- Screen protectors are essential for protecting smartphones and tablets from impact and scratches, as well as preventing the spread of bacteria.
- They can absorb and disperse energy from falls, protecting the main screen of the device.
- Screen protectors also offer antimicrobial protection, eliminating 99% of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that may be on the device’s surface.
- They can filter out blue light emitted from screens, reducing eye strain and potential damage to the eyes.
- Privacy screen protectors limit the viewing angles of the screen, preventing visual hacking and protecting sensitive information.
Smartphones and tablets have become many people’s most beloved companions. In addition to photos and music, they carry our social media apps, banking accounts, health data, and home security software.
Being unable to access our smartphone or tablet for a day or two because of a broken screen can really disrupt our lives. However, it is not uncommon for a shattered screen to render a mobile device unusable for weeks and even months.
We’ve seen many spend big bucks on a smartphone and a protective case, and within a few months, the screen is broken. Why not guard your mobile device with a screen protector and ward off any potential problems that come with accidental falls, blue light emission, and bacterial accumulation?
If you want to navigate the evolving digital landscape with confidence, you have to be willing to add an extra layer of protection to your smartphone or tablet. Buy the necessary accessories, such as a screen protector, to help protect and keep the devices in a pristine condition.
Let us explain the biggest reasons why you should buy a screen protector today!
Nearly everyone, however careful, has experienced those clumsy moments when the phone slips from your hand onto hard floors. Before smartphones, the worst encounters were the phone’s battery coming off and the casing cracking. Despite it sounding (and looking) bad, you could simply pick up the pieces, put them together with some bandaging and continue using your phone.
However, with smartphones and tablets, the story is different. A deep fear grips you as you silently pray (or loudly curse), hoping the screen is safe. Depending on the intensity of the fall and the surface, you can have either a cracked or a shattered screen. This is the main reason why people buy screen protectors.
The screen protector absorbs and disperses energy from impact. It will protect your device’s main screen so long as the drop shock is not more than what it can handle. It is important to note that protectors have advanced layers of polymers that can withstand hard knocks and drops. Besides, they are cheaper to replace than the mobile device’s main screen.
Despite warnings against putting phones in the pocket with keys or other objects, we still do, unconsciously. Consequently, the screen gathers scratches, causing it to become weaker and more susceptible to breaking on the slightest impact.
Besides weakening the screen, the scratches also destroy the phone’s aesthetics, making it look older than it really is. If you desire to resell it, such scratches will significantly lower its resale value.
However, a screen protector will shield your device’s main screen from these scratches. The beauty is that you can replace it whenever it starts to give your device a hazy and ugly look.
There is a chance that your phone or tablet screen could be harboring a variety of harmful bacteria. Mobile devices carry ten times more dangerous pathogens than most toilet seats. You can better safeguard yourself against any disease-causing bacteria that may be growing on your touch device by installing an antimicrobial screen protector.
Many screen protectors come with a special coating that can eradicate 99% of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that tend to crawl on your device’s surface. Antimicrobial screen protectors aren’t just designed for health workers. The truth is, we can all benefit from this type of screen guard.
Have you ever wondered why you get migraines whenever you spend too much time looking at a screen? It is due to exposure to blue light emitted from your electronic device. Overusing your smartphone or tablet can cause screen headaches and migraines.
Also, note that using your mobile device in a place with high light intensity, such as outdoors, can damage your eyes over time. So, if you find yourself squinting your eyes because of the reflection from the screen, install an anti-reflective (AR) screen protector. It is a simple solution to digital eye strain syndrome.
How Does It Work?
As light hits your device’s screen, the AR material bends certain wavelengths, reducing the UV rays reaching your eyes. As a result, it filters out blue light from your phone or tablet, increasing screen readability and allowing you to use your device under direct sunlight comfortably.
You can also use anti-glare screen guards for additional eye protection. Though usually used interchangeably with AR screen protectors, they are different. AR screen guards are designed to filter out UV lights from both the phone and the environment, while anti-glare protectors only reduce the reflection of light from the environment.
Despite the differences, both help protect your eyes from harmful, high-energy visible light emitted from your display. Studies have shown that too much exposure to blue light increases the rate of macular degeneration, cataracts, and eye cancers.
Visual Hacking Protection
Ever caught someone peeping over your shoulders while you text? Or have you been guilty of doing this?
While some people are simply curious and only want to check out what the user is watching or doing on the phone, visual hackers are not harmless. They have mastered the art of stealing your information without detection and have become better at it, especially in public spaces.
That’s why you need privacy screen guards. They are a special type of protector that use micro louver technology to limit the viewing angles of your phone. With these, the content on the screen is only clear to the person looking at it directly. Viewers from the side will see a blurred or dark screen. This makes privacy protectors very useful when accessing, viewing, or inputting sensitive information on your phone or tablet while in a public space.
There are two types of privacy screen guards with an extra layer to limit the angle from which one views the screen. You can choose a 2-way privacy screen guard or a 4-way privacy screen guard. The 2-way filter prevents viewing from left and right. 4-way privacy filters, on the other hand, prevent unwanted insights into your screen from all four sides: left, right, top, and bottom.
Prevention of Fingerprint Smudges
Scratches and cracks make a phone unusable, but nothing leaves an ugly look like oily fingerprints. When the phone’s screen is off, you can see all the swipes, dots, and prints, and however much you wipe and wash your hands, these marks will still remain on your device’s main screen. It is also impractical to wipe the screen each time you use it.
A screen protector offers the best solution against unpleasant marks. Most screen protectors come with an oleophobic coating that is oil resistant. This ensures fingerprints won’t ruin your device’s screen.
The anti-smudge coating does not make the screen less sensitive to touch. In fact, on the contrary, it offers smooth, frictionless scrolling. So, a screen protector with the best oleophobic coating will help prevent your smartphone’s or tablet’s screen from gathering fingerprints. It will also improve your touch experience.
Common Screen Protector Materials
Now that you know the benefits of having a screen protector, let’s take a look at the different types of screen protectors on the market.
For the most part, you can use only one type at a time. However, some can be used together without making the screen much thicker. It all depends on the level of protection you are looking to achieve.
While you can get all the above benefits from any of the types discussed here, remember some are better in certain aspects than others.
- Tempered glass
- Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
- Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)
Tempered glass screen protectors are the strongest and offer the highest level of protection against drop impact and scratches. They contain multiple layers, including anti-glare, anti-reflective, oleophobic nano-coating, and privacy filters.
You can also opt for one with a reflective surface, which you can use as a mirror when the screen is off. It can come in handy when you need to check yourself and there is no mirror at hand or you are in a setting where using a handheld mirror would draw unwarranted attention.
Though they offer better resistance to drops and scratches, tempered glass protectors have some downsides. They are expensive and thicker than high-grade plastic options. Also, on extreme impact, they shatter, leaving an ugly appearance that requires replacement. Nonetheless, they are a better option than replacing the device’s screen.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
PET is the plastic used in the making of water bottles. It is light and almost unnoticeable when added to a phone or tablet screen. It is also the cheapest option on the list. However, this does not mean PET screen protectors are unreliable, but the truth is they are not as strong as tempered glass and thermoplastic polyurethane.
They provide a smooth layer and are suitable for scratch protection, however, they offer no impact protection or any other benefit. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)
If you need a high-grade plastic screen protector with edge-to-edge protection, go for thermoplastic polyurethane. It is more rubbery than PET, making it better for abrasion resistance and impact protection.
It is also scratch-proof. However, it is not as smooth as the two above, can be notoriously tricky to apply, and adds an off-color hue to the phone’s screen.
Vendors and manufacturers claim that these liquid coatings can protect against scratching and impact. In fact, some of them feature an antimicrobial coating, meaning they can protect you from disease-causing microbes.
Unlike the PET, TPU, and tempered glass protectors that require you to consider the phone’s measurements and screen design, nano-liquid protectors can fit on any screen. The only challenge is that you can only use the liquid on top of a different screen protector.
Remember that you cannot remove the nano-liquid once applied, so you have to wait until it wears off —unfortunately, there are no visible ways of knowing when the protector has worn off. Also, you can never tell between the protector and the screen.
The Best Screen Protectors to Buy Today
Screen protectors are designed for specific device models. So, you should look for a protective screen that fits your particular phone or tablet and matches the level of protection you are looking for.
Generally, tempered glass screen protectors are the strongest, liquid protectors are often the most expensive and long-lasting option, and polyurethane protectors are the most elastic and transparent. In contrast, polyethylene terephthalate protectors are the lightest and often most affordable.
Check out our top 4 picks below.
Best Overall: amFilm
- Compatible with iPhone 14 6.1", iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro 6.1"
- Tempered glass
- Edge-to-edge full coverage
- Easy installation kit included
amFilm OneTouch offers optimum protection. It is an excellent choice for iPhone 14 16.1, iPhone 13, and 13 Pro users looking for top-notch transparency and maximum reliability.
The 9h tempered glass protector is resilient regardless of physical damage and scratches. It features an oleophobic coating, meaning it prevents fingerprints and smudges from showing all over your device’s screen.
Best Budget-Friendly: JETech
- For Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 11-inch
- Easy installation frame included
- Tempered glass film
- HD Clear
If you own a Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 11-inch display and want to balance protection and cost, get the JETech screen protector.
Known for offering top-quality protection at an affordable price, JETech caters to nearly all phone models. You will likely get a highly-damage-resistant tempered glass protector for your display without spending big bucks. That said, remember to check the series number before purchasing.
Best for Tablets: Ailun Screen Protector
- For iPad Air 4/5 generations
- Tempered glass
- Easy installation
Protect your iPad against scratches and drop impact with this Ailun screen protector. It is made from 9h tempered glass and allows minimum to zero damage and scratches. The Ailun is designed for iPad Air 5, iPad Air 4, and iPad Pro 11 and has been voted among the best guards for these iPads. It is a crystal clear, easy-to-install Face ID and Apple pencil-compatible screen protector with an oleophobic coating.
Best for Screen Privacy: Zagg InvisibleShield Glass Screen Protector
- 360-degree screen protection
- For iPhone 14/13/13 Pro
- Four-way privacy filter
- 5x tougher
- Anti-fingerprint technology
- Easy to install
Do you want to shield the content on your iPhone 14,13 or 13 Pro screen from those around you? Zagg InvisibleShield Glass Elite offers 360-degree protection against visual hackers. It is an easy-to-install protector equipped with anti-fingerprint and anti-microbial coating.
Made of ion exchange technology, Zagg InvisibleShield glass is 4x tougher than traditional glass screen protectors. It offers greater strength and excellent scratch resistance capabilities. Its edges are reinforced to prevent chipping and cracking, giving your screen a seamless look.
Smartphones and tablets are expensive, and repairing their screens can cost up to a third of the price of a new phone. Screen protectors are cheaper and help keep your tablet and phone screen in one piece protecting you from costly screen repairs and replacements. However, it is worth noting that protectors will only safeguard the front part of your gadget. You will need a quality case to protect the back, corners, and edges.
|Impact Protection||Screen protectors absorb and disperse energy from impact, protecting the device’s main screen from damage due to falls.|
|Scratch Protection||Screen protectors shield the device’s main screen from scratches, which can weaken the screen and lower its resale value.|
|Antimicrobial Protection||Many screen protectors come with a special coating that can eradicate 99% of bacteria, fungi, and viruses on the device’s surface.|
|Eye Protection||Screen protectors can filter out blue light from the device, reducing the risk of digital eye strain syndrome. They can also reduce the reflection of light from the environment.|
|Visual Hacking Protection||Privacy screen guards use micro louver technology to limit the viewing angles of the device, protecting sensitive information from visual hackers.|
|Prevention of Fingerprint Smudges||Screen protectors with an oleophobic coating are resistant to oil, preventing fingerprints from smudging the device’s screen.|
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Nor Gal/Shutterstock.com.