Bumper destroys metal ring

Hi guys,

I have had my Fairphone 4 since last year at the beginning of June. Since then I have always had it in the Bumper. Unfortunately, the metal ring has quite a few scratches and more are coming. I feel that the bumper is attacking the metal ring of the Fairphone due to small debris that gets underneath. There are small white dots all over the metal ring, which is abrasion. My phone now looks more worn out than any phone I’ve owned before it, after just under a year of use. And the way I see it, this metal ring is also one of the parts that are not replaceable. I find it very annoying.
Can anyone report something similar?

Yes same for me :frowning:
I try to regularly clean the internal face of the bumper…

That’s the metal chassis, which is made of aluminium, which is a rather soft metal. It’s not surprising it scratches easily.
That been said, my FP4 is now 6 moths old, no bumper, and its edge is still pristine except one tiny spec where it fell to the pavement (from about 15 cm height). So it does take some effort to scratch it. I’m surprised yours looks damaged after just a year, and being supposedly protected. What’s the point of that bumper again?

:thinking: Are those dots really scratches, or are they corrosion? You can check that with a good magnifying glass. Aluminium corrodes easily, this could be galvanic corrosion. Aluminium oxide is white, so “white dots” would fit the description quite well. Now as to why and how… No clue.


Dont use the bumper or any other protection and have 1 scratch after 9 Month…so if it would be that easy to scratch it my pockets would help here I guess…

These are definitely scratches. Some are so deep that you can see the “hole” with the naked eye. For me, a clear misconstruction. The gray paint at the edge of the display has the same scratches.
Very unattractive for me and another massive drawback of the Fairphone besides the completely bugged Android 12. Unfortunately, I now increasingly regret the purchase decision.

I see.
Still surprised the bumper were able to scratch it. I took a closer look at mine, and besides the aforementioned tiny scratch resulting from a 15 cm drop on stone, it is pretty much pristine after 6 months. The plastic back has a light scratch (just a slightly darker mark), and I’m not even sure it can’t be wiped/washed away.
No bumper, I do carry it inside a sleeve though (padded fabric), but in the beginning it spent several weeks sleeveless, thrown in messenger bags and pockets.

All right, I’m kind of careful by nature, but still, if I had to judge its scratch resistance I would say “average”. Go figure.

One year old, bumper, and no more scratches than with any of my previous phones.

To add to the above.

Aluminium and especially alloys and recycled alloys are prone to rust.
Sweat from the hands can cause corrosion but with a bare phone in the pocket the sweat is wiped and the clothes get washed.

Sweat or any other corrosive substance will get locked between alloy case and plastic, and plastic doesn’t breath

If you also live near the sea (salt) or an industrial area (CO2 an SO2) will effect a corrosive atmosphere.

Any when metal alloys are made the metals are not always very well mixed and there will be electrolysis between the metals, which can result in pits or lines.

Sure getting sand or hard grit between the cover and phone will produce a similar damage, but that’s less likely really.

Hi Dubbeglas

You can have a similar “misconstruction” with any other device manufacturer that uses aluminium as case material.
It’s a really soft metal like @KurtF already mentioned. A few grains of salt or sand in between the bumper/protection and the alu case will quickly guarantee such a “destruction”

See here my former 7+ year old Nokia’s aluminium backside.
It was all the time in that rubber protection and got it’s “impacts” over time.

Well, I just called it my own milky way individualisation :wink:

So all in all it’s less a misconstruction than rather a mistreatment of the device.
If you don’t like it then better stay away from any mobile device that got such a case.



The first time I noticed the scratches on the aluminium sides, I found out some grains of sand inside the plastic bumper.

As I’m leaving not far away from the see and go regularly on the beach with my phone in the bag, it’s easy to guess what happened :beach_umbrella:


The bumper keeps dirt grains in place and every touch and pressure adds a little grinding of the same spot.[*] Without bumper, there is more exposure to dirt grains, but they are distributed and their effects don’t accumulate.

The main use of the bumper is as a shock absorber, imo.

Seconded. And the location is to be expected. Looking at the mechanics of a bumper, the rim is where most motion between phone and bumper happens, with most times more pressure, and more frequently than the backside.

That’s the way.

[*] learned from a bycicle tire