Howdy readers, it’s come to my attention that all the cool kids are dumping there TPU and polymer cases for the much more modern look of the aluminum bumper.
Taking a tip off the iPhone 4’s metal bumper design, various companies have begun popping out their own take on the Cupertino design and putting it in CNC aluminum form. Now you too can have the stylish look and hardy protection of anodized aluminum bumper on your Galaxy S II. After looking around the interwebz I found a bunch of different interesting options and was able to find a surprisingly large amount of user reviews–I’ve decided to aggregate all the data I have found into a tidy little post about Galaxy S II aluminum bumpers!
The Akiba bumper aka SZLF Slide-on Metal Bumper is another two-piece clam shell shall design however rather than being held in place by screws, this version slides together into one piece.
The Akiba case weighs in at a mere 17 g (Galaxy S II weighs 116g), hardly increasing the weight by even 10%. The design of the bumper allows it to fully encapsulate all exposed edges of the phone including the speaker/chin, with cutouts for all the standard ports and inputs as well as a slot for the Korean version’s DMB antenna. The case is anodized in your choice of color and if you buy two, you can mix and match colors as seen above.
The case comes with inserts that you can stick to the inside of the bumper to prevent it from marring the finish of your phone. The screwless, slide on and off design of this bumper is great for users who like to change there cases often, but this action can start to wear down the detents, making the case looser and subsequently easier to slide off.
I would recommend this case for users who want the a bumper with a minimalist profile and easy installation. Although its thinness may not offer the best drop protection, it will definitely protect your phone from scratching and scuffing from normal use. The Akiba will also work with the OEM 2000 mAh battery, however it will not accommodate the SGP Glas screen protector. You can buy the bumper on Ebay for $25.99 USD.
Draco Design Inc is a high-end design house that specializes in making unique bumpers for the Samsung Galaxy S II and iPhone 4/4S. Whereas most of the bumpers out there have opted for the plain and symmetrical rectangular look, Draco’s designers have opted for a sultry tapered design which starts wide at the top (where the attachment screws are located) and narrows down at the bottom. This design is intended to more ergonomically fit your hand, and is 5-axis precision milled from from aircraft grade aluminum.
The Draco case features full protection of the Galaxy S II’s chin, and has cut outs for the speaker, mic, noise cancelling mic, headphone jack and USB port. As with all of the other bumpers, the Draco gives the Galaxy S II a slight lip which allows the device to be put down on its front without having its display touch the surface. The two pieces of the case meet like two horseshoes where the top is widened, and are held together via hex screws.
It’s obvious that the Draco S2 case is made with the utmost care and quality and its pricetag reflects this. Coming in at a whopping $103 USD, the Draco is a large investment but by the looks of it, a good one.
The Ikuba (not to be confused with Akiba) bumper is our 3rd contender–with a similar look to the highly regarded iPhone Vapor case, this case is a robust bumper that offers thick protection around the corners of your phone. Like the Akiba, the Ikuba comes in numerous anodized aluminum colors. It’s two piece construction is separated assymetrically at the top and bottom right sides of the case as seen below:
This construction is held together with 4 screws creating a very rigid frame to protect your Galaxy S II. Like the Akiba, the Ikuba comes with adhesive padding to line the case, as well as all the mounting hardware and an extra 4 screws. The Kuba has cutouts for all the necessary inputs including noise cancelling mic, however they also cutout the antenna/speaker chin, leaving the plastic exposed:
The plastic on this section of the phone is not especially robust and leaving it exposed can make it susceptible to scratches however this design makes the Ikuba case significantly thinner (only 11mm thick) than any bumper with a chin covering (i.e 14mm for the Akiba, which is thin itself). On the plus side, leaving this exposed will result it better signal as it has been anecdotally found that covering this area with a big piece of aluminum tends to reduce GPS and cellular signal strength.
You can find it on Ebay for about $29 USD.
Sweet armor is exactly what it sounds like. Sweet denotes its candy-like assortment of color choices and armor… well it’s armor–it protects your phone pretty dang well.
As you can see, Sweet Armor covers every corner of your phone with a generous helping of CNCed, anodized aluminum, including a thick layer around the bezel. The case is designed in two-piece clamshell that is held together by four screws along the corners of the phone. In addition to all the standard cutouts (including DMB antenna), the Sweet Armor case features extensions of the power and volume buttons so you don’t have to dig your fingers into the cutouts.
The main downside to this case is that it will make your phone significantly bulkier. Weighing in at 30g, and measuring in at 73.9mm wide, this adds nearly half a centimeter on each side of the phone (4mm), the thickness however is still just 12mm.
You can find these bumpers for the surprisingly low price of $32.50 USD here.
Last but not least we have the Taurus bumper, a rugged and industrial looking bumper that brings you a unique look to your Galaxy S II GT-I9100 or SGH-I777.
The case is made of die-cast rather than CNC aluminum. This makes the case lightweight without sacrificing too much strength and also has a painted rather than anodized coating which gives it a different look and texture. The design looks very aggressive and is reminiscent of a Pelican case, adding plenty of protection on the sides as well as on the speaker and antenna.
The Taurus bumper is a two piece clamshell design that is held in place by four screws–all mounting hardware is included as well as the inserts that protect your phone from being scratched. The painted finish allows for some nice pastel tones to be applied to the case, which can be found in all sorts of colors ranging from apricot to baby pink.
The protrusions on the Taurus bumpers have deep cuts where buttons and input jacks are located so they are still easy to access. The front lip around the bezel is ever so slightly higher than the screen so you can also lay this case down on its face without worrying about scratching the display. Pick up your Taurus bumper here.
If you guys have any personal experience with these bumpers, drop us a line or comment us below, we’d love to hear how these cases are treating you!