I’ve been more prissy about the front and back of the iPhone 4 than any other PDA or smartphone I’ve owned down the years. I didn’t bother with screen protectors for the 2g or 3g version nor have I bothered with one on the HTC Legend. After a lot of use none of them acquired any screen scratches on the front but the odd mark or two on the back which has never been a big deal for me. Reading around the web has put the fear of death into me however with the iPhone 4, with numerous reports of the back scratching easily and some horror stories about the supposedly scratch proof gorilla glass (silly name) getting quickly and rather easily marked…yikes.
I started off when the first iPhone 4 arrived in mid June with a Zagg Invisible Shield for the front and back. The first application went on smooth as silk for both front and back with not a bubble or bit of trapped dust in sight. However, the front protector quickly came off as it has an odd look to it, variously described as the “orange peel” affect, and the screen’s clarity was definitely compromised. It just didn’t feel or look right on the front and it was quickly whipped off. The back protector however stayed on until the phone had to be returned to Apple. When the second iPhone was purchased off eBay I hastily reapplied a new back one and again it went on really easily….the spraying with the water solution business certainly seems to work. A couple of weeks later I again applied the front protector but again was not that happy with the look and feel, the Zagg is slightly rubbery but undoubtedly strong and if you can live with the look and feel then it makes a very sound choice.
I then decided however that I wanted to get a front protector on and wanted to try out a few, a quick search online threw up a make I’d never heard of before in the shape of PowerSupport. I could only find them online via Mobilefun. I opted for the “crystal” as opposed to the “matter” finish. £27.95 sounds expensive, probably because it is, but for that you do get 2 front covers and 1 back one. I, however, have opted to keep on the Zagg on the back for two main reasons:….I can’t be arsed having to fanny around going through the hassle of putting a new one one and more importantly, the Zagg has the aforementioned slightly rubbery feel which is not suited to the front but adds a bit of grippiness to the back. One drawback of the Zagg is that it is quite sticky and dust seems to be attracted to the edges.
Last night, sadly I spent an hour or so, in anticipation of the protector arriving, watching youtube videos of various people showing how to properly apply one. Best to be prepared methinks especially as the thought of sticking one on sends a right royal shiver down my spine. The pack comes with a unique feature, a “pre-installation” film which you peel off, stick down on the screen and it is meant to pick off all dirt prior to applying the main deal. The PowerSupport screen protector sticks via anti-static as opposed to any sticky resiude and it went on quite easily. Lining it up was the hardest part, several times I thought I’d applied it perfectly but it was too far over to one side once it was in place further down the screen and wouldn’t flatten off at the side. I just pulled it off and tried again. I’d recommend starting at the home button end as I found it easier that way plus you can ensure that it is perfectly aligned with that button which is psychologically better than having it perfectly aligned with the microphone cutout and wonky at the bottom.
After a few tries it was on and I was able to smooth out the very few bubbles and there was no sign of any dirt trapped at all…phew. It looked immaculate, the protector is very clear and I showed it my wife and she didn’t think there was a protector on. She now wants me to apply one to her iPhone unfortunately….It feels quite smooth and there is none of the Zagg orange peel look and overall I am really really pleased with it. A bit more expensive than most screen protectors but it is clearest I have used on any device.