A guide to choosing the best Screen Protector

Wednesday 4th November 2009 by Andy Simpson in Mobile Accessories, Product Reviews.

Screen protectors are fast becoming one of the most popular accessories for mobile phones – mainly because of the number of handsets with large, high quality displays. A screen protector will stop your screen from getting scratched or damaged and will help keep your handset looking like new.

There are a number of different options available to protect your screen, from a simple MFX screen protector, to privacy screen protectors right through to the top quality Martin Fields Screen Protectors. On paper they all seem to do the same job, but there are subtle differences between them so I’ve put this post together to highlight the key differences between them and make choosing the best screen protector for your phone simple and straight forward.

For this test, I’ve used the same image displayed on an iPhone with the screen brightness set to maximum I’ve then applied a screen protector to half of the screen and taken a photo. The photos have not been edited in anyway other than cropping and no filters have been applied – what you see below is as close to the real thing as possible. You might notice a few air bubbles in the photos, these will normally disappear after a day or two so don’t pay too much attention to these.  The first image here shows how the picture is displayed on the phone with no screen protector fitted.

Test Image with no Screen Protector

Test Image with no Screen Protector

Martin Fields Screen Protector:

Martin Fields Screen Protectors are without doubt the best quality screen protector you can get. They’re crystal clear and will make your phone look like new. They don’t reduce the clarity of your screen and colours look exactly the way they’re supposed to. If your screen protector gets dirty, they can be removed easily from the phone, cleaned and refitted.

Martin Fields are exceptionally clear

Martin Fields are exceptionally clear

MFX Screen Protector:

The MFX screen protectors are available for most phones currently on the market and are quick and easy to fit. As you can see from the image below, there is little to no distortion of the images and colours appear as they should. MFX Screen Protectors will work with both touch screen handsets and standard phones and are precision cut to size. If you’ve got a lot of devices that you want to protect, a 12 in 1 Universal Screen Protector Pack is also available. This includes 12 screen protectors of varying sizes that can be cut to fit devices such as cameras, sat nav units, phones & games consoles.

MFX Screen Protector

MFX Screen Protector

MFX Mirrored Screen Protector:

Mirrored Screen protectors have two purposes, first and foremost they protect your screen from getting scratched and secondly they can turn your phone into a mirror. Just like the MFX ones, these are precision cut to the size of your phone and are extremely easy to fit. When your phone is in use and the screen is lit up you can see the phone normally. When it’s not in use the reflective coating on the screen protector turns your screen into a mirror.

Makes the screen of your phone reflective

Makes the screen of your phone reflective

The only slight downside is that they do alter the colours on your phone’s screen slightly.  You can still see clearly enough for calling, texting and emailing, but they can make looking at photos and videos more difficult and as a result, these type of screen protectors are probably suited to non touchscreen handsets or those of you that use your phone more for texting and calling. They do attract finger prints quite easily too, so a Mobile Phone cleaning cloth is a must have item if you use a mirrored screen protector.

MFX Mirrored Screen Protector

MFX Mirrored Screen Protector

MFX Privacy Screen Protector:

The last ones in the MFX family are the Privacy screen protectors. These are a great way of making sure that no one else is looking at what’s on your phone or reading your emails over your shoulder. They’re quite a bit thicker than a standard screen protector and provide extra protection against knocks and scrapes, but more importantly are made so that you can only see through them from certain angles.

Try to view the phone from the side and you won't see anything

Try to view the phone from the side and you won't see anything

Once fitted to your phone you’ll only be able to see the screen of your phone when you’re looking straight at it. If you try and see the screen from the side you’ll just see a black plastic sheet. Although they have a dark tint to them, you shouldn’t have any problems looking at photos or playing videos on your phone. If you find that it darkens the screen too much, just increase the brightness settings on your phone. The Privacy Screen Protectors are precision cut to size and available for most of the latest handsets, as they’re a bit thicker removing air bubbles.

MFX Privacy Screen Protector

MFX Privacy Screen Protector

The Privacy Screen protectors will work fine with Resistive touch screen handsets, but aren’t currently available for capacative touch screens such as the iPhone, HTC Hero or LG Arena.

InvisibleShield Screen Protector:

The last of the screen protectors then is the InvisibleSHIELD. Technically, this isn’t a screen protector as InvisibleSHIELDs normally cover your whole phone, not just the screen. They’re also made completely differently to the rest – rather than being a solid plastic sheet that sits on your screen, these are made from a soft flexible plastic film that sticks to your handset using a liquid spray adhesive. You spray the invisibleshield with the liquid and then place it on your phone. It dries in seconds and when you remove it from your phone it leaves no residue behind. Of all of the screen protectors here, these are probably the most secure fit to your phone and there is no chance of you catching a corner and it coming off. The downside though is that they do require a little more time and patience to fit, but the end result is well worth it.

InvisibleSHIELD Screen Protection

InvisibleSHIELD Screen Protection

On my test, the screen image didn’t come out too great, but I’ve had one on my phone for over 12 months and honestly can say that the screen is clear and images aren’t distorted, although they do tend to attract smudges and require wiping clean now and again.

Summary:

If you’re looking purely to protect your screen, then you won’t go wrong with either a Martin Fields Screen Protector or an InvisibleSHIELD. There’s not much between them, although the faster fitting time will probably make the Martin Fields a better option.  Of all of them, I’ve scored the Mirrored one the lowest, but that’s mainly down to how much it changes colours on the screen. In terms of fitting and protection it scores the same as the other MFX Screen Protectors.

My Ratings:

Martin Fields – 10/10
MFX Screen Protector – 9/10
InvisibleShield - 9/10
MFX Privacy – 8/10
MFX Mirrored - 7/10

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