Draco Design Aluminium Bumper Galaxy S4 review

A bumper not accepting the trend, and taking an unique route. 

Draco Designs has created something strange; something unusual and something cool with the Airborne Aluminium Bumper. For one it changes the form factor of the Galaxy S4 transforming it into something completely different. Instead of going for a slim form factor the Bumper extends to the sides at the top, and bottom creating a new way to hold the device. It looked alien to me at first, but as soon as I griped it I got it. The rounded corners fit perfectly in the palm of my hand, and despite being wider than most I found myself getting a better use out of the S4. Granted I have small hands, and I have never managed to use the S4 with just one hand. Those with big hands might be pushed into two-handed usage like me. What makes the two-handed usage better with the Bumper is that I get more room to use the active hand, as the hand just holding the device is kept away from the screen.

For protection the Bumper is excellent at keeping the sides, front and back safe against drops against even surfaces. Even if I drop the S4 screen down on a stone floor the bumper absorbs the impact. For scratches, and impacts against uneven surfaces the Bumper provides less protection. I dropped the S4 on a corner of the Bumper on the pavement, and the Bumper soon looked like a dropped iPhone 5/5S or HTC One. The S4 inside sustained no damage whatsoever.

This is an unusual case in another regard as well, as it requires some assembly. Basically it is a slider case, but with one difference: instead of snapping it together you have to use a screwdriver and two screws. There is a screwdriver, and even two extra screws in the package. To align, and get the fit right is really important to get the power, and volume buttons to function well. Once installed it is a rigid case. For those who change cases regularly this might not be a perfect match, as it is a bit of a hassle to remove. For one you have to have the screwdriver at hand.

I have had some issues with the power buttons, as it responds differently depending on where and how I press it. At the lower end it behaves like the device power button beneath. On the top of it there is another behaviour that once pressed gives you the turn-off device notification on the screen. I have also managed to turn off the device a number of times with the phone inside my pocket.

The design of the Bumper is really eye-catching, and few cases have gotten as many comments like it. It adds a bit of flair to the otherwise quite mundane plastic of the S4. The quite steep price, and issues with the power button misbehaving hinders a top rating. Still I recommend experiencing the Bumper from Draco Design, as it makes the device feel completely new and unique.

Final Rating


Draco Design Aluminium Bumper at $71.49

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