It's been said by many that smartphones are the 21st century's Swiss army knife.
We depend on our phones for everything.
They're our alarms that wake us up, our credit cards when we're shopping, and our flashlights when it's dark. Heck, most of us would literally be lost without our GPS!
It's hard to imagine how we'd function if our smartphones were ever damaged or broken. That's why investing in accessories that protect our phones is a must.
Most people have phone cases, but not everyone invests in a screen protector. Take it from us, this may be the most controversial subject in our field. People either love screen protectors, or hate them.
But even if you're not a fan, putting your screen at risk without a protector is a potentially fatal mistake—at least for your smartphone.
At the same time, with so many screen protectors on the market, it's hard to know which one will provide the best protection for your phone.
Never fear! We've prepared this guide to help you find the best screen protectors on the market.
What Is A Screen Protector?
While phone screens these days are more durable than they were when the first iPhone made its debut, they are still made of glass. The last thing you want after spending a small fortune on the latest Galaxy or Pixel or Apple device, is for the glass to shatter or crack, even by a hairline.
That's where a screen protector can help you.
A screen protector is a transparent film or sheet that you can install over your phone screen. It provides a protective layer, shielding your phone screen from the elements.
Most phone screen protectors are made of tempered glass or some kind of plastic. These plastics include materials such as polyethylene terephthalate, also known as PET, and thermoplastic polyurethane, also known as TPU.
What Can A Screen Protector Guard Your Phone Against?
Have you ever shattered your phone screen before? If so, you know how painful it can be both when it happens and when you try to continue using your screen.
Depending on how bad the damage is, sometimes you can often still use your phone with a shattered screen. But it makes the experience much worse. Often, though, the damage is so bad you can't use your phone at all.
There are many methods to fix shattered screens at home. However, it doesn't always work and that's IF you can get access to the proper parts for newer phones. If you've shattered your phone screen and want to have it fixed, it's best to leave it to the professionals.
Obviously, getting your screen repaired or replaced can be expensive.
And having a clear, scratch-free screen isn't just about avoiding repairs or a bad experience, it's also about resale value.
If you want to sell your phone when the next model comes out, you won't get much if your screen is covered in nicks and scratches.
How does that happen? There are actually too many ways phone screens can get scratched to list here. However, there are several repeat offenders that you should be aware of.
We've compiled the following list of things that a screen protector can guard your phone against.
Compared to a shattered screen, a phone screen with a few scratches may seem minor. However, if you want to maximize your resale value, you'll want to ensure its appearance is well-maintained.
The truth is you don't have to drop your phone from very high to damage your phone's screen. If you ever leave your phone in a bag, chances are your screen will quickly accrue nicks and scuffs from other items in the bag.
Keys and loose coins are the biggest culprits.
A decent screen protector should guard your phone screen against minor scratches with ease.
If you enjoy the outdoors, it's always advisable to invest in a phone case specifically designed to protect your phone from outside elements. With that said, a screen protector can provide an added layer of protection against any moisture trying to sneak its way into your phone.
Rain, mist, and humidity can all do damage to both your phone and your screen. But water damage to your phone screen can be particularly insidious. Water can completely prevent your touch capabilities from functioning.
If that happens, you'll need a new phone screen for sure.
While many newer phone models claim to be water-resistant, more protection is always better. As mentioned, replacing your phone screen is expensive, and buying a new phone is not always the best option.
Investing in a budget-friendly (as most are) screen protector could save you a lot of money and hassle.
If you're prone to clumsiness, a screen protector will save you from a lot of heartaches and headaches. There are phone cases that can withstand military-grade testing and protect your phone if you drop it in most circumstances.
You might think that one of these cases would be enough to protect your phone from the damage of impact.
However, if you don't have a screen protector on your phone as well, your screen will be vulnerable. A case can protect from a lot of situations, but if your screen landed flat on a jagged or pointed object there's no case in the world that can protect against that.
A screen protector, on the other hand, can cover you when and where a case can't.
Many people keep their phones in their pockets, mixed in with change, keys, lighters, pocketknives, and other everyday carry that all eventually comes into contact with your screen. And surprisingly, people who wear skinny jeans are the most at risk.
Skinny jeans have been known to bend phones.
While this seems to be a problem associated mostly with older Apple iPhone models, it's not to be ignored. Not only is it dangerous if the battery is compromised, but a bent smartphone will not last long.
But if you're a skinny jean aficionado, don't fear. You don't have to exchange your beloved figure-hugging trousers for a baggier pair.
There is still hope.
Rock those skinny jeans while keeping your phone safe with a screen protector. A strong screen protector can provide the structure needed to prevent your smartphone from bending in your back pocket.
Which Provides the Most Protection: Tempered Glass or Plastic?
The material your screen protector is made of matters.
If you're in the market for a screen protector, there are endless options to choose from. Choosing which material you prefer is the first step.
As mentioned earlier, most phone screen protectors are made from tempered glass or various types of plastic. Once you've done a little research you can decide if you're Team Glass or Team Plastic.
Let's examine the most popular materials and how they compare.
In short, tempered glass is more durable than its plastic counterparts. Sleek and seamless, tempered glass is generally considered the best material on the market for screen protectors.
But doesn't glass shatter easily? How can tempered glass be more durable than plastic?
It's a good question.
Tempered glass is specifically crafted to be more durable than your drinking glasses at home. Tempered glass is made via rapid heating and cooling. Not only does this controlled process significantly increase the strength of the glass, it also changes how it breaks.
Tempered glass does not splinter into jagged shards when it shatters. Instead, it breaks into small, granular pieces that are less likely to cause injury.
Another reason tempered glass screen protectors are more durable than plastic is most tempered glass screen protectors are made up of many layers. They're also generally a bit thicker than plastic screen protectors. This is crucial for protecting your screen from shattering from an impact because the extra thickness helps absorb the shock.
Are you clumsy? If you've got a tempered glass screen protector, you've got no need to worry.
Furthermore, tempered glass screen protectors often provide more coverage. This might seem like a minor element. However, it is crucial if you want to protect your screen from dust, dirt, and water.
Plastic screen protectors don't always reach the very edges of your phone, leaving small gaps for water or dirt to squeeze into. This coverage element means tempered glass screen protectors are more likely to guard your phone against water damage.
Tempered glass is also a good option if you value the appearance of your phone. The tempered glass looks a lot better than plastic, is nicer to touch, and provides more clarity.
It's also easier to clean than plastic options.
One of the few downsides of tempered glass screen protectors is that, unlike plastic, they tend to shatter or crack somewhat easily. It may be inconvenient until you install another screen protector, but at least your phone screen is safe and free of scratches. Plus, they are relatively inexpensive - even the cheaper options can provide sufficient protection.
As a general rule, plastic screen protectors will last a long time, often longer than glass. Depending on the manufacturer and the composition of the plastic, they can also be durable.
However, just because something lasts a long time doesn't mean it is good at what it does. While some plastic screen protectors do a fantastic job, this is not the case for all of them.
As discussed, there are two main types of plastic used to make screen protectors. These include polyethylene terephthalate, also known as PET, and thermoplastic polyurethane, also known as TPU.
Polyethylene terephthalate is commonly used to make kitchen items such as reusable food containers or water bottles. Quality PET screen protectors can be fairly clear. If you get a good one, it can also adequately protect your phone from most minor scratches and abrasions.
PET screen protectors, however, cannot protect your screen from impact. Additionally, they can easily discolor.
While it's not the worst thing that could happen, having a gross yellow tinge on your phone screen is not the greatest experience. Particularly if you've spent a lot of money on a nice new phone.
On the other hand, screen protectors made from thermoplastic polyurethane can actually protect your screen from some impact. This is because TPU has elastic qualities. This elasticity is handy in terms of absorbing impact and preventing scratches.
If you're going to get a plastic screen protector, it is best to at least get one made out of TPU.
Which Is Best?
If you're in the market for a screen protector, tempered glass is always a better option than plastic. Not only is it more durable and nicer to use, but it also provides better coverage and absorbs more impact.
That's not to say that there aren't quality plastic options out there. Plastic screen protectors are often a lot cheaper than tempered glass options. If you select a PET screen protector, it will likely come in a pack of three.
Fortunately, tempered glass screen protectors don't have to break the budget. While there are some very pricey options out there, you don't necessarily have to spend the big bucks to access a quality tempered glass screen protector for your phone.
You might be surprised by how cheap they can be!
What to Look for in A Screen Protector?
A quick Google search will reveal there are literally thousands of screen protectors to choose from.
If you're going to go through the effort of purchasing a screen protector for your phone, you might as well invest in a decent one. This doesn't mean you need to break the bank - there are many quality, affordable screen protectors on the market.
However, as we've established, not all screen protectors are made equal.
If you're in the market for a screen protector to keep your phone safe, there are features you should look for.
As the name suggests, shatter-resistant screen covers do not break easily. It's sometimes referred to as "impact-resistant".
Phone screen protectors with shatter-resistant qualities are usually made out of tempered glass. As we've discussed, tempered glass has undergone controlled temperate changes to strengthen it.
Shatter-resistant tempered glass will have undergone this temperate exposure process several times. Alternatively, it may have been treated with particular chemicals. Either way, shatter-resistant tempered glass is particularly strong.
It is impossible to guarantee that a particular screen protector will never break.
However, shatter-resistant screen protectors are a lot less likely to break. Regardless of how many times tempered glass has been through the temperature exposure process, it is still glass.
And glass can always break.
It's worth noting that shatter-resistant cases are not exclusively made of glass. A good quality thermoplastic polyurethane screen protector may also be "shatter-resistant".
Easy to Install
Installing a phone screen protector may seem like a simple process. And in many cases, it is.
Peel a plastic film off the screen protector and stick it to your phone screen.
Well, there's a little more to it than that, as we will discuss later. But that's the general gist.
However, the process to install some screen protectors can be tricky and complex. You could pay a specialist to install the screen protector for you. Or you could avoid the hassle and ensure the screen protector you purchase is simple to install.
The main thing to keep in mind is that there are two main ways screen protectors can be installed: dry or wet.
Yes, you read that right. Wet installation.
Wet installation is a little more complex than the aforementioned peel-and-stick method.
It involves applying liquid adhesive glue to the screen protector and attaching it to your phone screen. There are usually a few more steps to it than that, but that is the gist. The screen protector will usually come with a tool to remove bubbles and extra glue from your phone.
Some brands will include a specially-designed stand to hold your phone while you perform the installation. Some of the glues that come with these screen protectors require UV lighting to use.
Either way, it's much simpler to avoid wet installation if you can. If not, it's best to leave it to the professionals and hire a specialist to install it for you.
Alternatively, you could simply purchase a screen protector with an easy installation process.
It's up to you!
If you're in the market for a quality, tempered glass screen protector, you could easily spend upwards of $50. If the screen protector you purchase requires a wet installation, paying a specialist to install it for you could cost as much as you pay for the screen protector itself.
Many of these expensive screen protector options may offer quality. The thing is you don't need to spend $50 for high quality, tempered glass screen protectors.
Here at SUPCASE, our quality screen protectors are made from tempered glass. And, depending on the model of your phone, will only set you back about $9.95.
That's a huge saving.
Comes with A Warranty
A warranty is a good way to decipher whether or not a company believes the product it manufactures and sells is a quality product. If the company believes in the product, you can have more confidence in purchasing it.
A warranty is essentially a guarantee from a business that the product they are selling you will meet certain standards. If the product fails to meet these standards, the business will normally commit to either replacing or fixing the defective product within a given timeframe.
If you're going to go through the effort of purchasing a screen protector for your phone, it's worth getting one that comes with a warranty. You don't want to go through the hassle of doing your research, purchasing, and installing a screen protector, only for it to fail to protect your phone.
A warranty can give you extra confidence that the product you are purchasing is worth investing in.
Won't Dull the Appearance of Your Screen
If you've spent a small fortune on a new Apple iPhone or Galaxy, you want to fully experience the high-resolution display. The last thing you want is to ruin the view with a tacky screen protector that retains oily fingerprint marks and dulls your display.
Quality, tempered glass screen protectors can solve this issue.
When cleaned appropriately, tempered glass can enhance your display. Plus, it won't discolor like PET.
While this isn't a feature of the screen protector itself, one way to tell whether or not a particular screen protector is worth buying is the reviews it receives online.
If a product has consistently poor reviews, you know it's not worth investing in. However, if a product has good reviews - even one or two - it might be a product worth considering.
Guard Your Phone with A Screen Protector
Whether we like to admit it or not, we all rely on our phones to function. Smartphones are valuable tools that make performing everyday tasks a lot easier.
If you've ever broken your phone and had to take it in for repairs, you know how hard it can be navigating life with a broken phone. Luckily, all it takes is a few simple precautions to protect your investment.
Sure, lots of people use phone cases to protect their cellphones. But phone cases don't always provide adequate protection for your screen.
While a screen protector cannot guarantee that your phone will never be damaged, it's an easy way to add a layer of protection to your phone. The screen protector you choose to purchase will determine its level of protection.
Here at SUPCASE, we believe high-quality protective phone accessories shouldn't cost you a small fortune. Check out our great range of affordable screen protectors.