Wednesday, March 28, 2012

UltraGlass for iPhone 4S review

About a week ago, a friend of mine bought an iPhone 4S. I advised him to purchase a screen protector and case to protect his expensive investment but he declined. Within a week his iPhone has already sported a visible thin long scratch plus other tiny marks. Yes, this is a first world problem, but when you are spending over £500 on a device, the least you should do is protect your investment from such minor things.At least it stops it from devaluing faster than it should.

The screen protector I am reviewing here today isn't a conventional type. This isn't your typical flimsy plastic kind that requires you to change every few months. The UltraGlass is a series of screen protector made of tempered glass. Yes, glass. The UltraGlass I was sent is made to fit specifically for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. It is available in four colours, black, white, red and blue.

There are a couple of advantages for the UltraGlass in comparison to normal film-like screen protectors. As the glass is about 0.5mm thick, it protects not only your smartphone's screen from scratches but also bumps (it won't prevent your iPhone's screen from cracking due to edge drops, so do invest in a bumper). You would not be getting any bubbles with this as well as only the coloured bits of the protector are sticky in nature. Removing it and reapplying is as simply as that, and there is less worry of lint and dust getting stuck accidentally on the protector. On the other hand, the adhesive does wear off with each removal, so this isn't a protector that can be removed and reused infinitely.
I was initially skeptical about the UltraGlass. I had a similar product for my Samsung Galaxy S II once and while it was nice, it reduced the sensitivity a little bit. Not so with the UltraGlass. The iPhone 4S's screen remains highly sensitivity to use and swipe on all corners. It didn't seem that the Ultra Glass had any effect on the ability of the iPhone to do what it was supposed to, down to brightness and contrast of the screen. In fact, it felt like I was using a naked iPhone and the only clue there was a screen protector on it was iPhone's home button which sat 0.5mm lower than the protector.

So far so good, but there is an issue that you should be aware of. The UltraGlass, because of how well it fits on the iPhone, wouldn't work with certain hard cases. We have a bumper-like hard case here that extends towards the screen slightly, pushing against the UltraGlass screen protector causing it to push out slightly. This reduces the sensitivity in such a way that the screen became unusable. While this isn't the fault of the makers of UltraGlass, it is worth pointing out especially if you are fond of a case that may cause issues.

At £23, the UltraGlass are pricey, but it is a price worth paying for a screen protector that offers great protection whilst having little effect on touch sensitivity and screen legibility, and one that the makers promise will be long lasting. I will be updating this review in the next couple of months to see how the UltraGlass holds up to everyday use.

Many thanks to MobileFun for supplying a review unit. You can get the UltraGlass here. They also sell various other mobile phone screen protectors.

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