. There's only so much that can be said about it. Is it worth the excessive wait many have endured so far to get one? That question remains one that shouldn't require an answer. Is it worth the extortionate amount of money that they have been seen going for on eBay prior to now? Absolutely not. It's a Bumper at the end of the day. It's a nice addition to the phone that if you've ordered you'll likely be pleased with. It just absolutely should not be so difficult to get hold of. 

Oh, and because we're extra good to you, we've included a few snapshots of the Bumper both on and off the Nexus 4. Enjoy. 


Reader comments

Hands on with the LG Nexus 4 bumper


I've come to appreciate leaving my devices uncovered and using sleeves. The N4 feels great without the bumpers, which make the phone feel a bit too wide for my liking. The fit and quality of the bumpers are outstanding though and I'm keeping them on my N4. Just be aware that the bumpers add bulk.

I use a microfiber "pouch" with my Galaxy SIII... Got two of them off Amazon. Easy to slide phone in, protects from scratches, and because it's microfiber, also cleans hand grease off.

The other I use to cover my digital camera when it's in the GF's purse or in a bag. Let's face it, when it's out in my hand it's uncovered, but a drop from my hand will damage the phone with or without a flimsy case or bumper. Only something like an Otterbox will protect it fully from a drop. Most scratches come from your pockets, purses etc.

u all just dont know what ure talking about - i'm rockin a samsung galaxy note and i am a construction worker (carpenter) - i drop my phone a lot, like once a month - my note DOES NOT HAS ANY SCRATCH!!! how do i do that?? easy, just follow these 3 simple steps!

- 1st: get the samsung flip cover (or simular)
- 2nd: get a hard rubber/silicon case (5€, no name one, usin it since 1 yr...) (not these soft touch things which feel like rubberband, cannot explain in eng...)
- 3rd: screen protector - i always get some cheap packs of 6 so i can replace em every 2-3 months

thats it!
i cut our the left edge of the silicon case so i can open samsungs flip cover..

i know there isnt anything simular 2 the flip cover for the n4 but i always laugh about ppl who say there isnt anythin 2 protect ur phone from beein dropped other than an otterbox - HAHA, i already dropped my note from 4mtrs height and it didnt even switched itself off!

I'd like to see some drop test done to see if it will protect it compared to other cases. The back of the N4 has a major design flaw for cracking, and that is if you hold the N4 for a long time keeping the glass warm and then set it down on like a cold granite kitchen counter for example, it'll crack the glass from the temperature displacement, kind of like the old coffee pot that is heated up then touches cold water or surface and breaks apart. The Bumper or case needs to protect the glass not from just dropping but from touching surfaces as well.

I was one of the lucky few to get the phone within the first week of release and I'm still waiting for this thing to go back on sale.

Don't want to get one of those TPU cases to cover up the back :|

I didn't want to get a TPU case cause I didn't want to cover up the Nexus logo either. I decided to get a clear TPU case and it looks awesome on the Nexus 4. I just wish I didn't spend $20 on a bumper I might never use again. Also, If you do plan on getting the bumper get a front and back protector at Use coupon code 80off3 and get a set of 3 for only $6. By far the best screen protectors out there

Are they wet application? And I guess I could get a clear case, but those things tend to discolor and get a dingy brownish hue after a while.

Yes, they are wet application. I normally don't like screen protectors but for the price I thought I'd try. The bubbles actually went away after a couple of days, unlike the other protectors. I never used clear cases before so I never thought of that as an issue. If is does discolor I'll just pick up another one, they only cost $6

It's most likely one of those lens attachments you can get off of Ebay to augment your phones camera. Like fisheye, macro, etc.

no... this looks like it's just a ring to protect that part of the screen from scratches, which makes perfect sense. I'd love to purchase one could be the initial ring to attach those lenses I mentioned or it could be what you're talking about as well.

Really? A bumper review? I'm all for technology and phone case reviews and all that stuff.. But I'm pretty sure we've heard enough Bumper reviews with the iPhone antenna fiasco. I mean, what's next, "Nexus 4, box review. Don't call it cardboard! It's recyclable paper that's been in recycling for years!" or "Pixel count of the on screen home button review!"


I even seen a video on how to install a micro sim card on the Nexus 4...Really?? It's called common sence.

Is call quality the same? I've seen a few reports of people saying the person on the other end can't hear them as good.

This actually makes a beautiful phone even better looking. I like the design of this bumper. I wish I could get a Nexus 4 with this bumper on it. I have Verizon and I would never even consider leaving them, but I do get really jealous because the other companies always get the nicer phones. I'll gladly take Verizon's coverage and speeds as a trade off for not having quite as nice phones though.

it looks like you have some type of lens protector on the phone (silver ring). It looks nice and I think it adds aesthetic to the device. Where did you get this from? Thanks in advance

I REALLY want to know what that is and where I can get it! It's just what that phone needs!!!! I plan to get a Nexus 4 here soon and really want that!!

This is one bumper that actually looks good!

Too bad Google screwed with people and they don't have a phone to protect in the first place! :P

I love my Nexus 4 and I don't think I will even use another case. This bumper case is the really sweet. Its like part of the phone is missing if its not on. Most people think its part of the phone not separate bumper. Its really the best looking bumper case I've ever seen. Its definitely worth buying. The fit and finish is second to none.

And I don't know why all the people reviewing this say the metallic strip is plastic. If you look at the head phone jack you can see it is a separate very thin piece of metal on top of the plastic.

I'm going to refrain from commenting on the review and the reviewer. Other than this: can anybody say sour grapes? Geesh.

So, I have to ask. How is holding the naked Nexus 4? Is it slippery by itself?

The reason I'm asking is because I currently have the iPhone 4s, and want to upgrade to Android. As it stands now, you HAVE to use a case or at least a bumper with the iPhone 4s, as it's just too slippery otherwise. The sides are just slick, slippery aluminum.

I take it the Nexus 4, from what I read, has rubberized sides? So you really don't "need" a bumper or case for day-to-day use?

I dropped and broke my N4 because it waas slippery w/o a case, despite the "rubber" on the sides. Put a case on it and it hasnt slipped yet.

I'm still waiting for it to go back up too. You would think a piece of plastic would be easy to produce. In the meantime I picked up a Rearth Ringke Slim on Amazon. The new re engineered one ships the 11th. I'm one of those people who only covers their devices when I'm out of the house.

I laughed so hard when Apple brought the bumper for the iPhone. Now Google sells the same for a new phone and people hit each other to get one of these ridicilous-looking rubber condoms...

Same here, been using the bumper for a week or two and my shure se's won't fit. I also find the phone harder to hold with the bumper, the rubber sides of the phone really do help. I'm use to an otter defender on last phones though

I had the same experience. I mostly use the head phone jack in the car and there are no 3.5mm to RCA cords the fit through the bumper. I even looked on ebay and amazon and couldn't find any.

I didn't suddenly start dropping my phone but the sides are definitely more slick and made the phone that much more prone to drops.

The only good thing I can say about the bumper is that it sucked so bad I put it for sale on ebay and made a $60 profit after selling it.

But with a bumper on, you won't be able to enjoy the full "google experience", whatever that is :p

WITH THIS BUMPER ON YOU CAN'T HEAR/FEEL YOUR PHONE VIBRATE WHEN IT IS ON A TABLE.......i love reviews that don't actually review the product. The bumper looks great and the build quality is exceptional. However, one big flaw. If you have your phone on vibrate and you place it on the table, the bumper works so well that you can't actually hear/feel the phone around. Additionally, since there is no notification light on the rear side, there is no way to tell if you have a message/notification/etc]

anyone with a nexus will put their screen face down bc the back looks so good.
.....small problem, big annoyance.

Am I the only person on the planet who had no issues ordering their nexus 4? I got it without being booted once, and it showed up right on time with bumper case and all, on time.

With my known clumsyness I'd love one of these bumpers. It would take away a lot of stress taking it out of my pockets :D

Awesome AndroidCentral!

I have a ringke fusion case with My nexus 4. I'd like to know what has been the best case for the nexus 4 so far. Will otter box be making one?

My dad finally found the hotspot in his Google Nexus 4 - he showed to his friend in LA and now she ordered a Nexus 4 also .

Either one would love a bumper


I am currently rockin' a Smoke Cruzerlite Bugdroid Circuit TPU Case for my Nexus 4. Its nice but I miss the sexy back on my N4. Help me bring the sexy back... back. :)

Tried a bunch of different cases, used a cheap bumper but would definitely like an official one!

Dammed! I really need bumper case for my nexus 4 because the bumper is slip designed so it can fit my pocket well.