Share this Story

Quick Look: XGEAR Sentinel Tempered Glass Back Protector for Nexus 4

nexus 4 sentinel protector

If you read Droid Life on any sort of regular basis, then you know that I’m not the biggest fan of LG’s decision to go with glass on the back of the Nexus 4. In fact, I’ve broken two of them (one was an Optimus G) without knowing what happened. It’s still a mystery to this day. But since I love this damn phone, even with its lack of LTE, I’ve been on a constant lookout for something to protect its backside that doesn’t involve one of those terrible feeling plasticy, filmy, protectors (especially now that mine is white). The option now lives, thanks to our friends at XGEAR

The product is called the Sentinel 4.1 and is a tempered glass protector made specifically for the back of the Nexus 4. It’s just .5mm thick, carries the same 8H hardness of their front screen protectors, and utilizes beveled edges to make it smooth to the touch. They also tossed on a special coating to help your phone resist finger prints, and provide cutouts for the camera, flash, and speaker. So none of your phone’s features are affected, but you should have piece of mind that the original back glass plate won’t break should you set it down.

After using the Sentinel for a week, I can easily say that I’m a fan. It fits perfectly into the back slot of the Nexus 4, just inside the rubber rim. Once applied, it does add a slight thickness, but if anything, it helps the device feel more natural in hand. Rather than feeling the indentation of the backside, you’ll now feel the glass back first thing. The camera still works fine, though the N4’s was never that good to begin with. But most importantly, you won’t be as scared to set your phone down on its back knowing that you have protection. It also feels like a high-end piece of glass and not some cheap piece of protective plastic.

The Sentinel 4.1 runs $34.99, so by no means is it cheap. If you want protection though, you’ll have to pay for it.


nexus 4 sentinel protectornexus 4 sentinel protectornexus 4 sentinel protectornexus 4 sentinel protector

Via:  XGEAR ($34.99)

  • Que Z

    I brought my rubber case from T-Mobile for $25 and I like it because the case covers the whole back of the phone. Dropped this phone plenty of times, still looks as good as new. Awesome phone BTW!

  • lgreg64

    This is why glass on the back is not a smart idea. it’s hard enough to protect the front.

  • Kagnon

    So 2 glass is better than one?

    I don’t get how adding another piece of glass helps.

    Bumpers are way better, removes sliding and cheaper.

    • mercado79

      I too am wondering about the “2 glass backs are better than one” issue, but still bumpers are not a replacement for something like this. That’s like saying having a bumper on it will keep the back from scratching on your keys or if there’s sand in your pocket, or if your phone falls on any non-flat surface. Totally different. Think of this as a strong screen protector.

  • Bob

    Glass on glass on glass!!!

    • XvierX

      Racks on racks on racks

  • TylerChappell

    $35? Wow, the tempered glass screen protector for my DSLR only cost $6-7. $35 is a bit ridiculous.

  • Rafael Bergamin

    and what would be a good solution to the front?

  • Nex

    I don’t have a nexus 4 , but I’ms surprised it took so long for something like this to come out

    • I have a fantastic vinyl backing designed to look like brushed aluminum. Feels great, cost a third the price of this, and even has cutouts precisely machined to let the silver Nexus logo shine through. It didn’t take so long for someone to do this, just for someone to think more glass (tempered or otherwise) on top of glass was the solution. Not saying this doesn’t sound like a good product, but it’s merely the glass aspect of it that’s a new idea.

      • Rafael Bergamin

        where did you got that?

          • droyd4life

            I have one too, dude it looks amazing on the Nexus 4, highly recommend.

          • ThomasMoneyhon

            be extremely careful taking off the dbrand backs as the glass around the rear speaker is SUPER fragile. Android central cracked their N4 removing this exact item after it was stuck on.

          • Rafael Bergamin

            That’s nice Thomas ,thanks for the heads up man. So I guess it’s not reusable right?

          • Rafael Bergamin

            is it reusable, I mean, could I take it off and put it on again? and would you say it add some hardness to the glass or it would break as if it had nothing on it? thanks for helping!

          • Don’t consider it reusable. The adhesive is very strong, and as Thomas noted, Android Central broke their glass back by prying at the wrong place while trying to remove it. I’m sure it’s removable, but don’t expect the adhesive to hold again.

            As for hardness, you don’t want hardness, you want toughness. Hardness is rigidity. It makes something inflexible, but comes at the cost of making it more breakable. Toughness means something can stand up to more abuse, but in the process has more give and more flex. A rubber band is the ultimate in toughness, as it can stretch to extreme degrees and not break, but it won’t hold a shape for anything. Glass is very hard, so you can count on it to maintain the exact shape you want it to for just short of forever, but you pay for that with it breaking easily.

            The vinyl is thin, but tough, not tearing easily, and not breaking. Combined with the glass, it kind of evens you out to the best of both worlds. You could gouge it with a knife and damage it, but it’ll hold up to most normal abuse without showing any wear, and should help absorb some of the glancing blows the glass might take. Won’t guarantee you won’t break it, but will reduce the odds, and ensure the glass stays in place and not visible if you do manage to crack it.

          • Rafael Bergamin

            thanks man… I blame it on my poor english, my bad! but I understood the concept know. thanks again for the replies, you guys where really helpful!

          • Gisela Conte

            I love dbrand! I my nexus4 is sporting the carbon fiber back piece too!

    • Miguel Angel Portela

      Got a simple plastic for the front and back here. The bumper actually works pretty well surprisingly enough. Side note, can’t LTE be activated on the N4? Or was that just a rumour?

      • Rafael Bergamin

        I really don’t like the way it looks with the bumper, just my opinion. And it was possible on older radio, and only on T-Mobile I guess, but google took this away when they released the new radios for the 4.2.2. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2087227

        • Nick V

          But Google can reinstate it once T-Mobile goes LTE, and the FCC approves it.