[Multi-Review] Zagg HD/Zagg Dry/Spigen Glast Nano
I thought I'd share my experiences with some products I bought. It's the least I could do for a forum that's provided me with so much good stuff. Descriptions of the experiences will be brief and straightforward.
Let's get straight to business.
Zagg InvisibleSHIELD Dry Screen Protector [front and back]
When I purchased my GS4, I ended up getting this screen protector kit for free after haggling with the sales rep. Always haggle.
Installation was straightforward and easy due to the dry install. Clean the screen, align the protector, apply, squeegee. Repeat for the back.
The texture of this protector was very similar to Zagg's original wet application protectors. It's slightly thicker than the average cheap screen protector, it feels tough, but the trade-off is high friction. Some (like me) wouldn't enjoy this.
If light hits the screen at the right angle, you can generally see some marks on the screen protector as it is essentially a flexible plastic material. Not a big deal, and they sometimes go away (Zagg's signature "self-healing" product).
The back protector has a matted finish to it. It may appeal to some as the back of the S4 is highly glossy - even the black models which have a crosshatch black and silver design. The matted protector tones down the glossiness and the black/silver crosshatch design gains sort of a dull metallic look. Pretty cool.
If you're particularly looking for a Zagg product and hate wet application as I do, then this will be the product for you. Overall much better than the Zagg HD protector (as I will explain below).
Zagg HD Screen Protector
After the high friction nature of the Zagg Dry application screen protector bugged me too much, I decided to try out the HD. The representative at Best Buy was telling me just how amazing it was. So.. as the naive consumer, I gave it a shot.
$25.99 + Tax - Pretty much standard price for retail stores, and the bulletproof warranty that Zagg offers is always nice.
Installation was a breeze. I paid them 8 dollars to get a terrible application job involving several dust bubbles. They assured me all of it would disappear after 48 hours. Surely enough, after 48 hours I came back and had them re-install a new one for free.
Not to bash the folks over at Best Buy - some of them are great. Just make sure you tell them not to saturate your phone to the point of comparison of a liquid submersion with that Zagg spray solution.
The HD seemed like it delivered at first. I had the protection (that they claim), and the screen felt a lot smoother than the dry application/original. It nearly felt too good to be true - and it was.
The Zagg HD's texture is thanks to being a little thinner than their original. The consequence of this is that even the slightest pressure with your fingernail ends up creating an indentation mark on the protector. Worst of all is that these indentations are essentially permanent.
Within one week, my screen was cluttered with indents from poking and entire streaks from swiping.
It actually doesn't look bad when you're directly looking at the screen or at night. As a matter of fact, you can't even tell they're there. If you're out in the sun however, forget it. Text is illegible at times due to the sunlight showing those indentation marks to tear your sanity asunder.
Save your money, don't get this.
Spigen Glas t Nano Slim [0.15mm]
The search for a decent screen protector seemed to be grim until I came across this. The Glas t Nano Slim is made of tempered glass. Glass on top of glass - who (a noob like me) would have thought?
It was pricey. $34.99 + Shipping for a single screen protector without a bulletproof warranty (like Zagg) is pretty heavy.
Needless to say, I purchased it after reading so many great reviews of the product.
Contents: Protector, squeegee, a clear back protector (that I didn't use), microfiber cloth, some plastic button stickers (to put over your home key) in orange, white, and black. They look like plastic bubbles (not all that great).
Being such an expensive screen protector, I decided to use a shower steam technique:
Take your clothes off
Go to the bathroom
Shut the door
Clean the counter you'll use with microfiber
After cleaning your phone of oils, place your phone and screen protector+installation materials in a drawer
Turn the shower on (hot)
Place a hand rag on the floor (to keep debris low)
Wash (the crap) out of your hands, dry with rag on floor
Turn shower off when the mirror fogs
Wait a few minutes for the steam to settle (else you may get water particles to adhere to the screen protector adhesive)
Take phone/protector/materials out of drawer
Use alcohol swab included in package to wipe screen
Use same swab to wipe counter once more before setting phone down
Wipe screen with microfiber cloth included in package
Take off screen protector backing while holding the screen protector adhesive side DOWN
Align, drop, gently press finger on center and watch the adhesive evenly spread
Use squeegee for any bubbles (I had none)
I'm absolutely terrible at installation but this one was on perfect.
At first glance you can hardly tell there's a screen protector at all. The fit is very close to the edges. There's an oleophobic coating on the glass so your fingers will glide across the screen. Responsiveness is crisp (for all 3 screen protectors).
The tradeoff for such a great looking/feeling screen protector is protection. Zaggs don't shatter. Supposedly the Glas t will crack like an eggshell if broken, and you can simply peel it all off in one piece. Hopefully, I won't have to find out myself.
The problem I witnessed with going naked on screens (with my Galaxy S2) was that the oleophobic coating eventually wears off. It took me about a year before the coating was completely gone. This makes the screen smudge severely to the point of no visibility in sunlight.
The Glas t protector is a neat addition. You can use it (hopefully) for a year until the oleophobic coating wears off, then just rip it off and either put another one on or just use the screen naked. If naked, it'll perhaps be time to consider an upgrade by the time that coating wears off anyways.
Zagg Dry: Orange peel look, tough protection, high friction, matted finish on battery plate, marks may heal over time, bulletproof warranty
Zagg HD: Smoother feel than Dry/Original, prone to indentation/scratch marks, marks do NOT heal, bulletproof warranty
Spigen Glas t: Made of tempered glass, oleophobic coating (super smooth touch), close to invisible, feels a little fragile (since it's glass), expensive, only limited warranty (defects)
It's my first review, so I apologize for any sloppiness. Will write more reviews on a couple of cases and batteries sometime down the road (after I used them enough).
Happy shopping folks - choose carefully.