ZAGG InvisibleSHIELD for iPhone 4 has Problems

| In-Depth Review

Zagg boxThe ZAGG invisibleSHIELD for iPhone 4 is a set of thin, adhesive plastic strips designed to be stuck to the stainless steel edge of the iPhone 4. The claim is that it provides insulation sufficient to allow better signal reception.

Out of Box Experience

Inside the large 4-1/2 x 8-inch cardboard packaging is a small plastic bag, 3 x 4-1/2 inches. Inside that is the master piece of plastic, 1-1/2 x 4-1/4 that has the precut pieces on the surface. Each tiny piece, 0.2 mm thick, is designed to be placed at various locations on the edge of the iPhone 4.

Installation

The plastic master has the various pre-cut pieces. There is no difference in color or contrast, so exceptional eyesight and lighting are required to determine where each strip is, not to mention where it goes. Applying the strip requires one to peel it off the master and apply it to the edge of the phone. I found that I couldn’t make out all the pieces on the master, no matter what kind of lighting I used. As a result, seeing where to peel and actually getting a grip so one could, in fact, peel was difficult.

Applying the pieces perfectly the first time was impossible. I had to reposition the plastic strips a couple of times. In the process, I got finger prints on the sticky side and an occasional bubble. It wasn’t as pretty as the ads suggest.

Zagg glamour

Once the pieces are positioned, the edges clearly stand out, and that, in my mind, detracts rom the aesthetics of the stainless steel edge. It seemed to me that with enough wear and tear, the edges would also start to curl and lose their adhesion, and in fact, that started happening to me right away.

Documentation

None supplied with the packaging I was sent.

Testing

I have learned how to hold my iPhone 4 so that I can kill off the signal bars one by one, even with the 3G Microcell. Basically, I hold the iP4 in my left had with the palm of my hand completely covering the left side of the phone. That brings me down to one bar in a few seconds. (Note, I can still place a call with one bar.)

After applying the invisibleSHIELD, in a one time test, I couldn’t get the bars to go lower than two. Later, because I wasn’t able to apply the unlabeled strips where they were supposed to be, I tried to use other strips to cover the gap on the left side. (Not a recommended approach) That allowed the phone to go down to one bar. So one has to make sure every strip goes where it’s supposed to, but without a map, you’re on your own to figure that out.

Summary

ZAGG provides a video that shows how this thin layer of plastic solves the iPhone 4 antenna problem. Because the product was hard to understand and hard to apply, I couldn’t authenticate this claim.

Another problem is that the graphics used on the website to represent the product is a stylized image with lots of uniformity and pretty reflections. No photos are shown of what the product actually looks like after application.

I believe it will be a challenge, given the state of the product, without documentation and without better markings to identify each strip, for any normal person to apply these very tiny strips to the phone accurately and keep them there. Finally, my personal opinion is that products like this strain one’s vision, patience and hand-eye coordination to the limit and one’s money is better spent on a bumper or case.

Product: invisibleShield 4FIX Band/Antenna Coverage

Company: ZAGG

List Price: US$9.99

Pros:

None noted.

Cons:

Hard to remove from master, hard to apply, no documentation or hints on successful application.

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11 Comments Leave Your Own

dlstarr7

I love my Invisible Shield.  I suggest finding a retail store or kiosk and having them install it for you.

jimothy

I found these instructions on Zagg’s website that offer a legend to where the various pieces go:

http://www.zagg.com/downloads/iphone4FIXdiagram.pdf

brett_x

I loved my invisible shield for my iPod Touch, but the one for my iPhone 3GS doesn’t fit nearly as well. THe front is fine, but the back is too curved for it to be 100%. I just want it to prevent my keys from scratching the hell out of it, and it does that just fine, But the installation was a bitch compared to the iPod Touch.
As for peeling.. they have a lifetime warranty. Zagg will replace it for you if that happens.

acdc1174

I have the invisible Shield for my iPad and I love it.  No complaints whatsoever.  My wife and I got it for our iPhone 4s and both of us have had them peel off.  Especially on the back of the phone.  I’ve moved on to an Otterbox and my wife to an Incase wallet.  Apparently there is a lot of discussion on the Zagg forums About these and the iPhone 4. It’s a shame.  I really do love it on my iPad.

iPhone_Homie

I’d ordered side kit (4Fix) from Zagg over the weekend then saw the Best Buy giveaway and picked up an extra set from BB. Agree that there should be instructions, but I went online and found the pdf template. 

Agree the install was very tedious. I used tweezers to hold a small piece of the corner of each strip to avoid fingerprints and dirt. My install was pretty flawless—only had one small bubble on one strip.  Key is to do minimal repositioning.

I love the added grip. The look is good.  You can see the edges if you look closely but in my opinion this doesn’t detract form the aesthetics. I’m concerned about the durability (getting dirty and peeling off), but the adhesive seems good and it seems to take better to stainless steel vs plastic.

I’ve only been able to recreate the “death grip” issue once in a very low signal area. I live in an area with solid coverage, so I can’t determine if the Zagg improves the antenna issue.

I wish Zagg would drop the price. $9.99 seems a little steep.

Dweezy

I just bought the full body InvisibleShield from Zagg for my new iPhone 4 and it works like a charm! Check out my blog post here: http://dweezys.blogspot.com/2010/08/tips-and-tricks-for-installing-zagg.html.

It’ll give you tips and tricks to making the perfect installation. Lots of pictures inside!

Jerry

I certainly agree with this post as I have InvisibleShield installed on my iPhone before.  Figuring out how to install the shield perfectly could bring you a lot of hassle especially if primarily the product?s design is not efficiently and precisely cut. Provided that Zagg?s InvisibleShield would cost you more or less $25; this is just way too expensive for a plastic cover. Fortunately, I came to visit GadgetShieldz.com and found out that it offers the best price of shields in the market today; that?s around $7. They also claim that with its efficient designs, the shields help in solving the iPhone 4 antenna issue by covering the side antennas with the transparent film. Btw, they also offer free worldwide shipping!

podcastpatrick

invisibleSHIELD is the only product I’ll use for my electronic devices.  While easy to install, I always have somebody install it for me.

Pedro J

I agree 100 percent, this product is crap SAVE YOUR MONEY

?

My dad did it inhalf an hour, the FULL body, perfectly.

londonburns

I purchased two of these, one for my iphone 4 and one for my daughters. Both were tricky to apply. Not a problem, if they offered the level of protection promised.
My daughter’s rear shield peeled off within a week. Eventually her front sheild also peeled off (once they peel, there’s no re-applying).
My shields are also loose around the edges and are about to peel off. I’m not very happy with the longevitiy of this product - especially given the price. You’re better off with a cheap screen protector and light case!

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