In my four years as a proud and lucky owner of an iPhone, I have come to the conclusion that there are generally three camps of iPhone owners. On either extreme are the following:
- Those who like to live on the edge never putting their iPhones and other gadgets in a protective case. When their screens crack they either wear it as a badge of honor or pay the $75-125 for a fix.
- Those who fear that at any moment gravity, keys and beer will team up to absolutely annihilate their cellphone. They keep their phones in bulky cases and are constantly replacing their screen protectors as they themselves get scratched up.
I fall right about in the middle. I always have my iPhone and iPad in a slim but protective case with a screen protector, but I have never purchased an OtterBox or even more extreme, the recently announced Case-Mate Tank. While I do value protection, I still want my devices slim and sexy, OtterBoxes are neither slim nor particular sexy, unless your phone is into BDSM of course.
The Zagg invisibleSHIELD has become my de facto device protector used with a slim-line case. It provides the best scratch protection I have ever experienced, lasts longer than any other screen protector I have tried and comes with an unbeatable warranty. Not only that, it can even improve your cellphone’s signal strength!
I got my first invisibleSHIELD for my original iPad. A screen that beautiful and large was just begging for scratches. Not only are scratches unsightly, they can lead to micro-fractures and later to full-on cracks. Even phones in cases aren’t immune to this. See here:
- Glassgate Hits Case Makers As Apple Suspends Sales of iPhone 4 Slide-Ons
- Slider cases for iPhone 4 pulled from Apple Stores due to “Glassgate”?
- Apple may halt slider-style iPhone cases to head off “Glassgate”
What is an invisibleSHIELD?
The invisibleSHIELD is a super thin, military-grade, self-healing, clear protective film you apply to the screen and body of just about any gadget. Try as you might, scratching a device protected by an invisibleSHIELD is pretty much impossible. Get a ding on the surface of the shield and watch it slowly grow back into place!
If you somehow do manage to scratch, tear or otherwise damage the invisibleSHIELD, Zagg will replace it for the life of the device to which it is attached*.
How the Zagg invisibleSHIELD is Different
Unlike most screen protectors, the invisibleSHIELD covers your entire device. It is not only easy to install, it is forgiving during installation. Traditional screen protectors have a sticky adhesive backing that you put directly onto your device. If you are even just a tiny bit off on a device as large as an iPad, by the time you get to the other end of the device you could be way out line.
I went through two Belkin ClearScreens (costing me a total of $50) before I gave up on them. I could either never get them lined up just right or they would get bubbles in the middle that never went away. This is probably why the iPhone versions of these screen protectors almost always come in packs of two or three. The manufacturer knows the first try isn’t going to work and the second one probably won’t last long.
The majority of these skins only protect the screen, neglecting the back and sides of a device and are made of soft plastic that scratches easily. I finally broke down and bought the Zagg. Turns out I would have saved $10 if I’d just done that in the first place!
Installing an invisibleSHIELD
When you buy an invisibleSHIELD included in the box are four notable items.
- invisibleSHIELDs for all protected areas of your device
- microfiber cloth to clean the screen before and after installation
- spray to aid in installation of the screen protector
- squeegee to seal the protector and push out any bubbles/liquid
The invisibleSHIELD relies on a sticky back plus a liquid spray to adhere to your device. By including a liquid buffer between the screen and the shield, you are given the chance to realign things should they get a little off and using the included squeegee, push out any bubbles you might find along the way. I found that using a little extra spray than instructed insures a pain-free installation process.
I recommend installing the invisibleSHIELD before going to bed and to leave the device outside of its case (if applicable) and on a dry, soft surface overnight. Why? Overnight the adhesive will cure to your device ensuring a secure fit while removing any remaining bubbles. The microfiber cloth is a great surface to let the device rest on while it cures, preventing the shield from accidentally sticking to your glass-top desk (not that I did that once before). Putting it back in the case before it cures can cause parts of the shield to not adhere or dry properly.
Afterwards, never fear again about keys scratching your pocketed iPhone, or sand at the beach scratching the screen of your eBook reader or iPad.
I even put an invisibleSHIELD on my Nikon D700 screen when I went to Saudi Arabia. The desert sand was no match for the shield on my camera’s LCD. You’d be amazed at how many devices you can protect with an invisibleSHIELD.
Added Benefits of the invisibleSHIELD
Better Cell Phone Signal—
We already know it protects your devices from scratches but did you know it also makes your iPhone 4 immune to the “Grip of Death”? If you purchase the full protection kit (no extra cost), Zagg will provide invisibleSHIELD strips for the sides of your iPhone (and other devices).
These strips further protect the phone from scratches while simultaneously blocking contact-interference. This bridging of the body of the iPhone 4 with the external antenna is what caused the iPhone 4 to have signal issues. The invisibleSHIELD does not conduct electricity and thus prevents this from happening. Grip away!
Speaking of grip, InvisibleSHIELDs have an increased grippyness to them which helps prevent devices from slipping out of your hands and in the case of my iPad, from slipping out of its slim Targus case. I can hold my iPad at nearly 90 degrees in the palm of my hand without it slipping out and falling to its death.
Glare and Smear Prevention—
Zagg advertises their screen protector as “invisible” but it’s only partly true. Yes it is practically invisible, unlike the glass on an iPhone which is incredibly prone to glares, the slightly dimply surface of the invisibleSHIELD diffracts light reducing glare. This texture also prevents finger smudges. When you device does eventually get smudgy, you can clean it without worry of scratching the screen with the included microfiber cloth or a moist wipe.
An Insurance Policy for Higher Resale Value—
When I sell my old devices in preparation for their replacement, I am able to advertise them as scratch free. When I sold my Apple iPad 64GB WiFi + 3G to Gazelle, I got 80% of the value back. Why? Because Gazelle considered it in “Like New/Excellent” condition. The smallest of scratches would have required me to resale it at a significant discount.
The $40 I spent on the Zagg invisibleSHIELD got me $670 back for my iPad instead of the $550 offered for a device with the tiniest scratch, $510 for moderate scratches and $238 for a heavily scratched iPad.
My return on investment on the invisibleSHIELD on my iPad ranges from 3:1 and as high as 11:1! This just goes to show that investing in an invisibleSHIELD is worth every penny, and in some cases, much much more.
If you have any iDevice or gadget that you want to enjoy without worries of scratches and get the most out of its resale value, skip the sketchy Zagg clones and the temporary solutions provided by the competition. Buy the invisibleSHIELD and relax. I’m about to do just that for my new iPhone 4S.