several smartphones with broken or cracked screens

Are glass screen protectors still relevant?

By Trent

Screen protectors have long been a popular option for smartphone and tablet users looking to keep their expensive touchscreens in pristine condition, acting like a second skin to prevent the drops, bumps, and scratches of everyday use turning into expensive screen replacements.

Glass is fragile

Glass screen protectors have long been considered the gold standard to keep touchscreens scratch and shatter-free, and rightly so; it makes sense that putting an additional layer of glass on top of another would best mimic the screen's clarity sensitivity. But for screen protectors, using the very same material as the touchscreen it is designed to protect also gives it the same inherent vulnerabilities; brittle, easy-shattering, and potentially dangerous.

"using the very same material as the touchscreen it is designed to protect also gives it the same inherent vulnerabilities; brittle, easy-shattering, and potentially dangerous."

Tricky installation

The first challenge comes when installing the screen protector, as ultra-thin glass is quite brittle and does not withstand bending. Any excessive pressure on one particular area during unpacking or application could result in a cracked protector before its even touched the screen, rendering it unusable and destined for the trash or a return to the retailer.

A painful experience

Once the screen protector has been successfully installed, it protects the screen from impact damage by taking the force of the blow, which usually results in the screen protector shattering instead of the screen itself. While this is of course a more favorable outcome than a broken screen, it means that the screen protector needs to be replaced immediately, as it has now become little more than shards of glass; not an ideal surface on which you would want to be sliding your thumbs and fingers (trust us, one of our interns here at Moshi HQ recently found this out the hard way).

The Moshi AirFoil Pro solution

To avoid this, Moshi has developed a proprietary triple-layer material which is stronger than a traditional glass and less prone to shattering, while still having the same ultra-thin clarity. The result is a screen protector which retains the look and sensitivity of glass without the potential for nasty injuries in the less-likely event of shattering.

The new AirFoil Pro screen protectors for iPhone SE2, iPhone 11, and iPhone 12 are the first models to feature this new material, which also has a smudge-resistant oleophobic coating to not only reduce the buildup of fingerprints but also make them easier to wipe away.

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