Review: UCO Skinny Bumper for iPhone 4

The HiShop is a relative newcomer to the iOS device accessory market. Currently, they offer an iPhone 4 case and a couple iPad cases, in addition to a screen protectors and skins. The UCO Skinny Bumper is designed as an alternative to the official Apple Bumper. I’ve expressed my love of Apple’s bumper cases before, so how does the Skinny Bumper stack up? Read on to find out.

The UCO Skinny Bumper is a bumper-style case, available in three color combinations: Black & Yellow, Pink and Black & White (reviewed). The bumper is designed to match, not compete with, the design and aesthetics of Apple’s iPhone. However, the case is thinner than Apple’s offering, resulting in a lightweight bumper that adds virtually no bulk or weight to the phone. The downside to this design is the case allows the iPhone to sit flat on a table, with the back actually making contact with the surface.

To alleviate this issue, The HiShop packs in both front and rear LCD protective shields. They herald these surface shields as revolutionary, using a combination of technologies to create a protective layer for the iPhone that feels smooth and natural. In my experience, it actually feels non-existant, which is a very good thing for a touchscreen device. The HiShop screen shields are also a little larger than those of most other manufacturers. This makes them a little more difficult to install, but the end result is your phone is completely covered from edge to edge. The UCO Skinny Bumper comes with the “Crystal Clear” version of the screen shields, but The HiShop also offers an anti-glare option. These have a slightly more ‘matte’ appearance and are a little more noticeable to the touch. While these HiShop protectors are definitely thin and feel great, they do pick-up fingerprints more easily than others I’ve tested. However, the feel of them is fantastic and I think that more than makes up for this minor inconvenience.

Once the surface protectors are installed, you simply slide your iPhone into the bumper and you’re done. The case definitely lives up to its name. It is very, very thin and is much more subtle than Apple’s bumper case. Looking at your phone straight on, you can barely even tell it’s there. The case fits snugly and protects all the edges without affecting reception at all.

The iPhone controls are handled almost exactly like Apple’s bumper: the volume and home buttons are metal, with cutouts for the headphone jack and mute/vibrate toggle. The thinness of the case actually makes the mute/vibrate toggle switch easier to operate in this case over Apple’s. Three separate cutouts on the bottom of the case expose the speakers and dock connector. I had no trouble using a standard charge/sync cable or the iPhone dock while the phone remained in the case. If it works with Apple’s bumper, it should definitely work with the UCO Skinny Bumper.

If you’re a fan of bumper-style cases, I can highly recommend this case. When used in conjunction with the included surface protectors, the iPhone feels very protected. The case is minimal in its design, allowing the original aesthetics of the iPhone to shine through. Based on the UCO Skinny Bumper, I’m looking forward to what else The HiShop has in the pipeline for iPhone and iPad accessories.

The UCO Skinny Bumper is available from The HiShop website.

MSRP: $23.95

PROS: affordable, lightweight, includes great front and back surface protectors.

CONS: case itself allows iPhone to touch the surface it’s sitting on.

Original Author: Mark Hawkins

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