The display is the most fragile part of a smartphone. It is easy to scratch, chip off the edges or break. It cannot be repaired, and replacement is expensive — for example, for the iPhone 13 Pro in an unofficial service, you will have to pay about 24,000 rubles for the procedure, for a non-top iPhone 11 — about 17,000 rubles. To protect the display, you can stick a film or glass. In today’s article, we tell you what to choose (film or glass), how to stick it and what you need for this.
What to choose — protective glass or film
The protective film is a flexible plastic polymer with a thickness of 0.1 mm. Glass — strong and thick (up to 0.5 mm), can also be made of polycarbonate. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages.
- costs less;
- less visible on the screen;
- does not affect the sensitivity of the display and the fingerprint scanner built into the screen;
- suitable for protecting curved screens;
- there is a wide choice: hydrogel — pulls together minor scuffs and scratches, matte — reduce glare when using a smartphone in direct sunlight; mirror — turn an inactive screen into a mirror; polarized — have limited viewing angles, which means that people standing nearby will not be able to peep into your smartphone.
- difficult to glue;
- will not protect the smartphone in case of a fall;
- wears out quickly — after a couple of months you will have to change to a new one;
- impairs tactile sensations when using the phone.
- protect the display in case of a fall;
- retains tactile sensations on a par with the original screen;
- easier to stick;
- there is also a large selection of glasses: matte, glossy, polarized, with an oleophobic coating and others;
- will last longer.
Cons of glass:
- costs more;
- increases the thickness of the smartphone;
- due to the thickness, it can distort the image on the screen (for example, create the effect of a rainbow spot);
- reduces the sensitivity of the touch screen and the optical fingerprint scanner under the display;
- not suitable for curved screens (there are 3D glasses for such smartphones, but they are difficult to install, spoil the appearance of the gadget, bubbles often remain under them; or you can use a smaller glass, but then the edges of the screen will remain unprotected).
If you treat your smartphone with care and want to protect the device only from minor scratches, choose a film. If you often drop your phone, it is better to buy glass.
How to choose a protective film for your smartphone
There are a huge number of different films on the market, but there are only two main types:
- glossy — already placed small scratches are not visible on them, they do not affect color reproduction, brightness and picture quality. However, in bright light or the sun, the display is very glare and almost unreadable;
- matte — practically do not glare, the display remains readable under any lighting conditions; Fingerprints are almost invisible on them. They degrade the image quality, it becomes grainy with duller colors.
If you use your smartphone indoors with normal lighting or your city does not have many sunny days (as in St. Petersburg), and display brightness is important to you, choose a glossy protective film. If you want to use the device in any weather and lighting, buy a matte protective film.
In addition, films are universal (for different smartphones with a specific diagonal), for a specific phone model and dimensionless (it is assumed that you will cut the film to the desired size yourself). We do not recommend taking the last option, since the gluing process becomes more complicated (you need to measure the screen, make holes for the camera, speaker and buttons yourself).
The most famous manufacturers of protective films are Belkin, Nillkin, EasyLink, DiGi, SGP and others.
How to choose a protective glass for your smartphone
When choosing a protective glass for your smartphone, pay attention to the following parameters:
– thickness – varies from 0.1 to 0.5 mm. It depends on the appearance and degree of protection of the device. If you frequently drop your smartphone, go hiking, work in extreme conditions (such as a construction site), or have small children, it is better to choose thick glass. If you take care of your phone and work in the office, an average thickness (0.3 mm) is sufficient. The thicker the glass, the more visible it is on the screen and the less sensitive the sensor is to pressure;
— strength — denoted by the letter H, maximum — 10N. The maximum indicator will save the smartphone display only when falling face down. Low-strength glass will withstand a fall on the end. The optimal value is 8–9H;
— coating — glossy or matte (features are the same as for film coatings);
— volume — the following are distinguished:
— 2D — flat with raw edges;
— 2.5D — flat with rounded edges (for smartphones with a flat screen without bends);
— 3D — curved with rounded edges (protects the display from all sides, hard to glue, inconvenient to use with a case);
— “Full screen” — flat with rounded edges (just like 3D, it protects the screen from all sides, but it is easier to glue and can be used with a case);
— you can find 5D and even 10D glasses on the market, but this is nothing more than a marketing ploy.
Despite the availability of universal options on the market, it is better to buy protective glass for a specific smartphone model. Since even phones with the same screen size and selfie camera layout can have their own characteristics (for example, the size of the image sensor).
Popular manufacturers of protective glasses for smartphones are Red Line, Nillkin, Deppa, LuxCase and others.
How to stick a protective film or glass on a smartphone display
It is better to choose a room with a minimum amount of textile items that collect dust. Otherwise, when sticking the film, bubbles will appear on the surface. Therefore, the most suitable place for gluing a film or glass is a kitchen or bathroom (they have a minimum amount of upholstered furniture and other decorative elements) or a workshop where there are no curtains or tablecloths.
If you want to create ideal conditions, then before covering the display with film / glass, you can:
- remove all textiles from the room (tablecloths, towels, rugs, rags, etc.);
- carry out wet cleaning — wash the floor and wipe all surfaces with a damp cloth;
- humidify the air with a spray bottle or use a humidifier — the dust will get wet and settle.
In addition to the smartphone and protective film / glass, you need to prepare:
- alcohol, antistatic, or screen cleaner;
- a microfiber cloth (usually included in the package of the film);
- a plastic card (you can use a bank or travel card);
- adhesive tape (also usually included).
Before starting work, remove your hair, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. It is better to wear a sports T‑shirt or other lint-free clothing.
Before sticking the film / glass, degrease the phone screen with alcohol, antistatic or a special liquid. After that, remove dust particles from the display using a microfiber cloth. The screen is ready, after performing these steps, you cannot touch it with your hands or touch it with clothes.
A protective film or glass consists of three parts: the top and bottom layers are usually marked with the numbers “1” and “2”, respectively, the middle one is the one that remains on the surface of the screen.
To stick a protective film on the phone screen, follow these steps:
- align the film with side “1” down with the phone display — all holes must match;
- separate the first layer from the film. Important — after that you can not touch the film;
- stick the film to the display surface, starting at the edge and using the edge of the bank card to help you. Make sure there are no distortions;
- air bubbles formed can be removed with a card, moving from the center to the edges;
- to remove dust particles, use two strips of adhesive tape — with one, partially separate the film from the display, the second — remove dust particles;
- remove the second layer of protective film.
Ready! Now your smartphone is protected from mechanical damage.
The process of sticking protective glass is similar. Just before removing the first protective film, it is recommended to fix the protective glass with pieces of adhesive tape on one side of the phone case in the form of a cover (as shown in the photo below).
If a factory film is applied to the smartphone screen, before gluing the protective glass, make sure that there is no dust and air bubbles under it. If there are, remove them as described above.