Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Episode #212

iPhone cases may be great for protecting the back and sides of your iPhone, but most of them offer little or no protection for the screen. After smashing the screen of my iPhone 4s, I’ve used a tempered glass protector on the screen of every iPhone and have yet to damage another iPhone screen.

Tempered Tantrum: Tempered Glass Screen Protectors

I have, however, broken plenty of tempered glass screen protectors—easily a dozen or more over the years. But, a shattered glass protector is better and less expensive than the alternative; my iPhone screen survived intact every time. Since tempered glass screen protectors cost a fraction of an iPhone screen replacement, I consider them an excellent deal.

I buy the cheapest off-brand tempered glass screen protectors I can find on Amazon.com and rarely pay more than $5 or $6 apiece; they usually last a month (or two or three) before they break.

Last year I received a pair of premium glass screen protectors—Invisible Shield Sapphire Defense and BodyGuardz Pure2. Like the cheapies, they were easy to apply; unlike the cheapies, they both include free lifetime replacements.

Last October I tried BodyGuardz Pure2 ($44.95), made with Corning Accessory Glass 2 which is claimed to be 3.5x more scratch resistant, and up to 25% more drop resistant than soda-lime glass. Mine lasted nearly 30 days, so I applied for my free replacement, (which cost $6.44 for shipping and handling), and received it in a couple of weeks.

I then installed the Invisible Shield Sapphire Defense ($49.99), which claims to be the world’s most advanced screen protection, offering 7X more shatter protection than a bare screen. Much to my surprise, I haven’t broken it yet and it still looks as good as it did the day I installed last October.

Invisible Shield Sapphire Defense screen protector

Invisible Shield Sapphire Defense: In service three months and counting…

The Bottom Line:

So, the question is: Do you pay $50 for the world’s most advanced screen protector with a lifetime warranty, or would you be better served by a handful of cheaper tempered glass screen protectors with no warranties?

That’s a tough call. While I’m impressed with Sapphire Defense, and it has saved my screen several times already, I suspect the cheapies will be more economical over time. And, while I appreciate the idea of free replacements, I hate waiting. Finally, it’s likely my next iPhone will have a different screen size or shape, making it a moot point.

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