When I saw the first presentation of the Nexus 4 on The Verge, Matias Duarte was proudly showing off the Hardware design with the glass front and back. And he specifically mentioned how they build the hardware so the glass is not directly touching the table. Interestingly this wasn’t the case at all when the device was released. Its slippery like hell and there is no offset on the back to lift that glass up on a surface to prevent scratches. I guess Google realized this problem early on and made an official Bumper available on the Play Store.
The official bumper is harder to find than the Nexus 4 though and even after the availability of the Nexus 4 seems to be finally stable, the bumper is still sold out in most countries. I couldn’t wait any longer because my Nexus 4 slipped off my table once and I didn’t want to risk this happening again. So I got an official bumper from eBay and paid nearly 40 €. That’s twice the price from the Google Play Store.
It’s made of medium soft rubber with a nice texture and a plastic silver strip that goes around the rubber. It doesn’t feel as solid as some hardcases out there, and you can even take the silver strip off with a little bit of force. But then again this is not supposed to be a case, instead the bumper is meant to provide security for small drops and when putting the device on a surface to prevent scratches. Putting the bumper on the Nexus 4 is easy and it fits very snuggly.
The bumper protects the front and back side of the Nexus 4 due to its edges keeping the device from touching the surface beneath it. And it adds some grip to the Nexus 4, which is very important as the Nexus 4 is extremely slippery.
All slots like the earphone plug and the micro-usb slot can be accessed easily, as the Bumper fits perfectly. And it won’t obscure the nice backcover of the Nexus 4 with the glitter effect.
I really love how Google realized the power and volume buttons. The bumper basically has its own buttons that have contacts with the real buttons and give nice feedback and without feeling like an add-on at all. I even think that the power button works better with the bumper, because the button on the Nexus 4 is nearly flush with the hardware and therefore not as comfortable to use.
So is it worth spending 20$ + shipping? I’d say absolutely yes. The bumper fits perfectly and adds protection, while still preserving the good looks of the Nexus 4. The only setback is that it makes the Nexus 4 even wider, which may be just too much for some people. I really hope that the next Nexus device will be 4.3 inches the most, as I think that 4.7 inch is too big to be comfortably used. The only other solution would be to have a practically bezel-less phone with a 4.7 inch display. In any case, if you want some protection for your brand new Nexus 4 you should try to get your hands on the official bumper. There are also some bumpers available from 3rd parties, check out the amazon links beneath for some examples.