We have previously reviewed the DevilCase aluminium bumpers for the Xperia Z1 Compact and Xperia Z2 and now we have got hands on with the Xperia Z3 bumper. For those that don’t know, DevilCase is a Taiwanese-based company that produces premium aluminium smartphone bumpers in a variety of striking colours.
The Xperia Z3 DevilCase bumper is currently being sold on its own website and Amazon.com for $56.99 in four colours (Black, Red, Gold and Silver). Yes, the bumper is not cheap, but it offers great craftsmanship and protection for those not wanting to mask the beautiful Xperia Z3 design in a case. We have the red bumper on test today – click through to read our impressions below.
The packaging for the Xperia Z3 DevilCase aluminium bumper includes an installation guide on the rear. The process is a simple one: 1) unlock the aluminium case with the two screws holding it together (an Allen key is provided) 2) slide in the Xperia Z3 and 3) lock the case using the Allen key. Couldn’t be simpler.
DevilCase includes a number of spare screws inside the packaging. We counted three extra screws over and above the two needed to lock the bumper together. As mentioned before, DevilCase also includes the correctly sized Allen (hex) key.
DevilCase sent over a Red Xperia Z3 bumper to review. It is made from a high quality aluminium alloy and is anodised to give an almost matte feel. You can tell that this is a precise bit of engineering and we didn’t notice any chips in the bumper.
The bumper consists of two metal parts that are locked together using two screws.
The inside of the bumper is lined with small rubber pieces that protect your phone scratching against the metal bumper. It also aides in shock absorption should your phone have a small knock.
The included Allen key (hex wrench) is used to open/lock the bumper. The screws were also of a good quality and didn’t strip even when locking the case tightly.
The DevilCase is not cheap and you should expect a perfect fit. Thankfully, that is the case. Once the bumper is installed, there is no wobble and it almost feels like it is part of the phone itself. We found that with the bumper installed it gives a better grip with the handset overall. It also looks great too, whilst giving peace of mind on the protection side.
The USB port and magnetic charging pins are left open. We had no problem charging the handset using a special magnetic charging cable. A supporting plate is included to make the bumper work with the official magnetic charging dock too.
Normally, we don’t like it when case manufacturers use their own power/volume button layer. It can be hit and miss whether these buttons can be pressed as easily (the Case-Mate Tough cases are especially guilty for this: for example the Xperia Z2 case works well, but the Xperia Z1 case is a pain). However, we noticed no issues with either the travel or response of any of the buttons (power/volume/camera) using the DevilCase bumper.
The top of the bumper has ample room for your headphone socket.
We’re not sure why DevilCase has included two holes on the bottom of the bumper. There is no lanyard here (the lanyard is not supported on this bumper), so not sure they have specifically drilled these holes. We were obviously mistaken here as pointed out in the comments section. Given the design of the case and it being locked into place, these two holes can be used to feed through a lanyard. We were previously assuming the holes should be lined up where the Xperia Z3 had its lanyard holes.
The bumper gives enough of a ‘lip’ around it so you don’t have to worry about scratching the glass on the top and bottom of the Xperia Z3 when laid flat on a surface.
If you are the type of person that really doesn’t like the idea of a case covering the beauty of a handset, but also want some protection then you should consider a bumper. DevilCase aren’t the only brand out there producing aluminium bumpers for Sony Xperia devices, but they are one of the best we’ve come across. Their products have been consistently great on the various bumpers we’ve tested.
If you’re worried about how the metal band around your phone will affect your cell and Wi-Fi strength, we can tell you that we noticed no tangible difference on our handset. The bumper is currently being sold through Amazon.com for $56.99 which is not cheap, but offers good protection whilst adding some elegance to your Xperia Z3. That’s not something we say often about smartphone cases.
– High precision aluminium bumper with a perfect fit
– Bumper looks fantastic, complementing the elegance of the Xperia Z3
– Access to all major ports and buttons (only the microSD and SIM slots are blocked)
– Provides protection without sacrificing the Xperia Z3 design
– Includes spare bumper screws, just in case
– Very easy to install
– No noticeable signal degradation by using the bumper
– Not cheap, so won’t appeal to all
– No lanyard support As corrected above, we were mistaken about this and have amended the article.
Many thanks to DevilCase for sending the bumper for review!