You Probably Don’t Need a Screen Protector

A man applies a screen protector on his phone.
Nor Gal / Shutterstock

Screen protectors are sold as a necessity, but they are not as useful as before. In fact, the screen protector can save you money and make your phone more enjoyable to use.

Gorilla glass is harder than base metals

The original iPhone was the first smartphone to use a glass screen instead of a plastic screen. But Apple did not use any glass; The company relied on a “Gorilla Glass” developed by a company called Corning.

Today, Corning supplies Gorilla Glass to most smartphone manufacturers. Gorilla Glass 6, Corning’s newest formula, is harder than the glass supplied with the original iPhone (or even the glass that came with your latest phone). Gorilla Glass is harder than the common metals found in keys and knives, and can withstand being repeatedly thrown to the ground.

In other words, your phone’s screen is much harder to break than before. Screen protectors were once an essential element, but they are no longer a necessity these days. But Gorilla Glass is not perfect, right? Are there not situations that require a screen protector?

Screen protectors are (sometimes) useful

A man takes his broken phone to the ground. He is sad.
Vera Petruina / Shutterstock

The screen protectors look disgusting. They scratch quickly and make your screen less dynamic. In addition, plastic screen protectors retain finger fat very well, which is a stark reminder of the myriad of bodily functions of humanity.

But screen protectors are not useless yet. Gorilla glass can be tough enough to withstand a good fall, but it can still be scratched by rocks, sand, and rare metals (such as diamonds). If your phone skids over a gravel parking lot, your phone will feel like falling. It will be covered with micro-scratches if you stick it in a sand pocket.

When was the last time one of these things happened to you? Strange accidents do not happen so often. Of course, it’s nice to have a screen protector when something terrible happens. And hey, if you are working on a battlefield or if you have a very bad luck, a screen protector is probably worth buying. But for most people, abnormal accidents are so rare that a screen replacement can be cheaper, simpler and more bearable than installing a new screen protector every month.

Consider carrier insurance or local repair shops

A phone repairer opens a phone to replace his screen.
Vlad Teodor / Shutterstock

Screen protectors are not as important as before. They add a little extra protection to your phone, but this extra protection is not always necessary. Think of it as wearing kneepads while riding a bike. They are very ugly, but they could be useful during an abnormal accident.

The problem is that phone screens are quite easy to replace (easier than your kneecaps). A local repair shop should be able to replace the screen of your phone for around $ 100 – which is not far from what you could pay for screen protections worth $ 15 per year. If you do not mind going to a store and interacting with a real human being, the screen protector may be worth ignoring.

You can go further with carrier insurance or Apple Care. Most carrier insurance plans offer screen replacements at a reduced rate, typically between $ 20 and $ 30. Of course, these insurances are a bit expensive (about $ 100 a year), but they also cover lost, stolen and defective devices at a low rate (or free of charge).

Whatever the case may be, screen protectors are no longer a decision of life or death. It is a form of protection that can be replaced or supplemented by carrier insurance or your local repair shop. You will probably not miss your screen protector if you choose to drop it.

Okay, but what if I still want a screen protector?

A person applies a plastic screen protector on his phone.
PRESSLAB / Shutterstock

If you work in the construction industry, if you have a very bad chance or want to resell your phone at the end of the year, use a screen protector. But the screen protectors are of all kinds, so we will look at each type of screen protector to make your job easier.

Here are the four types of screen protectors:

  • Heat-tempered glass: These bad boys are much more resistant than plastic screen protectors, they feel good and they are really easy to apply on your screen. But they can give the impression that your phone is a sparkling toy for kids.
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET): These plastic screen protectors are very cheap, thin, light and smooth. They are difficult to install, and they are not, but they are almost invisible once they are applied to your screen.
  • Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU): Most plastic screen protectors are made of TPU. It is a thin, flexible plastic that looks strange and hard to install. But it’s thinner than glass and tougher than PET screen protectors, so that’s it.
  • Liquid screen protectors: Yes, liquid screen protectors are one thing. They can prevent some scratches, but that’s about it. A liquid screen protector will not save your phone from a disastrous accident, and it’s hard to tell when you’ll need to reapply.

We suggest sticking with tempered glass or PET screen protectors. If you’re tired of the screen protector you’re using, try rotating the cursor over a different type to see how you like it. Or, you know, stop completely using the screen protectors.

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