Smartphones are an expensive purchase, and all information technology takes is one bad-luck event to smash your shiny new phone’s screen into a meg pieces. At that place must be something you tin exercise to preserve the quality and integrity of your telephone!

Cases protect your phone from drops and bumps, just screen protectors are sold as a way to protect your screen itself from damage. That sounds not bad on paper, but exercise y’all really demand a screen protector for your telephone, or are they just an expensive placebo?


Cracked Screens Are Expensive to Replace

In the old days, if you broke your phone glass, it was possible to replace it without replacing the screen, bold it was undamaged. However, modern screen technology uses a lamination process, so in that location’s no gap betwixt the screen and the glass covering it. This results in much meliorate paradigm quality, but it also means that if the drinking glass is damaged or croaky, you have to replace the entire screen.

This integration has seriously inflated the toll of fixing broken telephone glass and is probably why you run into so many folks walking around with shattered phones—information technology’s just likewise expensive to repair. The real question is how likely you are to have your phone cease up in such a land, and to understand that, we accept to talk about modern phone glass for a minute.


Smartphone Glass Is Incredible

Showtime things first: smartphone screen glass is incredibly tough. Corning’s Gorilla Glass on Android phones or Ceramic Shield Glass on the new iPhones are aggressively impact and scratch-resistant. These spectacles are and so hard that only minerals can scratch them. Metals, like auto keys in your pocket, are unlikely to exit a marking. On the Mohs hardness scale, Gorilla Glass Victus lies somewhere betwixt 6 and 7. Steel, for comparison, is between 4 and iv.5. This ways that hard minerals similar quartz can make visible scratches to this glass, merely virtually common materials shouldn’t marker information technology.

Your smartphone’southward drinking glass is already more than up to the chore of handling everyday utilise. You might pick upwardly some micro-scratches over the lifetime of your phone, but these don’t normally impact the feel of the screen or the look of images on it.


Manufacturers besides test smartphones rigorously to ensure they handle more intense abuse. Linus Tech Tips took a smartphone manufactory tour, and from the testing shown there, the average smartphone is built to take serious penalty while still being functional.

So at this point, we can confidently say that most people don’t need a screen protector. There are even so some cases where you lot might want one, but you should know what you’re getting into.

Who Absolutely Should Use a Screen Protector

We think that phones without screen protectors (or cases for that affair) are acceptable to handle everyday apply out of the box, but the emphasis here is on “everyday utilise.”

If you piece of work in a job or accept a hobby that puts your telephone into situations or most materials that can defeat the toughness of its materials, then you demand more protection.


Many people overlook one source of glass damage: common minerals found in beach sand or hiking trails. If some grit ends up in your pocket with your phone, it may get scratched up to the point where information technology’s not good to employ anymore.

If y’all piece of work in a task like structure or are active outdoors, you might instead consider getting a full ruggedized case for your phone instead of a screen protector. Alternatively, you could also consider phones built explicitly for these environments, such as those made by CAT.

Use Circumspection When Choosing a Screen Protector

There’southward a surprising number of considerations in play when picking a screen protector or deciding whether you demand one at all. So nosotros’ll advisedly go over the different types of protectors and complex factors yous should be aware of before making your decision.

Factory-fitted Screen Protectors

Speaking of the factories that make smartphones, your phone may already have a screen protector when yous first accept it out of the box. For case, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has a protector practical that protects it from minor scratches. When information technology becomes as well worn and damaged, yous can remove it without any issue.

This is truthful for factory-fitted protectors in general. You can remove them immediately if you lot like and replace them with something better or cypher at all. Alternatively, you can just keep them until they need removal. What you shouldn’t do is put a new screen protector over your existing mill-fitted protector. Likewise, make sure what you’re seeing is a screen protector and not something important.

Screen Protectors Can Be a Hurting to Fit


Ane advantage of a mill-fitted protector is that you don’t accept to fit it yourself. This is practiced because screen protectors are a nightmare to fit. Not only do you have to brand sure that your screen is entirely free of smudges, clay, and hair, you too take to apply the protector straight and without trapping any air bubbles.

Whenever you buy a screen protector, it’s better to buy ii. Because you’ll almost certainly mess up the awarding, it’south usually better to get the people from your phone shop to apply information technology for you if you tin can.

Screen Protectors Are Not Made Equal

We tin’t talk about screen protectors equally i single type of production. In that location are different screen protectors, and some take more applied utilise than others. Some protectors exercise more than just protect your screen.

Yous tin can get protectors that add together a matte anti-glare blanket to make your phone more usable in vivid conditions. Ultra-clear protectors minimize the effects of the protector on the image and filter out UV rays. On the other hand, privacy screen protectors obscure what’s on the screen to anyone except the person looking at it straight-on. So these protectors accept utility across screen protection.

When it comes to the main job of providing actress protection for your screen, different protectors focus on it in varying ways.


Thin TPU or PET plastic screen protectors are there to prevent micro-scratches. These protectors are the least invasive and protect confronting the type of impairment your phone is about likely to suffer during its lifetime.

Tempered glass screen protectors protect against both impacts and scratches, although they are thick and heavy compared to other protector types. While tempered glass protectors do protect against scratches thanks to their thickness, it’south debatable whether they exercise anything to forbid a cracked screen.

What About Cocky-healing Screen Protectors?

A relatively recent development in the earth of screen protectors is the so-chosen “self-healing” screen protectors. The precise details vary depending on the brand and implementation, only within the screen protector is a tiny layer of a substance that leaks out whenever the protector is scratched, filling up the scratch.

In theory, this extends how long you tin can leave a screen protector on before replacing information technology. Whether the self-healed scratches are invisible or not depends on yous, we’ve seen mixed feedback and then far.

Screen Protectors Can Touch on the User Experience

There’south cypher quite like using a touchscreen directly without anything between your finger and the phone. Mobile phone screens have been engineered to give you the perfect level of tactile response and offering you lot a crystal-articulate, vibrant image using incredibly advanced manufacturing processes which fuse the screen with the touch and drinking glass layers without damaging a single pixel in the brandish.

And so it seems a little off to slap a $10 screen protector on top of this, undoing much of what fabricated your phone so wonderful (and expensive) in the kickoff place.


The tempered glass screen protectors that offer the all-time bear on protection are also the thickest. This means your phone’s smooth curved border now presents a abrupt edge every fourth dimension you swipe over the edge, and the photos from your screen are existence captivated and refracted by the thick layer of glass.

You may think that the impact is pocket-sized, but if you’ve ever used a phone right afterwards taking off the tempered glass screen protector, yous’ll know simply how much better information technology looks and feels in comparison.

Insurance May Be a Meliorate Solution

If y’all’re mainly worried near protecting your phone against minor scratches rather than cracks or breakages, then a screen protector may not be the best solution.

After all, if your telephone takes an impact hard plenty to shatter your tempered glass screen protector, and so it’s probable to scissure and break your screen anyway. Then information technology makes more sense to relieve your coin and spend it on telephone insurance. Some phone theft insurance includes accidental damage insurance or offers a cheap improver. The same goes for some carrier plans, which tin can provide insurance as part of your contract or every bit an addition.


Phone makers also offer harm insurance. Applecare is a prime number example, just some Android phone makers also offering similar screen-replacement offers, like Samsung Care+. Y’all’re paying upfront to get one or two screen replacements for a few years.

Given the cost of even a unmarried screen repair, these protection plans are a deal. It’s not like extended warranties for gadgets like TVs which aren’t probable to endure accidental damage. There’s a real chance that at some point in your telephone’s life, you will drop information technology.

Wear and Tear Is Normal

Understandably, you want to keep your phone in the same condition every bit when new, but any object you use daily will inevitably show signs of that use. It seems a shame to use a case or apply a screen protector to your telephone when it’south been designed equally a sleek, high-tech device meant to be magical to the affect and in hand.


In a mode, using a screen protector on loftier-tech devices like these is like buying a sports automobile and then covering the leather in plastic and rubberizing the torso. Certain, you’ll forbid wear and tear to the materials, but you don’t become to enjoy the look and feel of the product.

The Resale Argument (And Why it Makes No Sense)

If your tolerance for micro-scratches is low, a thin plastic screen protector will probably aid you slumber at nighttime, only if your main reason for wanting a screen protector is to preserve your phone for resale, we think y’all’re doing it yourself a disservice.

First, y’all’re preserving a device y’all paid the total price for and reducing your enjoyment of it for the adjacent owner—a buyer who may not be that bothered by a few pocket-size scratches.


Secondly, you probably won’t get much more for your phone compared to its actual resale value with some minor scratches. Greenbacks resale prices for phones are often much less than the telephone is worth cheers to rapid depreciation and the fact that most people don’t buy phones with cash, merely get them through a subsidized carrier contract.

The Last Verdict

In the end, whether you put a screen protector on your phone or not is up to you, but based on what nosotros’ve discussed, you lot should keep these essential points in listen:

  • Screen protectors are primarily expert at preventing minor scratches that wouldn’t affect your utilize of a phone anyway.
  • Screen protectors always touch on your phone’s epitome quality and usability to some extent.
  • You tin can frequently get screen replacement insurance or protection for very little money.
  • It’s debatable whether thick tempered glass screen protectors make a divergence in a fall severe enough to smash modern smartphone glass.
  • If yous utilise your phone in hazardous environments, consider a ruggedized example or phone instead.

Mayhap futurity smartphone drinking glass engineering science will make screen protectors completely redundant, simply fifty-fifty today they are optional.