After the usual organized chaos of the pre-order system (it melted), the fight with the car park (got locked in this time not locked out) and the horrendous queue (see pictures below) I have a shiny new iPhone 4.
This is my second iPhone the first being the 3G version in 2008, I was forced to miss the 3GS due to the 18 month contract I was locked into with O2. This time however I had outwitted them by transferring to the Simplicity for iPhone contract in January this year paying £20 a month for more voice minutes and texts with the other services staying the same.
Since the white iphone 4 wasn’t available on launch day my only decision was between the 16gb and 32gb versions and since this would be my first iPhone capable of recording video I considered the decision pretty much made for me … a 32gb it would be.
So I was all sorted, or was I? The only thing I hadn’t decided on was a case. When Apple announced the iPhone 4 they also announced a semi-case called a Bumper. As a case was a bit lacking as it had neither a back or a front, it was in essence a strip of what looked like elastic which wrapped around the metal edge of the new device.
I’ll admit I wasn’t particularly impressed with it as a case and even less impressed with the price of $29 which using Apple’s exchange rate translated to £25. Hence, the only options available at launch were a £25 elastic band or a naked iPhone. I decided to reserve judgement on the Bumper until I’d seen it, which proved to be a wise move.
The night before launch a story started circulating regarding the cellular signal gradually diminishing when the iPhone 4 was held in a certain way. More information followed to the effect that it was touching the antenna system especially in the lower left corner of the phone that was causing the problem. If true then adding a Bumper to the device should mitigate the issue. The queue was alive with talk of this potential problem and there was much debate as to whether the Bumper would prevent it.
The staff brought phones out of the store to demo them to those waiting in the five various queues they had organized and when I asked if we could see the Bumpers in action he promptly returned to the store and brought one out which he passed around the queue. It was helpful to be able to see it and even better to be able to test it prior to making a decision regarding it’s purchase.
I decided in the end that it didn’t detract too much from the new sleek design and in fact having tried it I could see that with a Bumper I might not need any other case. The rim of the Bumper lifts the phone off any surface it is laid on so there’s less chance of scratching it. It also made the iPhone feel very secure when I was holding it, much more so than the case on my 3G.
Obviously with chatter reaching monumental proportions over the signal issue I tried replicating the symptoms on my iPhone 4 but with or without the Bumper I could not get the signal to degrade irrespective of how I held the device but plenty of others are reporting that they can so your mileage may vary.
Since my purchase many people have commented that they are seriously considering purchasing a Bumper to mitigate any problem with signal loss arising from touching the antenna. So for those considering the purchase here are a few images which show various comparisons between an iPhone 4 with a Bumper and one without.
Contrary to my initial skepticism the Bumper isn’t just an elastic band it has more shape than that, nor is it made solely from rubber/silicon. There are shiny plastic strips on each edge which keep the shape of the Bumper.
So that’s the iPhone 4 Bumper, I’d love to hear what you think and if you’ve any questions just add a comment!