I don’t care how tough you say your Gorilla or Ion-X glass may be: scratches happen, and just last week when I glanced at my Apple Watch Sport edition I noticed one of my biggest fears, a scratch. Yep, the Ion-X glass on the Apple Watch Sport is not as strong or durable as I thought. Of course, I was basing my confidence level on what the Apple Watch Sport web page says:
To keep the Sport collection models as light as possible, we used aluminosilicate glass — the same material used in the windows of space shuttles and high-speed trains. It’s fortified at the molecular level through ion exchange, with smaller ions being replaced by larger ones to create a surface layer far tougher than ordinary glass.
Unfortunately it may be strong enough to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, but it’s no match for the edge of my oak end table. So naturally, within minutes I had the Amazon app open and my new Skinomi Techskin protector arrived the next day.
Before ordering, however, I did some quick research on screen protectors, having not really ever been satisfied by any for my iPhone. In fact as of this writing I still do not use one on myiPhone. What I learned is that there are basically two styles of protectors: film and tempered glass. The latter, typically being the more expensive of the two materials. Some companies make screen protectors using both while other companies like Clear-Coat don’t (read Clear Coat’s reasoning).
Tempered glass, also known as tougher glass, is a type of glass that breaks differently than normal glass. Instead of shattering into large chunks it crumbles into small, smoother-edged pellets. It’s most commonly used for automobile windshields, but also found in buildings, food service and mobile devices. You have probably heard of Corning’s Gorilla Glass. A tempered glass protector is a multi-layered screen protector. It has a bottom layer of absorbent silicon, PET film and an optically clear adhesive tempered glass and oleophobic coating. It may not be anymore scratch proof than your current mobile devices Gorilla Glass, but it does add an additional layer of strength that just could shatter itself before the manufacturers screen. That alone I think has some value to it.
Film based screen protectors are thin sheets of plastic cut to your devices manufactured screen size. They mainly are a PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and TPU (thermoplastic polyreuthane) material. Unlike tempered glass, they typically only offer protection against light scratching and don’t add any additional strength to the screen which could prevent shattering of the device’s manufactured screen. Often they are cheaper than tempered glass protectors, although, they do tend have more air bubbles if not properly applied.
The Skinomi® TechSkin screen protector that I purchased is a film based product. It came packaged with screen solution, a cleaning cloth, quick 3 step instructions and 6 film protectors for the Apple Watch 42mm Sport.
Putting on the protector was simple and flawless. Spray the screen lightly with the water based solution and then peel a protector off the sheet and apply. The water based solution will allow you to slide it around a little bit. Once you get it perfectly position use a credit card to firmly adhere it and push out any air bubbles. At first, the protector will be a bit blurry, but don’t worry, over the next several hours as the water based solution dries the clarity will restore itself. My only real complaint about the product is the plastic feel is not as smooth as glass and sometimes my touch doesn’t register because of the tackiness from time to time and requires a harder push. Otherwise, it has no air bubbles and already a few scratches so it’s definitely doing its job and protecting my Apple Watch.
- Easy to put on
- Comes with 6 pre-cut pieces of film in the pack
- Includes cleaning cloth which can be used for other things
- No air bubbles and edges have not lifted after 2 weeks of use
- Great value for the price
- Reusable packaging for easy storage
- plastic glare and touch
- easily scratches (scuffed it up with a fingernail, but that’s its job and 6 are included)
For added protection against screen shattering buy the Skinomi tempered glass version 42mm or
buy the Skinomi tempered glass version 38mm. Otherwise the film based product will be suffice.