Mini Review: Magpul Bump Phone Case (iPhone 5)

Last winter, I found myself growing more and more tired of using my personal Android as a work phone. The poor Verizon signal in our office and my aging HTC Rezound made for a disastrous combination, especially in terms of battery life. In early February, my patience ran out and I decided to pick up an Apple iPhone 5s (Disclosure: I am far from an Apple fan) on AT&T’s network through my company. Upon receipt of the device, I found it to be uncomfortably thin and unsettlingly light. Fearing that I might damage this new phone, I decided to purchase a Magpul Bump Case for it as my brother previously used a Magpul Executive Field Case on his iPhone 4s and liked it very much. This review will be a short summary of my experience with this case so far.


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Ergonomics
In practical terms, the Bump Case is as good as it gets. The hard outer body of the case feels exactly like one of Magpul’s PMAGs with its waffled surface and rough texture. In the course of my daily usage, my phone has yet to slip from my hands while wearing this case. In addition to the textured rear panel, the case adds substantial rubber faces to the lock and volume buttons. This rubberized surface serves to not only protect the phone’s few buttons, but also helps to make them much more tactile than they are bare.

Unfortunately, the Bump Case is not a perfect accessory. One significant complaint I have regarding the case is that the opening for the headphone/auxiliary jack is made to closely fit the official Apple earbuds and may not provide enough clearance to plug in some third party cables or accessories. On a much more trivial note, I have also found that the case will not rest evenly on the rubberized “feet” found on the back panel. Because of the camera hole, the phone will wobble some when placed rear-down.

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Appearance
This section is by far the most subjective of this article. Suffice it to say that I would not have purchased the Bump Case if I had not found it to be an attractive option. Typically, I am not one to use a case with my phone. My purchase of this Magpul offering was every bit as fueled by my desire to “rep” the firearms community while at work as it was by my need to protect my purchase. Still, the appearance of Magpul’s famous PMAG is faithfully replicated by the Bump Case. The case does a great job of being minimalistic while also making a statement about something I am passionate about. The rear face features a subtle Magpul logo and wordmark. On the Bump version of these cases, this wordmark is the same gray rubberized material found on the inside and front lip of the case. The FDE color is subtle, stylish, and like a nice pair of khaki chinos, goes with just about everything.

Protection
Typically, there is a strong correlation between bulk and protection in the phone case world. So far as it compares to something like an Otterbox, the Bump Case does not break the mold in this area. Users should certainly expect to sacrifice some protection for the slim profile of the case. However, the rubberized interior of the case does an excellent job of gripping the phone tightly and adds a small amount of impact protection. The case also helps to prevent direct impact to the phone’s screen by adding a small rubberized lip to the front edge. Impacts to the edges and corners of phones are common causes of shattered displays. It is nice to see Magpul address this fact. This lip also prevents the phone from sliding on lightly sloped surfaces.

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Verdict
Magpul’s Bump Case is an excellent accessory for firearms enthusiasts looking for a discreet phone case that also happens to provide more than adequate protection. I particularly like that it adds a little bit of much needed thickness to the very slim iPhone 5, but maintains the same overall feel of the phone. While the case is far from bulletproof, it will save your phone from some of the ugliness typically caused by minor bumps and scratches that come with daily usage and is a godsend for those of us who frequently forget about the phone sitting in our lap when we hop off of the couch or out of the car.

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