Screen protection is common in today’s society of smartphones, but you could end up wasting money and time if you purchase “just any” screen protector.
Before we dive more into the article, let’s answer this question for beginners: Do I really need a screen protector on my iPhone?
Think of it as insurance. With official screen repair rates climbing, a broken iPhone screen could cost you S$189 (or S$219 on the iPhone plus models!). So unless you are 101% sure your screen will never crack, we highly recommend investing in affordable quality screen protection.
Years ago, we were still using film protectors, which offered only scratch resistance. Nowadays, the market has shifted to mass producing tempered glass screen protectors. Obviously, these are the ones who provide drop protection. The quality (and even composition) amongst each brand will differ, but with advertising thrown into the mix, it is easy to get confused which protection offers you the best value.
With quality screen protectors, the protector is the one that takes the damage, not your screen. Technological advancements have improved how tough tempered glass for phone screens can be, but it is still not indestructible.
So what features should I take note in finding a quality screen protector?
1. Composition of the protector (same same, but different)
It is entirely possible that screen protectors can look the same on the internet, but behave differently “in the flesh”. One example comparison is the full-glassed protectors against a hybrid carbon fiber-glass screen protector. The difference is huge because the carbon fiber component for the hybrid protector (usually at the bezels of your screen) is not as strong against knocks, as compared to a full-glass protector. The screen portion of this hybrid model is usually glued to the carbon fiber, so it can peel off, making protection vulnerable.
Comparing full-glass models, glass quality differs as well. Although they may have the same grading (9H) or thickness, you can tell from physical touch that one may be flimsier than the other. Whatever the advertisement says, flimsy protection that fails to perform should be avoided.
Lastly, there are also different types of protector dimensions i.e. 2.5D, 3D fit etc. We’ll cover this in another article, but in short, 3D fit covers your screen fully, while a 2.5D does not.
2. Feel of the glass (does your finger glide smoothly on the screen?)
Traditionally, adding a screen protector to your iPhone would mean getting used to a different surface. For many of us, this meant discounting one of the features which attracted us to our phones – that clean, smooth screen.
“Smoothness” is affected by the oleophobic coating quality of the screen protector. Oleophobic refers to the physical property of repelling liquid molecules. This layer gives the protector its anti-fingerprint and anti-liquid properties. Due to cost cutting, not all brands of screen protectors have great quality oleophobic coating. Hence, when using cheaper protectors, you may realize that scrolling through Facebook and Instagram is unnecessarily rough, and perhaps grainy. Fingerprints can also be more commonplace and harder to remove.
3.Thickness (related to toughness!)
Protectors come in a range of thickness available. A thick glass will make the screen look bulky but may be more durable. A thin glass will feel better around the home button area as it is closer to the screen, but comes with a higher chance of shattering, and may not be able to protect your screen from a sharp point of impact. Tempered glass protectors are generally around 0.2-0.5mm thick. We recommend models with approximately 0.3mm in thickness as the optimal balance between comfort and durability.
4. Appearance (does it look sexy?!)
At Invul, we don’t believe in sacrificing the beauty of your expensive phone for screen protection (think 2.5D vs 3D fits!). With 3D fit full coverage, gone are the days where your protector sticks out like a sore thumb. You will no longer have dust getting stuck between the huge gap between your protector and case. A full coverage protector is just more eye candy than the alternative.
5. Clarity (crystal clear…glass?)
Another important feature that is often neglected is the clarity of your screen protector. It is a common misconception that all protectors are 100% transparent. Only quality protectors can deliver up to 99% transparency. It may sound silly, but you’d be surprised at the difference between a 95% and 99% clarity protector. This is determined by the level of transparency. Clarity contributes to the overall enjoyment of daily usage. For us at Invul, we do not compromise on our daily drivers, and so 99% clarity (or the best that we can achieve!) is a critical feature for us. We think our customers will appreciate it too!
6. Ease of installation (avoid unnecessary stress!)
So you decide that you need a protector. But the stress of applying it wrongly and ending up with a hideous looking screen with bubbles and dust trapped underneath is too much for you. Therefore, you seek out a shop who can do it for you, and pay a small premium for service. With the emergence of full cover protectors, we understand that the task is more daunting than before. Truth be told, full cover protectors may actually be easier to align. Simply align the home button and call receiver cut-outs.
The key lies in the quality of the adhesive. With a quality adhesive, air bubbles can actually be eased out from underneath the screen on its own over time, if not immediately (trust us, we were shocked when we witnessed it ourselves!). If you have misaligned the protector, simply remove and realign. If dust is getting in the way, use a sticky tape to remove it, and reapply the protector. Our protectors have a blue tape included in the package. Quality adhesives will allow you to reapply the protector without sacrificing adhesion duration.
So there you have it – 6 features we recommend you pay attention to when choosing your screen protector. Get one that best meets your needs and budget. At Invul, we stand by our 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If you have an iPhone 7, you may wish to consider us. If you have more questions, please let us know on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org!