Apr 30th, 2012 publishUpdated   Jan 16th, 2015, 1:32 pm

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

local_offer    AT&T  Galaxy Nexus  Resources  Samsung  T-Mobile  Verizon