While the infamous Antennagate made bumper cases famous, the Nexus 4 was the Android device that introduced bumper cases to the green team. While the official Google bumper is very good, it is relatively expensive and hard to find in stock. So today we’ll take a look at the GENx bumper case and see if this minimalistic case is worth using.
The GENx hybrid bumper case for the Nexus 4 looks very much like the official Google version – and that’s not a bad thing. The GENx iteration is also a hybrid in that it mixes polycarbonate (hard plastic) and TPU (softer gel-like plastic) in the construction of the case. The end result is a flexible yet protective case that holds its shape well.
Slipping on the case is super simple. The Nexus 4 simply clicks into place with the bumper securely around the phone and all ports are easily accessible. One big difference is that GENx decided to highlight their button-extensions on the case in the same chrome finish as the phone. Where in the Google version of this case, those buttons are in black. This lends a great look to the case and makes it look more like a part of the phone rather than a rubber band around it.
As with all bumper cases, the face and back of the phone is exposed. The Nexus 4 being designed in a similar fashion as the iPhone 4/4S/5 where it’s a glass-sandwich, this leaves little protections against scratches or faceplants. But the GNEx bumper does raise the faces off a rested surface by a few millimeters so that you can leave your phone lying flat on a table.
In use however, I found that while the GNEx bumper was slim (4mm in thickness) it was just enough that it made my hand forget how to hold my phone. I used it as my primary case for well over 2 weeks and I was still prone to dropping it while trying to handle it. The extra width did give me better grip while typing but in the general holding of the phone, it was just slightly too wide for my liking.
Comparing the official case to the GENx version, I would conclude that not only is the GENx better looking with the Chrome buttons, but it’s also cheaper than the official Google version. Besides a minimalist slim-case, a bumper case is as close to bare-back as you can be with a phone. If that’s what you’re looking for, then the GENx bumper gets our seal of approval.