I really want to add a screen protector to my new Apple iPhone XR, but having watched a number of YouTube install videos, am afraid I will ruin it or have to live with it being misaligned. I know myself, that will drive me crazy. So how can I ensure that I get a good screen protector that’s perfectly installed?
Let’s start out with this observation: Screen protectors for modern devices are a subject of debate. While many people use them to protect their smartphone screens from scratches and other accidents, others insist that the glass itself is so tough that it should be impervious to most all that life throws at it. Certainly Corning and other companies have done amazing work with increasingly tough glass like Gorilla Glass (the latest is Gorilla Glass “Victus”) and its Chinese competitor Dragontail Glass, from Asahi Industries.
Then again, go look at a random group of devices owned by teenagers and odds are that at least half will have screens that are scratched, chipped, cracked or worse. When you live a busy life and have no money to repair broken devices, you learn to live with the crack, scratch or shatter, sometimes to an astonishing degree. Would a screen protector have saved all those devices? Probably not, but it can sure help extend the lifetime of the screens on our favorite devices and is easily replaced once it has absorbed some of the abuse instead of the device screen itself.
But let’s talk about “easily replaced”, because that’s the gist of your question; are screen protectors really easy to put on perfectly? Well, I’ve put on at least thirty different screen protectors and have to say that it’s not incredibly difficult, but it does require calm, steady hands, a pristine workspace and some patience. Sometimes you do end up having to peel the protector screen off and try the placement a second time, which is definitely nerve wracking, and once I did break a glass screen protector while trying to install it. Fortunately the company immediately sent a replacement, as is their policy, but… yes, if you want it to be perfect, it’s not the easiest task in the world.
The Solution Is At Your Local Shopping Center
That’s why you might be quite interested in the Zagg retail outlets where they can not only install the popular Zagg InvisibleShield glass or film screen protector for you, but can custom cut any of hundreds of protectors for larger or odd size devices too. To learn more about it, my daughter and I headed to the Flatiron Crossing Mall Zagg store (kiosk) located near Denver, Colorado, with her iPhone XR. Time for a new screen protector! Smartly placed immediately adjacent to the Apple Store (one of the most popular shops in the mall), the Zagg kiosk featured the low-key but revolutionary InvisibleShield On Demand printer:
This particular kiosk also offered full screen replacements – that’s what the chap with the blue shirt is focused on in the above photo, if you’re curious – but I don’t know if that’s a service offered at all the Zagg kiosks or not. Suffice to say, putting a screen protector on a damaged screen is a bit akin to lipstick on the proverbial pig; better to repair the screen first.
I worked directly with Zagg to line up this visit and they shared that in the United States 80% of customers opt for glass screen protectors and only 20% go for the film option, while overseas the customer preference is almost exactly the opposite, with 80% of international customers having a film protector installed. Both cost about the same and offer approximately the same protection to the device, so it might just be a perception issue in the different regions.
Most importantly, they install the screen protector. Here’s my daughter’s phone getting its new screen protector installed:
Total time was under five minutes and the installer clearly knew his trade and had done many other installs before this one; he worked quickly and confidently with proper tools and, yes, the resultant screen protector is perfect on my daughter’s iPhone:
The cost is comparable to buying a screen protector at, say, the Apple Store, Best Buy or Target, depending on which you opt for, but they do the installation instead of you sweating about it. Zagg also has a replacement warranty; it’s $10 to go back to the kiosk and have them replace a damaged or scratched InvisibleShield with a brand new one, whether you opted for glass or film. How many teenagers would love that deal?
Certainly my daughter was pretty darn psyched to replace her jenky, scratched screen protector with a tough InvisibleShield unit, as you can see:
In terms of the price, it depends on how fancy a screen protector you want. The base glass screen protector, the Glass+ Anti-Glare, prices out at $29.99 installed, with the Glass Elite Privacy at $44.99 and top-end Glass Elite VisionGuard+ at $49.99. Film protectors start lower, with the original InvisibleShield film at a modest $14.99, and the top end antimicrobial Privacy+ and VisionGuard+ at $39.99 installed. The most popular film screen? The HD, which is $19.99 installed. That’s, what, one cup of coffee at Starbucks? 🙂
Suffice to say that I am a proponent of screen protectors for mobile gear, particularly smartphones, because they do take a lot of abuse. And cases. Get a good case for your phone before you regret not having one. Most people can safely manage a “good” install of a screen protector (and some companies even include guides and other devices to help you install it correctly) but if you’re worried about it or just don’t want to be bothered, the Zagg InvisibleShield kiosk at your local shopping center is a pretty solid option. My girl is quite delighted with her new invisible screen protector!
Disclosure: Zagg reached out and asked if we’d like to have a free screen protector installed in return for writing about the experience. Which was really nice of them and perfectly timed given my daughter’s phone screen condition. Thanks, Zagg!