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[Guide?] Re-applying worn out fingerprint resistant coating on the cheap!

OP vantt1

28th April 2014, 02:49 PM   |  #1  
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As you may know, most smartphones these days use Gorilla Glass for the digitizer panel. And being digitizers - devices that accept input via a user's finger - fingerprints can be a problem. This is why Gorilla Glass has a neat nanotech oleophobic coating that makes interacting with the screen smoother to the touch and can be easily cleaned of prints.

However, after 6-12 months of daily use, this coating can wear off due to scratches or simply just by using it. As a result, the screen may not feel as smooth as it used to when it was new, and smudges can be very hard to clean off. This coating can be re-applied using aftermarket kits, such as the Fusso one:



But this kit usually costs about $30 for a 5 mL bottle. which is only good for one application for a phone about the size of an iPhone.

The other option is to use a plastic screen protector film. No need for a picture; they're ubiquitous. These protect the fingerprint resistant coating from wearing off, but also defeats the purpose of having a fingerprint resistant coating in the first place. Besides, they scratch very easily and ruin the appearance of an otherwise crystal clear display. Who would want to do that?

I use a tempered glass screen protector that supposedly has an oleophobic coating, but that quickly wore off after about 6 months of use. So I applied a matte screen protector on top of the tempered glass protector. Dat graininess tho!



Anyway, I came across 'Rain Clear'; a liquid designed to be applied onto car windshields to increase visibility in rainy weather. Raindrops bead up and roll off by themselves when the car is moving, keeping the windshield clear. Basically, it's a DIY hydrophobic coating. I bought this 135 mL bottle for $7 from Kmart (in Australia). I'm sure a similar product can be bought at your local variety discount store.




Application is pretty straightforward. I'm going to try it on a non-original Nokia X6 screen first.



Drop a few drops of it onto a piece of folded microfibre cloth, then rub the glass surface in a circular motion until a "haze" is formed on the whole screen.

I used this kind of cloth:


This is the haze:


After complete coverage is achieved, clean the haze off with a cloth (preferably not the same one used to apply the coating) dampened with water until it is clear.

The results (before/after):


And this is on the Note 2:


It makes quite the difference! Water droplets are a lot more spherical now, and it cleans off much easier, too. Now, let's try it on a STAR N9589 - a common Note 2 knockoff that definitely doesn't have a Gorilla Glass panel.



I'm going to apply it to the top half of the screen for comparison purposes.



Such wow!



When using the screen of the Note 2, it certainly feels smoother than before, but only about 50% as smooth as an original screen. Still better than nothing! I applied the coating two days ago. Let's see how long it will last!
29th April 2014, 02:18 PM   |  #2  
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Just watch out for what you use on your screen. Some products will burn off what's left of the ophleobic coating , leaving you in a worse state.
29th April 2014, 04:20 PM   |  #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayTheWolf

Just watch out for what you use on your screen. Some products will burn off what's left of the ophleobic coating , leaving you in a worse state.

I know, that's why I'm only using it on the glass screen protector and not on the Gorilla Glass itself.
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2nd May 2014, 04:38 AM   |  #4  
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Update: The coating seems to slightly wear off in about a week, probably because it wasn't designed to be touched by fingers all the time. This time, I've cleaned the screen (protector, rest assured) with methylated spirits before reapplying the Rain Clear. Once a week isn't that bad, since one 135 mL bottle is good for about 15 applications. 15/7 = about $2.15 7/15 = about $0.47 per application and overall it should last about 4 months. Fusso Smartphone has been reported to last about 6 months, but costs $30.

Worth it!
Last edited by vantt1; 3rd May 2014 at 01:23 AM.
2nd May 2014, 08:25 PM   |  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vantt1

Update: The coating seems to slightly wear off in about a week, probably because it wasn't designed to be touched by fingers all the time. This time, I've cleaned the screen (protector, rest assured) with methylated spirits before reapplying the Rain Clear. Once a week isn't that bad, since one 135 mL bottle is good for about 15 applications. 15/7 = about $2.15 per application and overall it should last about 4 months. Fusso Smartphone has been reported to last about 6 months, but costs $30.

Worth it!

You reversed it

7/15 = $0.47 per
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3rd May 2014, 01:21 AM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LucJoe

You reversed it

7/15 = $0.47 per

Oops! Thanks for the correction!
3rd May 2014, 11:47 AM   |  #7  
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Thanks for sharing.

One product that has helped me since my Sony Ericsson M600i days is regular nail polish remover

Its very cheap and you can always flick it from sister's or girlfriend's collection



Sent from my GT-N7100 using xda app-developers app

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