Our smartphones go everywhere with us—on errands, around our house, the beach, and more. These handy little devices help us complete a variety of tasks all day, every day.
Their utility is one of the reasons it’s so painful when our smartphone gets injured, such as a cracked or scratched screen. Another reason we wince is that it’s expensive to fix or replace them.
Fortunately, there are a variety of smartphone cases available to help protect the body of the phone from accidental falls. But what about the screen?
A cracked or shattered screen can make it hard to use your phone, even if the rest of it survived the fall. Have you ever watched someone trying to look past fracture lines on their screen to read an email or look at a picture of a loved one? It’s a painful sight.
Also, fixing a broken screen can be costly if your phone is no longer under warranty. The cost will vary based on your phone’s model, but the price to fix your screen can easily reach $100 or more.
Therefore, some people buy a screen protector to keep their phone’s screen damage-free. But, do screen protectors actually help prevent scratches from everyday objects or prevent your phone’s screen from shattering if you drop it?
Screen protectors are an accessory you can buy to cover your phone’s screen, primarily to protect it from scratches.
If you have an older smartphone—think 2013 or earlier—screen protectors were a must. At that time, the screen’s glass wasn’t able to withstand scratches from everyday use very well.
That said, newer smartphone models typically have screens made from Corning’s Gorilla Glass or other durable, scratch-resistant glass.
Newer versions of Corning’s Gorilla Glass can resist scratches from everyday metal objects like keys and coins and can withstand some types of drops. There is even a newer version, Gorilla Glass 6, that withstood up to 15 waist high drops during the company’s testing. Newer smartphones will likely start incorporating Gorilla Glass 6 soon.
These advances in the durability of the glass used for smartphones has led some to question whether screen protectors are still worth buying.
But, no glass can withstand all falls or scratches from all materials. Screens are likely to shatter when a phone’s corner takes the brunt of the impact from a fall. Unfortunately, this is a common way that a dropped phone hits the ground.
Screen protectors can help prevent your smartphone’s screen from being scratched and sometimes may help prevent a screen from being busted when dropped, particularly when it hits face down. However, protectors are less likely to help if a corner of your phone hits the ground first.
The protectors are adding another layer of protection to your phone’s screen, which is not a bad idea given how often smartphones phones are dropped. Ideally, the screen protector will fit your phone’s screen exactly, which also helps make it unnoticeable. Therefore, if you’re considering buying one, it’s important to find a style that is designed precisely for your phone’s model.
Additionally, even though smartphone screens today are made from highly scratch-resistant glass, some materials will scratch the glass. For example, sand or other materials with hard minerals in them, like quartz, can easily scratch screens. So, if you get sand in your pocket or purse, the sand will cause damage when it rubs against the screen. If you have a screen protector on, however, the screen would be protected from the sand.
But no screen protector can prevent all damage. Also, sometimes, the scratches that appear on a screen protector would not necessarily have scratched the phone’s glass.
A search on-screen protectors can quickly become overwhelming, given the variety of options and features available. Fortunately, protectors are relatively inexpensive, especially if you compare it to the cost of fixing or replacing your phone’s screen. So, it can be relatively inexpensive to switch to a different type if you don’t like the first style you picked.
PET screen protectors are a clear film of plastic that you apply to the screen of your phone. They’re often sold in packs, so you get more than one. This style protector can help prevent some scratches and drops.
They are light and thin, so you typically don’t notice them or feel them when using your phone. Most are designed so a smartphone case will fit over the edges of the film to help prevent dust from getting beneath it. These covers are easy to wipe clean.
On the downside, they often don’t provide as much scratch-resistant protection compared to tempered glass. Additionally, you have to be careful when applying them to prevent getting bubbles underneath, though some brands are designed to minimize bubbles.
These types of protectors are made from flexible plastic. They can fit from edge-to-edge on your phone. The edges typically fit under your case and have some self-healing abilities for minor scratches. Some people report feeling this type provides better protection than PET-style protectors, but there is no definitive research to date.
Unfortunately, some people find this style difficult to apply since it involves using a spray or liquid to wet-apply the cover. Some reviews indicate that this style can feel rubbery and have more finger drag when using the phone, which could interfere with some types of gaming. Some brands might yellow with time due to exposure to the sun and other elements.
However, some products, like the IQ Shield brand, report their protectors do not yellow and have a more natural feel.
Overall, most reports indicate tempered glass has the best durability and scratch-protection of available screen protectors since these products are thicker than the plastic film style.
Additionally, tempered glass is very transparent and provides a clear display. It is sensitive to the touch and offers an experience similar to using your phone without a screen protector.
These products are easy to install and to keep clean. They come in a variety of sizes, so it’s important to find a product designed for your particular smartphone model.
However, while it does offer good scratch and drop protection, it can break due to a drop. Fortunately, tempered glass is designed to crumble into small pieces if it’s shattered so your original screen should be protected in those situations.
If you decide to buy a screen protector, you’ll see lots of terms describing different features such as oleophobic nano-coating, 9H hardness, and more. But, what features do you need and what do they mean?
The main advantage of a screen protector is that it will absorb the damage from scratches or falls instead of your phone’s screen.
When a scratch occurs, it’s easier and less expensive to replace the screen protector than to repair your smartphone’s screen.
Plus, screen protectors can give you peace of mind. You don’t have to worry about the screen if it scrapes up against something if you carry it in a pocket or crowded bag. You can simply plop your phone into your carrying place of choice and go, knowing the screen is safe.
Keeping the screen pristine by using a screen protector can also help you down the road if you like to resell your phone when upgrading to a newer model.
Some people do not like the feel of any protectors and report it changes how your screen looks. While tempered glass most feels like your actual screen, some people don’t like how it looks due to the added thickness.
Other people feel since smartphone glass is stronger and more durable than earlier smartphones, screen protectors are no longer necessary.
There is no one right answer. However, if you live by or visit a beach regularly, you may want to invest in a screen protector since sand will scratch the surface of your smartphone’s screen.
Additionally, if you tend to drop your phone frequently, you may want to buy a quality screen protector.
Some people may decide that using a high-quality case will be enough. This decision can be good for people who rarely drop their phones, don’t have small children, and who want the feel of the original screen.
However, if you’d like the extra protection, it’s important to buy a high-quality screen protector that fits your needs. It will be more likely to protect your screen and provide a touch screen experience that is close to the same as an unprotected screen.
The story of the Smartphone is so amazing and interesting it would be hard to make this entire narrative up. It is so intricately entwined in the ingenuity of humanity and the necessity to continue to discover and grow as a species. There is always hope!
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The ultimate mission of cellular data has always been to be on par with Wi-Fi. 4G has come close in many ways, but let’s be honest; we know there are things we can do at home on our computers or tablets that we cannot do on our cell phones. When we are at home, we think nothing of streaming.
Depending on your internet provider and plan, if you have modern Wi-Fi, you may have no data allowance or cap, so some can go to town and binge as many Netflix shows as we like.
However, this abundance of data has not yet crossed over into our mobile lives. Many of us are on data plans, and it is always possible to use up all of our data before we know it. Streaming through our phones is one way we risk doing this, which is why most people are still relatively conservative in their mobile streaming habits, but this is becoming harder to do.
Before the holidays, we wrote a blog post called “How Can You Hear Something That’s Not In Your Ear?” The blog's title was inspired by my father-in-law asking me that very same question while we were on a family holiday. As a prolific writer and self-confessed workaholic, I was busy writing my latest article while listening to the Killer's latest album through my Bone Conduction headphones.
Due to Bone Conduction headphones sending the music directly into my inner ear, I was able to enjoy it while I concentrated on my work, but without shutting out my surroundings. I was on a family vacation; after all, one which included dogs and small children all running around together.
It was sensible to keep an eye (and both ears) on them just in case I was needed to do a spot of parenting. Fortunately for me, my Bone Conduction headphones allow this due to their design. Other headphones may have blocked out the sound entirely.
I live in remote Alaska where there is barley 3G and don’t see us getting to 4G, let alone 5G anytime soon. For most of my life, I lived in a large city with cutting edge technology and the benefits of living with 4G.
The 5G promise is very exciting for many reasons we list below but do we need a 5G Phone in rural Alaska? The answer is no because there is no connection and if you live in a rural area the answer is more than likely the same for you.
Nome Alaska is 143 miles from the Arctic Circle and you can see Russia on a clear day from Wales which is in the Nome census area and Nort of Nome. If you measure on Google Maps Lavrentiya Russia is 179 miles from Nome Alaska.