We first spotted Tylt at last year’s CES, where it was showing off its flat cables and chargers. Since then, it has moved into several other segments of the market, including cases. Among them is Bumpr for iPhone 5 ($30) — which is, thankfully, more than just a bumper. It’s actually a full plastic case lined with soft rubber, coupled with a pair of interchangeable rubber bumpers that fit around the outer edge.
Conceptually, Bumpr’s core is comparable to co-molded cases such as the pioneering CandyShell. On the outside is hard black plastic with a finish that hides scratches significantly better than Speck’s case, while the inside and edging are either black or color-matched rubber—you receive two bumpers in each package. The core can serve as a decent case on its own; it’s lacking button protection, but is otherwise surprisingly respectable. Tylt actually advertises this as a way to use the case.
Putting the case’s namesake bumper in place adds more coverage and drop protection, along with significant bulk: although it only adds about a quarter inch to the length and height, it feels like more than that. It easily snaps on from the front, settling into ridges that hold it in place, and adding shock protection. The fit around the back is somewhat loose, but just enough to make removal easy; we wouldn’t worry about it coming off unintentionally. Coverage for the Sleep/Wake and volume buttons is quite good, as they remain their full tactility. Along the bottom, Bumpr provides access to the speaker, Lightning port, microphone, and headphone port through one contoured opening designed to accommodate Apple’s Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter. This means most Lightning accessories will fit, although some headphone plugs and likely many docking accessories will be limited because of the added thickness.
It’s clear that Tylt has some talented designers—we were really impressed by Sqrd, and while we’re not quite as excited by Bumpr, it’s still a well-designed case. The ability to use the case without the bumper, without it feeling incomplete, is pretty cool. Ideally, the core case would offer a bit more iPhone coverage, rather than relying on the bulky bumper to complete the protection. Overall, Bumpr is a good case, and worthy of a general recommendation.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPhone 5