In this day and age where high-end smartphones with beautiful HD displays are a dime a dozen, we are constantly searching for the best means of protection. Because let’s face it, there are only a few things in this world that can ruin your day quicker than dropping your brand new phone on the concrete and cracking your screen.
Take the Galaxy S III, for example. Samsung’s latest flagship phone has a stunning 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display and touts Corning’s coveted Gorilla Glass 2. It took me less than two weeks from the time I removed my phone from the box before I got my first (tiny) hairline scratch on the screen. I’m still clueless how the scratch got there, considering I dedicate an entire pocket to the phone and keep nothing else in said pocket besides said phone.
In an almost frantic state, I decided to begin my search for the perfect screen protector and this is where the ZAGG invisibleSHIELD came into play. Before I get into my review, let’s take a look at the details from the manufacturer’s website:
Durability - Self-healing properties offer unbelievable resistance to scratches and damage, and will extend the life of your device
Coverage - Greater pliability and flexibility allows the invisibleSHIELD designs to cover the corners and curves of your device better than the competition.
Ease of Install - The improved pliability also facilitates easier installation
Drop Resistant - Improved grip makes it easier to hang onto your expensive gadgets
Glare Reduction - The Galaxy SIII screen protector gives your device a slight “orange peel” finish that breaks up glare and reduces finger print smudges, while still creating high resolution screen viewing clarity.
Going into this installation, I had only installed one full body screen protector before (from a different manufacturer and on a tablet, not a phone). At first, I figured the process would be a nightmare because of my previous experience, which didn’t yield the best results. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to install the invisibleSHIELD.
The packaging has instructions on how to apply the screen protector to your device. I strongly suggest reading them thoroughly before you start the process, and the best tip I can give you is to make sure you’re working in a clean, dust-free area and that you’ve washed your hands because even the smallest particle of dirt or stray hair can quickly become your worst enemy.
ZAGG suggests that turn your device off before you begin and leave it off for 12-24 hours after the invisibleSHIELD has been installed. I know being without your phone for this long is next to an impossibility for some, so I’d also suggest installing it at night, right before you go to bed. You’ll still probably have a couple of hours to go when you wake up, but it’s better than having to go through business hours without a phone.
You can also opt to turn your phone on earlier, but since we’re dealing with a wet application here, I felt safer just waiting out the recommended time frame. Your device, your call.
If your screen looks a bit cloudy after the installation, don’t sweat it. The tiny imperfections and streakiness will subside within a couple of days after installation. I didn’t notice any streakiness myself, but there is always a possibility.
My install yielded pretty decent results. There are three small imperfections on the back cover, which you can see in the gallery below, but nothing too terrible. The screen protector itself installed perfectly, with no bubbles or other notable flaws.
The invisibleSHIELD does a great job of covering almost the entire Galaxy S III. The only unprotected portions of the device are the slim bezel and a tiny part of the phone’s face, up by the front-facing camera, which is enough for me to still need extra protection. As far as scratches to the screen and back of the phone, there are no worries at all here. The screen protector fits nicely around the home button of the front and the LED flash, camera, and speaker on the back of the phone.
As the product description states, the invisibleSHIELD has a palm-friendly grip that helps to keep you from accidentally tossing your phone down the hallway when you pull it out of your pocket too quickly.
In comparison to many other screen protectors I’ve tried, the invisibleSHIELD does not alienate the feel of your screen as drastically as others. It does make the screen feel slightly rubbery, but it’s a nice feel, in my opinion.
The invisibleSHIELD’s “orange peel” texture does a pretty solid job of reducing glare. Unfortunately, it also does a great job at trapping oil from your fingers when you touch the display, so I’ve found myself constantly having to wipe the screen down to clear it up again.
Another problem here lies in the fact that you need a wet cloth, followed by a dry wipe, to clean the oil streaks from the screen. A simple wipe with your sleeve just makes things worse.
As far as durability is concerned, ZAGG makes a top-notch screen protector. I’ve ran keys across it — heck, I even sawed (slightly) on it with a serrated bread knife — and no damage has been done.
I’m still not ballsy enough to try skipping my phone down a gravel street just yet, but feel free to try it out if you’d like and be sure to let us know how it works for you.
Should you ever run into any problems with your invisibleSHIELD, ZAGG offers a lifetime warranty on each one. Make sure you register yours upon taking it out of the box, then file a replacement request on their website if you ever need a new one — simple as that.
The first two pictures in the gallery below were taken with the screen smudged to show how bad it gets. This was after a few hours of usage, from a freshly wiped screen.
In the end, the ZAGG invisibileSHIELD screen protector is a great option for those who want to add scratch and nick protection to their device, without adding any extra bulk or weight. The installation process is fairly simple, and the feel of the protector is very nice in your hand. The biggest downfall I can note is that the screen gets easily smudged up, so if you can live with having to wipe your phone down a few times a day (or the streaks and smudges don’t bother you), this is definitely a solid investment that will help to extend the lifetime of your beautiful Galaxy S III.
The ZAGG invisibleSHIELD full body installation kit runs $24.95 on the company’s website, or you can save a few bucks and pick one up for $18 and some change over on Amazon.