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Official Nexus 5 Bumper Case Now has Fatter Buttons, No Longer Impossible to Use

Back in November, we took a look at the official Bumper case for the Nexus 5 in a quick review. For the most part, we wanted to love every ounce of the case as it is of the highest quality, came in a variety of colors, and also fit tremendously well on the device. Unfortunately, Google didn’t test the case before selling it. With the device in-case, you quickly realized that it was nearly impossible to press either the volume or power/lock buttons.

The buttons were either too skinny or placed poorly – maybe even both. It took some serious pressure to change the volume on your device or do something as simple as wake it to unlock it. The button issue was an instant deal-breaker, especially with the case carrying a steep $35 price tag.

Well, guess what? Google has fixed the case without saying a thing. 

nexus 5 bumper-3

Over the weekend, a reader of ours sent over pictures of two cases that he and his wife had received for their Nexus 5s. Her case came in grey, while his came in red. He noticed that she hadn’t ever really complained about the button situation with hers, while his was driving him nuts, for the same reason we mentioned in our review. So he took a closer look and noticed that the buttons on her’s were much wider than on his case.

This news prompted us to order all of them again from Google Play to see for ourselves. Sure enough, Google has indeed tweaked the case design by adding wider buttons. In the picture above you can see the wider power button on the red, grey, and black cases. The original skinny button is still there on the yellow case we ordered, though. Below, you can see the volume rockers.

nexus 5 bumper-1

And here is a closer side-by-side comparison of the change.

nexus 5 bumper-5nexus 5 bumper-4

After using one of the new cases over the last 10 or so hours, I’ll tell you that the case is now usable. So yes, the best feeling Nexus 5 case I’ve come across is now ready for your consideration.

With that said, I did order all four colors and the yellow case still sported the older, skinnier buttons. But my red case showed up with newer buttons, while our reader ordered one in February that still had the skinnies. I’d imagine you’ll be safe ordering either black or grey, but the red and yellow could be a toss-up. Then again, maybe at $35, you still want no part of this official case.

Either way, wanted to share.

Play Link

Cheers Cade!
  • Vidhya Vs

    How is nexus battery case http://sh.st/wkfCS

  • Francesco Zanolini

    I’m gald to have read this post. Thanks for it.

    I live in Italy. One week ago I received a red Nexus 5 + red bumper.
    Nexus rocks and bumper sucks, enough said. The buttons are really too hard.
    Then I’ve read this article and yes, I got the old version with smaller (and harder) buttons.

    I immediately contacted Google in order to get the new one. No new model here in Italy (let’s say Europe) and so I choose to get a refund.

    Now I have 2 questions:
    1. How to get the New Bumper made by Google?
    2. Any alternative? Of course I need a good feeling touching those buttons.

    Thanks for help.

  • Elliot Kotis

    could bloody google stop crapping on all the early adopters, it happened with the nexus 4 and n5 and this, always the redo versions, GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

  • HowsTheHope

    I like the original, but I’m a guy with fat hands. Buttons never get activated by mistake, but can’t say I’ve been frustrated by their function.

  • Nschemmaster

    Had the black but the finish peeled off. Called Google and they refunded me the money and let me keep the case. Since then I have the cruzer lite and really do love it.


    Szkłem dupy nie wytrzesz

  • Rohail Ahmad Abbasi

    Using spigen slim armor case and so far so Good..

  • Dan Sheridan-Wallis

    Still not convinced, an s-line case off eBay for £3 delivered is perfect every time

  • Michael Toth

    I received my black case about 3 weeks ago and the buttons are of the wider variety. So, they could have switched them a bit more before than realized. Also, no peeling that I’m aware of

  • Penner

    I have the original nexus 5 case and the buttons have never been a problem.

  • Anthony Johnson

    I like the red one case and surely going to buy it soon
    for my qi enabled Nexus 5. Thanks for the update.

  • Ember Dawn

    I love my Caseology TPU case its comfortable to hold and the buttons are easy to press but no chance of pocket pressing the as they are slightly resessed

  • ThomasDalla

    Nexus 5S ? :p

  • realfoxm

    I placed an order for this case through an ebay vendor and received the new version of the case. Can’t beat it for $14 shipped. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-Official-Google-Bumper-Hard-TPU-Cover-Case-FOR-LG-Nexus-5-5G-D820-821-/151231456735?pt=US_Cell_Phone_PDA_Cases&var=&hash=item233618e5df

    The images of the case show the small buttons. I didn’t realize that I received the new case until I saw this post.

    • Looks like fake. I can’t see blue option on Google Play but they selling it.

      • realfoxm

        It could be a fake, although I couldn’t find any discrepancies between the packaging or the actual case.

  • srqdude

    I ordered the yellow one a couple months ago, and the ‘transparent’ lighter colored edge has become discolored from being in the pocket of my jeans. It doesn’t look like a $35 case anymore.

  • Justin Wommack

    Would like to try this case again but not if it still has the peeling issue.. Pretty lame for the amount of money it costs. It was one of my favorite cases since it just resembled the nice back if the nexus. Come on Google.. Fix it!

  • Prime7

    I’ve had the black one for a few months now, and it always had the fatter buttons. I think they fixed it a while ago.

    • krudl3rx

      Yeah, this article need an update.

  • cooljames

    I got mine months ago, the red one, and it has these ‘fat’ buttons.

    Regarding the difficulty in pressing buttons, count your blessings. I had another case I bought off Amazon and it made the buttons far too sensitive. The fact that the off/on switch and the volume rocker are parallel to one another make it really dicey if you don’t have something else, like a poorly designed case, to prevent inadvertent pressing.

  • t.virus

    I bought mine from the usual Chinese online shop that I always use for $11 it was the exact same official case with the same button issues but I can’t complain at that price lol now I’ve sold my N5 and eagerly awaiting for my red one to get into my hands so probably not gonna get a case at all haha

  • Sonic_44

    Just ordered one from eBay 2 days ago that said they were updated. As well as had a blue one “Official Nexus” one. Fingers are crossed that it’s the real deal…

    • bloosr

      It is a replica. A good one for what I’ve seen. I ordered red replica from ebay and the original one to compare.

  • Eskimo128

    No wonder.. I bought a red bumper when they were on sale a few weeks back, and really didn’t find any issue with the buttons. I just chalked it up to perfectionists/those who find flaw in everything/those who try 100 different cases, and me just not knowing any better. Nice.

  • blarz

    Hopefully they go “on sale” again soon, I’d like to pick up a Black one to go with my Grey one. (yes I’m boring when it comes to colors… )

  • MistaButters

    I bought the case a month ago and haven’t had problems with the buttons. However, it’s weird getting used to how wide the case makes the phone feel. It completely eliminates the nice rounding that fits well in your hand.

    Currently my phone is naked again. But the case goes on if I’m going out for the night.

    • Cowboydroid

      Is it a fairly slim case? How thick is the material compared to traditional TPU cases?

      • MistaButters

        Um. It’s a little thinner than a TPU case, but it’s significantly harder than a TPU case.

        But it’s going to feel wider than if you used a TPU case. Google eliminated the curves with this case. Basically if you took the widest point and the deepest point and made the phone a perfect rectangle. I actually can’t grip the phone with one hand with the case on. The extra width and the squared off sides makes it so my fingers just don’t wrap around enough. I can still use the phone one handed, but it just sort of rests in my hand.

  • NorCalGuy

    Did anyone else have a problem with the resin layer peeling off their case I had a gen 1 black case and in less than a day it started to peel. Called Google and got a refund didn’t have to send in old case either. Once all the peeling was gone I was left with a nice shiny case not bad but picks up scrathes real easy. Also when did the change start just order a red one for my girlfriend last week hopefully its the second gen

    • Boblank84

      same with me they issued a refund without sending it back. I ordered the gray, and the same happened (also got a refund). I really like the case other than that, the buttons didn’t even bother me that much after they broke in.

      • NorCalGuy

        You would think some product testing would take place before sale like maybe even a week lol. It only took a matter of hours to have it start peeling.

    • michael bourgoin

      Yup – i had the same issue on my first black one (really bad) and its starting to happen again on my second one (not nearly as bad). It’s still very annoying to pay the price they charged and get something that peels. I love the case otherwise.

  • KenBarnum

    Google refunded my money on a grey and red case because they both became discolored. I wonder if this fixes that problem too.

    • MistaButters

      My grey case started looking pretty bad in about 2 weeks, but that’s what I get for getting a light colored case.

      • what a garage review

        Mista I was just wondering if you could tell us if your bumper case had the fatter buttons. I hear a lot of bumpers have had discoloration but I am curious to whether or not they fixed that problem with the “fatter buttons”

  • Boblank84

    do the new ones peel like the old ones? i had a black one and the outer coating started peeling off within a few days.

  • Gf1fanatic

    What’s all the coverage of the Nexus 5 and Moto x, but nothing about the best Android phone out there, the Droid Maxx! The Maxx can do all that those other phones can do, but keep on doing it when the others have long last their charge. The Droid Maxx forever!

    • bloosr


  • TSON1

    Looks like an i– *gets hit by truck*

  • Ken Adams

    Dang I already have 2 Spigen slim armor cases. I really want a thinner case and the buttons were the only thing holding me back…
    I’m going to spend as much on cases as I have this phone.

  • Christopher Ruiz

    Personally I like my Spidgen NeoHybrid, it just feels really nice in hand without adding a bunch of bulk it still manages good protection. The chrome buttons are also a nice touch.

    • LegalAmerican

      Agreed. I have the Black Bumper case from Google and it has the fatter buttons, but they still don’t work well at all. I have to press 3 or 4 times before it wakes up the screen. I love the look of the case but because of the buttons, it’s sat in my work desk for over a month while i’ve used the far superior Neo Hybrid.

  • AnotherAndroidKid

    I still rock the androidified and bugafied cruzerlite cases.

  • M Jeong

    I actually ordered my Nexus 5 with a black bumper case around New Years. I was weary to the idea the buttons wouldn’t work in the case, but decided to take a gamble. To my surprise while reading this article that my bumper case was already a part of the “fatter” button revision.

    • vahecargti

      I too ordered the bumper case around the same time you had and was wondering what the complaints were about as it feels great. Mine has the revised design as well. I guess google figured it out quicker than some had assumed. I can understand why the yellow one in the article still has skinny buttons because they probably still have inventory of the old case and yellow probably isn’t that popular of a color compared to grey, for example.

    • blarz

      Mine is also of the ‘wider’ variety. I was wondering what all the fuss was with the ‘unusable’ comments, now I know. 🙂

    • Mayoo

      Same here, ordered on day 1 it became available.

  • Stephen Rice

    So should I call google and see if they are going to replace the usless case that has been sitting in my desk for 2 months?

    • Could be worth a shot. Expensive case!

      • NorCalGuy

        So do the new ones peel or not??

    • NorCalGuy

      Tell them its peeling

      • Stephen Rice

        It did that on day one. But the thing was so useless that was the least of my concerns.

    • Nick

      Yeah, seriously. I feel like I was ripped off of $35 + tax when I first bought my Nexus 5. The official case ended up in a drawer, replaced by a Spigen Slim Armor that’s not only a far superior case, but half the price.