Do you need a screen protector for your phone?
This week a co-worker noticed that I have a screen protector on my phone and asked what I thought of them.
I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with screen protectors on my cellphones.
I hope you’ve had the experience of buying a new cellphone.
Peeling off that plastic protector after unboxing a new phone is almost a religious experience for me, but I also start worrying right away that something will happen to that pristine glass display.
Years ago, I used a flexible plastic screen protector from Invisible Shield that was applied by soaking the protector with a soapy solution that you squeegeed off once you had it installed properly.
Installation was so tricky that I remember that the company put two in the box. I think the second one was included because most of us messed up the first try.
Plastic screen protectors have evolved and are easier to apply, but today you are more likely to find glass protectors, which are cheap and fairly easy to install.
These protectors are a very thin sheet of glass you apply on top of your screen.
But do you really need one?
I’ve personally never cracked a phone screen (knock on wood), but I’ve cracked five or six glass screen protectors.
Does that mean those glass protectors did their job and sacrificed themselves to protect my phone’s screen?
Maybe. Maybe not.
I put a glass screen protector on my new iPhone 13 Pro Max. I really don’t think it is necessary, but I figured better safe than sorry.
I have anxiety about keeping things new. The same anxiety drove me to purchase seat covers for my car right after I bought it. I want the seats to look new when it’s time to trade it in.
Phone screens are usually made from Corning Gorilla Glass, which has evolved over the years to be very strong.
Of course, not every manufacturer uses such strong glass. The cheaper the phone, the easier it will be to scratch or break (in my experience).
Apple, Google and Samsung use Gorilla Glass on their flagship phones. Cheaper phones likely don’t list the brand name of the display glass.
The Gorilla Glass is very strong and scratch-resistant, but it’s not scratch-proof.
I scratched an iPhone screen very badly a few years back when I was carrying two phones in one hand.
The glass covering the camera lenses on cellphones is very hard and can easily scratch the softer glass on the front of your phone (even Gorilla Glass). I put my iPhone and other phone in the same jacket pocket, and the camera lenses on a phone I was reviewing scratched the screen of my iPhone very badly.
I realize most of you don’t carry two phones, especially in the same pocket, but learn from my mistakes.
It is that scratched screen that made me a believer in glass screen protectors. I lived with that scratched screen for a long time, but putting a glass screen protector over the scratched iPhone screen made it a lot easier to live with.
I think a good case is the best way to keep your phone’s screen safe, but a glass protector isn’t a bad thing either.