Provides: Anti-glare screen protection with pizzazz Compatibility: iPhone 4/4S Maker:Crimson Price: $18.95 each Availability: Out Now
When it comes to protecting your iPhone, screen protectors are one of the most important (and least expensive) accessories you can buy. They can prevent scratches, keep your screen free from fingerprints, and even kill bacteria. Thanks to Crimson, they can also reflect your pretty smile and sparkle like your braces in the noonday sun. The question, of course, is whether you’d want them to.
Crimson has more standard screen protectors available; you can go with anti-fingerprint, anti-glare and anti-reflection. But if you want your iPhone’s screen to make more of an impression than the Retina Display itself does, you’ve got the Mirror Surface Protector and Sparkle Surface Protector at your fingertips. Both models are made from high quality, multi-layered, Japanese-manufactured film that protects against dust, scratches oil and dirt. Both are fairly easy to apply without getting a bunch of bubbles. In fact, that’s a hidden benefit of these funkier screen protectors; because they’re easy to see when applying (versus clear screen protectors), they’re easier to align. I usually have to start three or four times on screen protectors before everything’s nice and straight. With both the Mirror and the Sparkle, I got the screens perfectly aligned on the first shot.
Beyond that, though, we see some differences. The Mirror comes in two different versions. The Mirror Surface Protector offers the reflective screen protector with an anti-fingerprint back surface protector. The True Mirror Back Surface Protector provides the reflection on the back of your iPhone, and comes with an anti-fingerprint screen protector. If you need some kind of reflective surface on your iPhone, I’d go with the latter. The mirror effect works either way, but it really highlights dust and fingerprints when your phone is off.
And although the iPhone’s display shows fairly clearly through the screen protector in dark conditions, it continues to reflect bright objects when you want to use your phone. The image below shows how this can hamper phone use.
Forget about using it outside on a sunny day. You’re just better off getting a protective case that has a mirror built into it, or taking a separate mirror.
The Sparkle Surface Protector for iPhone 4/4S ends up better serving its purpose because the effect is more subtle. When your phone is on, the sparkle effect mostly disappears, as you’d want it to. When the phone is off, however, it brings in a glittery touch that’s actually quite fun. However, the lighting conditions have to be right in order for it to work; otherwise, it just makes the phone look dusty.
I tried to get a good photograph of the sparkle effect, but as you can see in the image below, I ended up with the aforementioned “dusty” effect.
It actually looked really good off camera right there; you’ll just have to trust me on that. The effect works even better on the back protector, but mainly on the black iPhone where there was more contrast between the sparkles and the black device.
Both the Mirror and the Sparkle can be removed, cleaned with water, and reapplied. Both also provide nice surfaces that are easier to swipe on than the iPhone’s actual screen. And finally, both models come with a microfiber cleaning cloth.
I can therefore recommend the Sparkle. The effect is fun when it works, and only looks dusty when it doesn’t. Best of all, it doesn’t interfere with your iPhone’s display. The Mirror, on the other hand, makes it difficult to see your screen in many situations, and makes fingerprints and dust stand out even more in other situations. The effect isn’t worth the loss of usability.