Review: Nokia Gel Case and Bumper cases for the Lumia 900

From launch, Nokia has offered a Gel Case and a Bumper case for the Lumia 900 Windows Phone. The two cases offer minimal protection, mainly against scratches.

The cases are constructed from a rubbery plastic that is thick enough to maintain durability without adding any thickness to the Windows Phone. Each case style comes in an assortment of colors and each run $20. They both have a degree of appeal but after using both for a few days, I couldn't help but think Nokia could have done better.

First up, we'll take a look at the Nokia Gel Case.

Nokia Gel Case

Nokia Gel Skin

The Nokia Gel Case is a plastic shell or skin that form fits around your Nokia Lumia 900. It wraps around the sides of the Windows Phone and covers the back. Cutouts are present for the camera, light, headphone jack, speaker and micro-USB port. The Lumia 900's side buttons are covered by the case but rubber extensions are present that keep the buttons functional.

The plastic gel skin is thick enough to protect the Lumia 900 from slight dings but mainly keeps the phone from getting scratched up.

Nokia Gel Skin back

The fit of the case is decent and adds no noticeable bulk to the Lumia 900. Still, I couldn't help but feel it needed to be tighter around the sides. There is a lot of play in the case on either side of the phone that would let dust collect inside the case. I'm also concerned that such play in the fit may cause the case to wear out more quickly.

It's hard to measure durability after using a case for only a few days. I will share that the AT&T Rep I deal with in Birmingham has been using the blue gel skin case since day one. The case does get a little dingy from wear but he reports that a little warm soapy water cleans it up nicely. In looking at his case, I saw no signs of tears in the plastic or stretching.

Nokia Gel Skin on the Lumia 900

The Nokia Gel Case is available through AT&T (opens in new tab) (you may be able to find them on or other third party retailers) for $20. In stores you can find the pink and black models and the blue model is available online.

Nokia Bumper Case

The Nokia Bumper Case is very similar to the Gel Skin case. Both are made from the thick, durable plastic. Both have cut outs for the speaker, micro-USB port and head phone jack. And both cover the side buttons with rubber extensions.

Nokia Bumper

The key difference is that the Bumper Case only wraps around the sides of the Nokia Lumia 900. The back of the phone remains exposed. Which makes you wonder why have a case that only covers the sides of the phone?

The Bumper Case is thick enough to offer some padding if you happen to drop your Lumia 900 on it's side but for the most part, the Bumper Case is only for appearances. Asides from exposing the back of the Windows Phone, the other weakness is the case's fit.

Nokia Bumper on Lumia 900

The sides of the Bumper Case is extremely loose with a lot of wiggle room that exposes the sides of the Lumia 900 easily. Luckily, the top and bottom for the case fits snugly to prevent the case from slipping off the Lumia 900.

The Bumper case is running $20 at your local AT&T store (opens in new tab) and comes in blue and green.

Push comes to shove, if I had to choose either of these cases it would be the Gel Skin. Both cases are made from durable, heavy plastic. The Bumper case does add a splash of color but I'm still not sold how well the Bumper will stay in place. The Gel Case offers minimal protection for your Lumia 900 and is fits more securely.  That and the Gel Case covers/protects more of the Lumia 900 than the Bumper.

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

  • I have the Cyan bumper since day one and it fits snuggly. Though it does start to show dirt on the color, which doesn't come off that easily.
  • I got this case.. But not comfortable.. Gets dirty easily. It was only 5 days I had to take it off. I like using the phone without cover. Its just amazing.. & I'm scared also.. What if I accidentally drop it..
  • I use the cyan case on my Lumia 800 but it's gone black on the corners. It doesn't appear to be dirt that I can get off, it's like the actual rubber has discoloured. If anyone has any solutions for getting it clean, I'd love to know.
  • I have the Cyan Gel Case and Black Gel Case, The Cyan one gets dirty easy and that can't be cleaned easily, there is pen ink on it like 2 dots, and I tried everything and couldn’t remove that, but oh well as long as its protecting my precious Lumia I am happy, my wife has the magenta gel case on a black lumia , its looks good, my brother have black on black which is nice too, I have cyan on cyan, but sometimes I switch to black gel case on cyan, which doesn’t look bad as I thought it would be, it shows the thin cyan line around the screen which looks kinda cool, oh also as a note, the Cyan gel case color is kinda different from Phone Cyan color, but that’s under certain light, like outside in the sun it looks the same, but in the office or indoors in lower lights you can see a difference if you look at it close.
  • I believe you have a 1 yr warranty on the cases....not sure if that's Nokia warranty or at&t.
  • Good to know thanks for the heads up!
  • Come on, George!  Be brave - put a Gelaskin on that Lumia 900!
  • i have a black and blue case and a pouch but i dont use any ill use it one day then dont use then use it then not use it so far this is the longest ive gone without it 2 weeks so far i just feels nice without the case
  • Better cases to be had on Amazon and Ebay for sure.
  • Why do both of these cases expose the SOFT metal strip by the camera? This is the part that usually gets scratched WAY too easy.
  • My carrier sells a case that covers all but camera and flash
  • I just got a clear full coverage case for $3 shipped off eBay. Covers the soft metal trim piece.   These $20 ripoffs make me want to puke, but are par for the course at ATT shysterville.
  • The padding on the gel case cover actually protects the strip from coming in contact with surfaces.
  • I usually don't like cases of any sort but since I've somehow managed to drop my White Lumia and scuffed up all four corners I'm tempted to give the bumper a go.
  • if it's already scratched up then what the point of putting on the case now. the resale value has already dropped and the fact that we can't get WP8 on it makes it even less valuable.
  • My gel case looks different then one shown. Covers up Carl Zeiss metal part. I mainly use when out of house. Decent case
  • Picked up a black Incipio case for my Lumia 900. I'm extremely satisfied.
  • Nokia Lumia 900 NGP Semi-Rigid Soft Shell Case
  • Haven't used a case since I've had the my Cyan 900. Screen is still flawless and the body is flawless. The Carl Zeiss metal portion is scratched up bad...but oh well. Seems as though the body on these phones hold up pretty well to scratches and dings. Even the couple small dings I have are barely noticeable because they stay blue. I dig it!
  • Bumper case? Now why on earth did Nokia have to copy Apple when they already have a gel case? It's not like the Lumia 900 is suffering from the iPhone 4's death grip.
    In regards to the gel case, it looks similar to the 800's gel case, with the exception of the covered buttons. Mine is black, which is the same colour as my Lumia 800 since it came bundled together inside the package. Slight discolouration and scratches at the back, but hey, any protection is better than no protection at all. ;)
  • Is it just me or is Nokia the only windows phone out there they seem to get all the good updates and exclusive stuff where's the love for HTC ?
  • No, they just get all the media attention...
  • get on HTCs website and click on "contact us" and ask them...
  • I got a black case fom my local ATTstore.  I he since ordered a red gel case from ebay candy red for 6.00 with free shipping.  It gives it a similar look to the Nokia Windows Phone 8 concept ptcture.  It works very well fit is snug and I believe offers more protection than the ATT case which is a bit thinner. 
  •   I read something like this a long time ago. The engineers and designers of phones did not put cases on them when they were making them. These phones are best enjoyed by keeping them "commando'.. Knock on wood, I have had all 5 models of the iphone and changed over to the Lumia 900 on the day it came out and I have never put a case on any one of them. Enjoy the beauty of the device, TAKE THAT CASE OFF!!! Take off that case and remind your self of how slick  and stylish  that device is. How many  TV commercials ,shows and movies have phones and laptops with cases on them.? I  
  • Is that including 7.8 :-D (sarcastically)
  • The hard cover case I am using. And it's the best IMO, the gel cases just aren't good enough.
  • People who don't have lumia other wp let's move on in more important news than this. all windowsphone have same mango OS 7.5
  • Don't get the bumper. Your rear silver camera bezel that says Carl Zeiss will continue to get all scratched up.
  • I have a white Lumia. No white case. I need to cover up my phone with a black case. Ugh!
  • Check out casemate. they have a great white case that a buddy of mine has on his lumia 900.
  • Have you tried putting the gel case in the dishwasher to clean it? I had a gel case for my BlackBerry 9700 and put it on the top rack of the dishwasher to clean it. It never got damaged.
  • I refuse to buy a protective case especially since I have a white glossy 900 which is just gorgeous (it will get you chicks more than the cyan 900).
    BUt if I decided to a case I would get the  white matte finish one i saw in this video , the guy says it $6 too, amazon has it
    But I wish Nokia made the gel case in white too!
  • I've just purchased a CaseMate 'Barely There' case in white for my Lumia900. It's extremely thin, fits really snuggly and adds very little bulk to the phone. It appears to offer reasonable protection being made of a polycarbonate type material. I'm wondering if any of you have had experience of this case and if it actually protects the phone?
  • I use the gel case. my only problem with it is that none of my stereo jacks fit properly into the device as the cutout doesn't provide enough spacing. This leads to sound coming out mono and voice commands no longer working. I started to have to peel over that corner in order to fully plug in my audio cable. The same goes for the power cutout. there's not ample room for the micro usb to plugged in completely. It still charges, but is loose so moving the phone will result in the power cable falling out.
    eventually i'll just go back to no case.
  • I have the Nokia Gel Case; I love almost everything about it (from the texture to its thin profile), BUT I'm wondering if I'm the only one bothered by the type of cut they used for the area reserved for the camera/shiny space (not the fact that its exposed, but the actual feeling of the cut for the oval hole)--it feels extremely rough to the touch, which is very different from the type of cut it SHOULD have, something like the opening for the flash: a rounder/softer edge. This bothered me so much (when holding the phone vertically and texting) that I just placed an order for the Incipio NK-108. I can't be the only one who noticed this, or did I just get a case from an early production batch?
  • I have the black phone (thx to Rogers not carrying the cyan) so I got the cyan gel case. However, I stopped using it after a month and a half. The cutout for USB is too small, the camera button doesn't always wake up and the corners have gotten dirty. I also don't like the rubbery feel compared to the phone's plastic body.
  • I can't help but wonder why someone would dish out 20 for the bumper when you can get a much better case on Amazon for a fraction of the price.