To case or not to case, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the dangers of outrageous clumsiness, or to cover the beauteous iPhone and by opposing the dangers end them. (Too much?)
I really enjoy the beautiful design of iPhones, I hate to hide their elegance, and I’m careful not to drop them. But I buy insurance in every other area of my life. Two competing primary values. One calls for risk avoidance, the others dares to risk for beauty’s sake.
BUMPRZ tries to meet both needs. No visible means of protection, but safety in the event of a fall. Nearly every falling phone lands on a corner first. And most true damage from falls comes in the shattering of the screen. Protecting the corner, and specifically the corner of the screen should prevent nearly all damage from falls and drops.
BUMPRZ 2 is a Kickstarter campaign for the iPhone 6 (in all variations). At this writing, they have just over 300 supporters and about $10,000 toward their $15,000 goal. The campaign ends this Friday. I recommend this product, so if you are thinking about it, don’t put off pledging!
In addition to my test sample, they also included two samples from the original BUMPRZ Kickstarter Campaign from two years ago for the iPhone 5/5s. (In that campaign, 1,000 backers pledged over $30,000, and the rewards were shipped about four months after the campaign was completed.). These samples allowed me to compare the differences in style (more rounded for the 6), and they assured me that the final presentation would look as attractive and professionally accomplished as the previous offering.
Their attention to detail in sending the sample was reassuring to me. It suggests they will pay attention to detail in other areas. Putting on the Bumprz was quite simple. They included a cleaning pad so the adhesive wouldn’t be trying to stick to something other than the phone (like dust or fingerprint oil). Since they were a pre-production sample, the plastic covering for the adhesive did not have the pull tab which will make removing the covering a complete cinch. However, the company sent along a toothpick. The toothpick actually worked quite well, and I had all four installed in about ten minutes.
The BUMPRZ themselves are tiny, so they include a mounting guide and instructions as part of the packaging. It was clear from the application instructions that they had paid great attention to make sure the BUMPRZ were applied to the specific corner of the phone they had been designed for. Apparently, each bumper has small variations to prevent interfering with the different elements at different corners of the phone.
Tip for Applying BUMPRZ: Before you begin, watch their video. When you remove a bumper from the card, and before you remove the plastic covering for the adhesive, temporarily hold the bumper in place to make sure you have the correct bumper for the correct corner. But there are still two ways to orient it. When properly placed, the longer reach covers the corner of the screen on the front, and does not interfere with the antenna section on the back.
After a couple of days of using the BUMPRZ 2, I began reading all available information for writing this review. Slowly, it began to dawn on me that I had installed them upside down. This meant that there was much less protection of the corner of the screen, and the antenna area on the back of the phone was grounded to the metal of the top edge on the back.
DID IT WRONG!!
Now I read the instructions VERY carefully. I was both relieved (it wasn’t just me being stupid and failing to read clear instructions) and annoyed (I suspect the engineers had worked so hard to avoid the antenna section and cover the corner of the screen, that it never occurred to them that someone could put it on wrong) that I was unable to find any guidance that there was a right and wrong direction to affix the BUMPRZ.
Eventually, I decided I’d try to reverse them. Instructions were clear about how to remove them: push with both thumbs, and they came loose with the perfect amount of resistance and ease. As I pulled each away from its corner, I had a chance to be very impressed with the adhesive. It was black and stretched enough to allow me to rotate it 180 degrees. It stayed very well stuck to the phone and stretched like bubblegum. I think it unlikely they will come off in normal use, (especially when correctly applied the first time). And clearly, the adhesive itself provides a substantial amount of shock absorption. With the solid metal BUMPR spreading the shock to the strong beams that runs along each edge of the phone, I believe the BUMPRZ will indeed provide strong drop protection. The spokesperson demonstrates this in the Kickstarter video. He says, “My latest party trick, dropping my iPhone for all to see!” And then he does several times. I believe, but I never found the courage to drop my phone on purpose, even on your behalf, dear readers.
GOT IT RIGHT THIS TIME!!
Since it is always possible to lose a corner or two, the “Case of Steel” people offer free replacements (see their specifics).
The BUMPRZ 2 come in 3 colors, black (sorry, space gray), silver and gold. The color I received was gold. Over the days I’ve been using it, it seems to have developed an attractive patina, like bronze or copper. It looks a bit like it has aged beautifully or is an antique. However, it does not blend well enough with my Rose Gold case that I will leave them in place.
Overall, though, BUMPRZ 2 seems a true solution to the dilemma of safety versus ugly. I recommend it.