The iPhone set a new benchmark in terms of smartphone design and more than two years after it first hit the market it is one of the sexiest mobiles around. However, these good looks come at a price and a single scratch to any of its glossy surfaces can spoil the look of the thing and irritate for years. Most people resort to cases or covers which protect the whole body of the phone. Whether you pick leather or silicone you will be able to reduce the risk of scratching the iPhone, but you will also have to add to the bulk and weight of the device, ultimately spoiling the look. There are alternatives, in the shape of self-adhesive film coatings which you have to apply to the body of the iPhone. Though there are several different products in this category, we shall examine just one in depth, the Zagg Invisible Shield.
The Zagg Invisible Shield is designed to protect your iPhone or iPod Touch against dust, scratches and scrapes and the thin film covering is supposed to blend into the design of the device completely to allow for the standard look and feel of the phone to be retained whilst protection is improved. Zagg claims you should only ever need a single Invisible Shield to last you throughout the lifespan of the iPhone and if their product is ever damaged they will you provide you with a free replacement. The lifetime guarantee should at least persuade you that Zagg has confidence in its products.
In The Box
The Zagg Invisible Shield is one of the more expensive film coatings available for the iPhone, but you do get a decent selection of items inside each kit. As well as the protective films for the front and rear of your iPhone, there is a small rubber squeegee to help you apply the film, as well as a spray containing the water-based adhesive solution to allow for firm application.
Applying the Invisible Shield
You should set aside a bit of your spare time to make sure you can carefully install the Invisible Shield on your iPhone. Rushing things will result in a poor finish and will mean you will only have to start the process over again. First you need to clean up your iPhone, making sure to remove any dust, dirt and greasy fingerprints from the outside surface. If you miss any they will stay lodged under the film until such time as you choose to remove the Invisible Shield. Make sure you clean the iPhone carefully and with a soft cloth to avoid scratching the surface of the screen or the rear case.
The film sections of the Invisible Shield are attached to paper backing and you need to peel them off to apply them. Once you have peeled them off, it is a case of spraying on the adhesive solution to coat the film and then pressing them both down onto the surface of your iPhone, making sure you are placing the correct film on the correct area. To smooth out the film once it is in place and to remove any air bubbles or remaining adhesive solution, you will need to use the included squeegee. The film that covers the screen is simple to install as it is simply a flat section, but for the rear there are flaps which cosy up to the curved sides and corners. For this you need to apply the rear film to the flat portion of the back of the iPhone, leave the solution to dry and then return later to finish off the corners. This can be rather fiddly to perform and obviously makes the task more time consuming. It also requires a degree of dexterity and patience and if you are looking for a quick fix to the problem of scratches then the Invisible Shield is not the product for you.
Interaction after Installation
If you are worried that the iPhone would be less responsive after the Invisible Shield was installed then allay your fears, as the film coating does not dampen the capabilities of the touch screen interface whatsoever. The one thing that does change is the way that the iPhone feels; the plastic film coats over the glass screen, which may take a little getting used to even if it does not actually alter the performance of the phone.
The Invisible Shield is extremely thin, so the iPhone still looks and weighs exactly the same as it did before. The film is also very, very strong. Scratching it in day to day use will be impossible and after a long period of protection using the Invisible Shield it will be easy to see why Zagg were so confident in their product.
If you are not a particularly practical person then avoid the Zagg Invisible Shield. The installation can be a little frustrating if you are not in the right frame of mind. However, if you want to cushion the iPhone from the wear and tear of frequent use and you have steady hands, then the Invisible Shield is the least obtrusive form of protection on the market. It is available from the mobile fun website.