As prone as your smartphone is to falls and scratches, using a screen protector is the best way to avoid accidental scratches and cracks on your phone screen in the day-to-day. But among the various types on the market, what is the best screen protector for your phone? I gathered some useful information about what you need to know about screen protectors made in glass, gel, PET and even liquid films. Follow in the following lines.
Types of screen protectors for phones
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) film
The term “PET” refers to a plastic polymer (polyethylene Terephthalate). Usually, this material is found in objects such as refrigerant bottles and other containers for storing food. PET film is usually the cheapest and is also the lightest and thinnest.
This type of screen protector offers minimal protection against scratches, but the advantage is that they are also less noticeable when applied to the screen.
Glass Screen Protector
Without regenerative properties, the glass screen protector has the advantage of being stiffer and thicker, offering greater protection. However, they are usually more noticeable, precisely because of their larger thickness.
In addition, while preventing the device panel from suffering any kind of damage, they can easily look worn out in a short time, and even crack with falls, which can lead many consumers to want to perform the exchange frequently.
There are still several types of glass screen protectors. You’ve probably heard of tempered glass protectors, 3D screen protectors and up to 10D. Now to understand how they work:
- Tempered glass: at first, simple glass screen protectors were more fragile. So much so that they were gradually replaced by tempered glass, more common on the market today. This type of protection offers greater resistance against acute impacts.
- 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D or 10D glass: the differential of this type of screen protector is that they better adapt to the screens and the design of the phone. The curvature may vary by model and, in addition, the entire protector basically mimics the front of the smartphone, including the “chin” and “forehead” parts, bringing these edges in the colors of the original design. This construction helps camouflage the film. But wait for it: increasing numbers (3D, 4D, 5D…) doesn’t always indicate a higher level of protection – although the promise is usually this, robustness varies by manufacturer, and increasing numbers can mean other advantages, such as carbon or metal edges. These specifications vary by brand, so it’s always good to seek the advice of who has used or seek the review of an expert.
Hydrogel Screen Protector
A newer solution is hydrogel screen protector, which promises to absorb both impact and a glass film, despite being thinner. They also fit better on screens with 2.5D glass and curved edges, but their own edges can wear out more quickly. One disadvantage is its price, usually higher than tempered glass films.
This type of screen protector generated controversy a few years ago for apparently trying to deliver a “placebo effect” to users. There are several tests on YouTube that prove that nanofixit’s liquid film, the most popular brand to offer the product, used Gorilla Glass’s own smartphone protection to sell non-existent scratch protection.
In addition, because it is liquid and basically invisible when applied, it is difficult to know when there was complete wear and tear on the product and estimate the time for exchange. Based on this information, it is best to get away from this type of screen protector.
After all, what is the best screen protector?
Well, that depends. Evaluating all the above information, you may have noticed that some solutions may work better according to the type of display. If you have a smartphone with a curved screen, for example, a conventional tempered glass film will leave the edges exposed, which can be fatal to the panel in a fall. In this case, you can opt for a 3D glass model (4D, 5D, and so on) or a hydrogel screen protector.
If your phone has a flat screen, a tempered glass screen protector may be the best option in terms of protection and cost-benefit. They scratch less easily compared to hydrogel models. But ideally, you can compare the touch sensation of both before deciding.
The advantage of PET films and simple glass is the price. But remember: the cheap can be expensive when it comes to the protection of your mobile phone screen, so are the least indicated.
You can find a list of good screen protectors for your phone here.
Note: The screen protectors will not protect the back of your phone or the edges, so do well to get a “good” case. I mean one with something like a raised lip over the screen.
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