Glass vs plastic: screen protector throwdown

What’s the deal with these newfangled tempered glass screen protectors? They cost much more than a plastic equivalent, and that’s not even counting the fact that you only get one in a pack instead of three, five or ten. They’re also around 5x thicker than their plastic equivalents. On the face of it, these seem like reasonable drawbacks — but these new screen protectors also offer significant advantages: better protection, improved durability and easy installation. Let’s take a look at how it all shapes up.


First up is probably the most obvious difference: exchanging 0.1mm of plastic for 0.3~0.5mm of tempered glass makes a significant difference in terms of protection. Glass doesn’t get scratched as easily as softer plastic, which can even be scratched by materials that wouldn’t leave a mark on a modern smartphone screen. In that way, the one glass screen protector you get will last you for much longer than however many screen protectors come in an equivalently-priced pack; you don’t have to keep replacing your screen protector as it acquires new scratches and furrows.

Look & Feel

Feel is another big factor when deciding between plastic and tempered glass screen protectors. Many plastic screen protectors feel noticeably different than the original glass; you might have to exert more force to glide around the screen. Conversely, tempered glass screen protectors feel very similar to the original screen; they even often include the same oleophobic coatings to prevent the buildup of fingerprints and grease. On the other hand, it’s a bit easier to feel the lip of a glass screen protector thanks to its increased thickness. Still, tempered glass comes out ahead in look and feel.


Above: a six step installation process that ends with “nice and easy!” — I’m not convinced.


Anyone who has put on a plastic screen protector will know what an annoying process it is. You have to clean the screen of all grease and dust, carefully line up the protector with the screen, and hope that you don’t leave any air bubbles or hair beneath the protector when you’re all done. Getting that floppy plastic screen in position is almost a recurring nightmare for me. In contrast, tempered glass screen protectors are dead simple — clean the screen and plonk ’em down. As the screen protector is rigid, it’s much easier to position.


Tempered glass screen protectors are pretty awesome. If you’d like for yourself, search on our site for ‘glass’ and the name of your phone. For your convenience, we’ve got links to tempered glass screen protectors for some popular phones below:

Thanks for checking out the article, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!