Galaxy Nexus Case Review: Cruzer Lite Clear TPU and Generic White Bumper [Video]


When it comes to my Android devices, I have a tendency to treat them as if they were my babies. And not only because I would do whatever it takes to keep them safe, but I also find some kind of weird pleasure in dressing them up in various outfits to suit my mood. Whether it was my OG EVO, or my brand new Galaxy Nexus, I learned early on in my Android life that you don’t have to spend very much to keep you device looking good, and protected in style.

That being said, I found that there are varying degrees of protection when dressing up your device. In most cases, the only real threat your phone will ever faces is taking a short spill out of your pocket onto the floor below. In which case, keeping your phone layered behind 3 layers of silicone and plastic doesn’t sound all that necessary. That’s why today, I want to show you guys a few affordable options for keeping your Galaxy Nexus protected, while still being able to enjoy the phone’s slim form factor.

Cruzer Lite Clear TPU Case – $10

First, we have a traditional TPU case, manufactured by our friends at Cruzer Lite. Now, I’ve purchased some cheaper, lesser quality TPU cases from eBay (in an effort to save a few bucks) and those were hit-or-miss (mostly miss). Cruzer Lite on the other hand, prides themselves on providing high-quality TPU for a reasonable price.

The case of theirs I checked out was a semi-clear high-gloss TPU case (looks great on a white device). The inside of the case is a matte finish, while the outside is high-gloss. This gives the case a unique “cloudy” look and compliments a white device perfectly. My only real complaint was that the cutout for the camera wasn’t quite a perfect fit and covered some of the edges around the camera area but, it also raises the camera away from a surface when laying the phone flat, so not too bad. Once again, another great case from Cruzer Lite. The best part? Cruzer Lite makes these cases in a plethora of varieties, for most of the newer handsets. (Search Cruzer Lite + your specific phone on Amazon).

Generic Plastic Bumper Case – $5

Next up we have a white bumper for the Galaxy Nexus. Before I start — I know, not everybody is going to find this level of protection adequate. But let me explain. Generally speaking, most smartphone users have some kind of screen protector installed on their device. So, that means the front of your device: protected. The back of your device: replaceable. A battery cover is the one part of your phone that can easily be replaced if damaged. The only real vulnerable area of your phone is that metal rim around the screen. And that, my friends, is where the bumper case comes into play. The bumper protects the entire rim of your phone, while still raising the camera a mm or 2 off of a surface when laying on it’s back. The difference is a bumper wont add any extra thickness when holding your device like your traditional case. I know this type of case definitely isn’t for everyone. But for those who are obsessed with enjoying the thinness of their device, while providing protection of your phones vulnerable areas, this makes a great option (and one which is personally, my favorite).

The bumper case I found on eBay was only around $5 and is available in either black or white. The first time I received it, I’ll admit. It fell apart. But, in the bumper’s defense, I wasn’t exactly gentle with it. There’s a rubber rim that holds onto your phone and connects to the plastic part of the bumper. Well, that started separating after I installed and removed the case from the phone a few times. I will say, the seller on eBay kindly replaced it, and the one I have now is holding up fine (just have to be careful-ish). There is actually a method for installing it that you can see in my video for those willing to buy one. The cool thing about the bumper case is basically, you’ll never have to remove it. The battery can easily be accessed in case of emergency or SIM swap. Just set it — and forget it.

So, that just about covers it for this edition of my Android case review. If you guys have any questions, suggestions or recommendations on some of your favorite cases, let me know and maybe I’ll give ’em a try next episode.

Cruzer Lite Clear TPU Case for Galaxy Nexus: Amazon

Generic Galaxy Nexus Bumper: eBay

Weird little Android plug: eBay

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. What background wallpaper is that? I know the character is from Androidify, but I’ve seen those big shots like that used as wallpapers before and wondered where people are getting them

    1. The Androidify app also lets you save your characters (or random ones) as a live wallpaper. It’s nice :)

      1. Ah, so these were probably just using the live wallpaper too?

        1. Yeah – once you’ve downloaded the androidify app, there’s an option in the live wallpapers for the characters. You can either have it go through just your characters you’ve made, or use other random ones too.

  2. The Cruzer Lite cases seem like great deals. I’m thinking about getting the white one and the extended battery for the Verizon Nexus

    1. I got a Cruzer Lite case a few weeks after I got my GN – had the GN-branded silicon case, but could not stand the feel. I LOVE my Cruzer Lite case – the android on the back, the nice grip on the sides – no slip. Worth the $10 for sure!

  3. I want that little android thing that you stuck into your nintendo ds!!! Whereeeee did you find that :O

    1. Sorry, just realized I forgot all the links. Linked that little Android plug too. =p

      1. Thanks Chris! :D

  4. Generally speaking, most smartphone users have some kind of screen protector installed on their device.

    I don’t know how accurate this claim is.

  5. Ha ha! For at least the first 30 seconds, your hand gestures reminded me of a muppet’s…  just less fur. :P

    1. So weird you would say that… As a kid, I wanted to be a Muppeteer SO BAD. I would practice with puppets all the time! LOL xD

    2.  I was just going to comment that his hand movements remind me of “Thing” from Addams Family

      1. I have a thing for hands. And that was some great hand acting..

    3.  I definitely see the muppet hand gestures!

  6. what clock app/widget is that for the digital clock?

    1. Stock Android 4.0 widget. 

      1. I only notice the analog clock widget.

  7. Am I the only person that enjoyed Chris’s grunting as he put the bumper case on? ;D

  8. I think your mainly just trying to show off your white galaxy nexus. :P

  9. is there an “official” case for the Galaxy Nexus?  Do the cases differ if the Galaxy Nexus is the GSM vs the CDMA version (since I think that the phone size is slightly different due to different batteries)?  I remember for the Samsung Vibrant, the T-Mobile stores had an “official” case for it – looked similar to the Cruzer one, but don’t think it was that brand.

  10. Will the bumper fit the Verizon Galaxy Nexus LTE?  I know from experience the SGP Neo-hybrid is not an exact fit due to differences in the GSM vs. LTE models. Thanks.

  11. dang it…sold out for the bumpers :(

    1. Ordered one 2 weeks ago:P u mad bro?

  12. Chris, do you think that generic bumper case would work on the Verizon LTE Nexus?

    1. Most definitely. Especially since it doesn’t cover the battery (the only part that’s thicker on the Verizon GNex.

      1. Thanks very much!

  13. Wish the Play Store offered the white version as an option.  Side note do they offer the extended battery, battery door for the white version?

    1. Oh shoot… I didn’t even think about that. I haven’t seen one in white on Samsung’s site. Only grey =/

  14. I have that exact bumper, but I was very disappointed. The form factor is great, but it doesn’t keep the camera off the table. The biggest problem is the loose fitting sides and creaking from the case flexing. I would strongly recommend trying something else.

  15. Diztronic makes the best TPU case for the GNex, hands down.

    1. They have good ones, but mostly feature black and greys (one pink color with glitter in it). No clear/matte combo =/

      1. Yeah, they are mostly conservative colors, but they do that thing where they do a matte back with a gloss lip, that looks fantastic and their customer service is top notch. ;)

  16. Is the bumper for the LTE or GSM version of the GN?

    1. It will work for both since it only covers the rim of the device, not the battery cover which has different thickness depending on the carrier..

  17. Chris, have you tried the NeoCase Hybrid? It’s a little more expensive, but it’s the best all around case I’ve ever used on a phone. It’s the thinnest as well.

  18. Can you share the wallpaper used in this Nexus? :p

  19. Why’d you do this in the car?

    1. I love my car. I sometimes use it as my desk.

  20. My wife picked up my pre-ordered Galaxy Nexus and, knowing that I tend to give phones a pretty rough time, purchased an Otter Defender case for it. The Defender is a bit bulky and pretty expensive, but, gosh, it offers a lot of protection. If you’re into boating, motorcycling, and other outdoor sports, it’s a good choice.

  21. Does the Cruzer Lite fit on a GSM GNex?

    1. This is a GSM GNex (white version) so yes =)

  22. Ordered: Galaxy Nexus GT-I9250 bumper in black.  Thanks for finding this @Gamercore:disqus.  About how long did it take for the item to ship? (as in get to you, not ship out)

  23. woow. it is good looking, my factory also lunched this kind….

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