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My Nexus 4 Is Broken

Google-Nexus-4 & Dog LeashTuesday was a sad day indeed, for that was the day that my Nexus 4 was broken. I was out walking the dogs with the phone in  my pocket. I don’t think that there was anything else in my pocket. When I returned home I noticed that the back of the phone was literally shattered.

The phone was in a bumper but not otherwise protected. I suppose it’s possible that something struck my pocket, possibly the one of the dogs leashes. We use the fairly common retractable leashes that have a hard plastic handle.

The damage is only the glass back of the phone. Initially it was limited to the area just around the the slot where the speaker is located. Over time the cracks spread across most of the back of the phone.

I did a little Googling around to see if this was commonplace, and scope out possible solutions. I know that Karl Fife had to perform a repair on his Nexus 4.

What I discovered is that this kind of breakage is in fact very common. The back of the Nexus 4 is the first generation of Corning’s Gorilla Glass. It’s tough, but apparently there are limits.

I discovered a thread over at Nexus 4 Forum where a number of people were sharing their experience with this kind of breakage. It seems that LG will repair the phone. It’s an out-of-warranty repair and costs around $150.

Damaged Back on Nexus 4

Others have elected to try different things, most typically adding some kind of protective skin to the back. Some people report good results with a vinyl skin from dbrand.

I decided that I’d rather select something more rugged than vinyl, so I ordered the a Skinomi Techskin Carbon Fiber kit for the Nexus 4. It was only $16 from

I had a Techskin carbon fiber kit for my old G2. I didn’t really like how it fit that phone. The handset was all curvy so the Techskin fit poorly. Actually, it fit well enough but I thought that it would peel away from the curved edges of the handset.

Since the Nexus 4 is already in a bumper I’ll probably just apply the carbon fiber skin to the back as a means to hold it together. It’s a simple, flat plane. The bumper will protect the edge of the Techskin.

I actually carry T-Mobile’s insurance on the phone. Just for kicks I should check and see what they might do about it. Somehow I don’t expect much, but perhaps they might surprise me?

I’ll post a picture once the Techskin kit arrives later in the week.

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Also a N4 owner. Tried several cases/covers. One I am most happy with is diztronic (hope my spelling is correct). When I received my N4 early this year they did not have a case yet for that model. Some of my dislikes on previous manufacturers were slippery in hand handling and buttons that are covered and difficult to use. The diztronic case completely covers/protects glass back area, adds a small rim to front of phone for protection when phone is placed face down on surface but does not add much weight or bulk to the phone. It also came from Amazon.

  2. Here’s picture of the Nexus 4 with the Skinomi Carbon Fiber Techskin applied.

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