Derek has been an Android fanatic since the beginning but has been involved with the Android Community since 2010. He has had many Android devices which include T-Mobile G1 (1st device), MyTouch 3G, Google Nexus One, T-Mobile G2, Samsung Galaxy Tab and currently owns a Galaxy Nexus GSM, Amazon Kindle Fire, Galaxy S 2, Google CR-48. Derek started my own Android project as Co-Founder of Andranon.com but have then decided to join Android Activist to continue covering Android News & Applications. He is always in the mood to talk tech, android, and sports so hit him up.
With the Nexus 4 selling like hotcakes it is not a surprise that the bumper cases are selling out as well. The Nexus 4 case situation is very slim, consisting primarily of low end or off-brand products, LG has released their own bumper case for the Nexus 4; is the OEM protection worth your time?
What I find funny is many of us made fun of iPhone users a couple of years back for having bumpers on their iPhone 4 and now we are doing the same thing for the Nexus 4. However, I understand it is different since iPhone users needed it to solve AntennaGate & protect the double-sided glass while we just want to protect our device’s double glass. Maybe we have learned from iPhone owners that having glass on both sides can be trouble so having a bumper not only protects your device but also gives you peace of mind.
After I held & admired my Nexus 4 for the first time the only thing I was able to think about was not messing it up. The glass back really had me worried about scratches & breaks. It got worse after my phone fell from my desk to the wooden floor; it was the worst couple of seconds and all I could do was hope nothing had happened to my Nexus 4. I felt hopeless and that is when I concluded that I needed a case. I decided to go hunting for a bumper case, since I feel that the intricately designed back is a major bit of "Wow Factor" for this phone.
The LG bumper case for the Nexus 4 looks great. You can see that LG did an admirable job making sure the bumper complements the Nexus 4. The same colors are used on the bumper as on the Nexus 4, giving it a unified look. The bumper is made of flexible rubber and plastic. It appears that the bumper is composed of two detachable pieces - one part rubber, the other part plastic - that have been fused together; make sure you do not pull them apart as it may destroy the dummy physical buttons. LG finished it off with a nice touch of chrome accents on the physical buttons (volume & power) that look identical to the actual physical buttons on the Nexus 4. To my surprise, the dummy physical buttons make it significantly easier to push on the physical buttons. I've tried many cases where dummy buttons make it harder to use the phone rather than easier, so kudos to LG for getting this very difficult part right.
The fit of the bumper on the Nexus 4 is great, it is easy to apply and simple to remove. The cut out for both the headphone & charging port are spot-on. The charging port at first looked snug, but after testing with the OEM & two other USB chargers they all worked and fit nicely. The bumper does make the Nexus 4 slightly wider but it does make it easier to hold onto to the device. The rubber texture not only looks good but also works great as grip. What I really like is the fact that it adds small enough barrier on both sides protecting the glass from simple tasks like placing it on a surface. It's a simple design, but very reassuring.
I wondered if it was worth the $19.99 + shipping, but my concern for my Nexus 4 did not cause me to hesitate once it came back on sale. The total price was $28.11 ($19.99 + $2.13 TX Tax + $5.99 shipping) which is significant for a bumper. Too much shipping price is a deal break but my shipping experience was great and I appreciate it. I purchased the bumper on Dec. 11th, it shipped Dec. 12th, and arrived to my doorstep on Dec. 13th via UPS 2nd Day Air shipping. If you want to add some protection to your Nexus 4 without hiding the beauty of the device the bumper is a must have even at this price. Due to supply and demand, many started reselling the official bumper case initially at an insane mark up of $100 on eBay but now it has leveled out to an average price of about $40. I do not recommend paying that much for the bumper. The bumpers have been showing up on Google Play about every two or three weeks and should start appearing with more regularity - if not permanently - now that the initial ordering spree is beginning to subside.