Does invisibleSHIELD really work?

Though I received a screen protector with my dermaSHOT case it recently became a bit scratched up and got a couple of small nicks in it. I figured screen protectors are kind of disposable so I went out to my local BestBuy to see what they had in stock. I looked at a couple of different products but one jumped out at me: the ZAGG invisibleSHIELD. There was only a single shield in the little box, unlike a competitor that had 5 shields in it, but it came with a lifetime warranty. Reading through the information on the box it looked like it was worth a try.

The invisibleSHIELD claims to be made from the same material designed to protect the leading edge of helicopter blades. The material itself is very durable and reminds me of the invisible car masks applied to the front of cars. I figured that anything designed to withstand supersonic gravel pelting would probably be overkill on my little iPhone but that’s fine.

Turns out the invisibleSHIELD is rather difficult to apply. First off, make sure you cut out and remove the holes for the handset speaker and primary button before peeling it from its backing. Otherwise you will do what I did and realize they were not punched all the way through and then try to take it off while you’re holding a very large, tacky shield, trying desperately not to get finger prints on the business side.

There is a spray and squeegee provided in the kit as well. You spray down the adhesive side of the shield and apply it carefully to the iPhone. The spray makes the shield a little moveable so you can reposition it as needed, then you start in with the squeegee and work out all of the bubbles and air pockets. This is a rather difficult process because you are basically pushing out the liquid right into the areas where the handset speaker hole is and the main button. Having a clean, soft, lint free cloth handy is important in order to ensure that you can wipe up the excess liquid before it seeps into any of the openings on your iPhone.

Once applied the surface of your iPod will feel a little different. It has an almost tacky feeling to it that does not impair the ability to use the touch surface at all. The surface itself appears impervious to anything and my iPhone’s screen now seems like it could repel a high speed bird strike.

The Downside
The problem with the invisibleSHIELD is that it creates a slight distortion to the screen, though this may indeed be in the way I applied it. I followed the directions exactly but could not get what appeared to be very fine bubbles away from the top portion of the screen. While I love the protection this affords the difficulty in applying this properly and the resulting distortion means I’ll be returning it to BestBuy. I looked through the warranty information on the ZAGG site and it’s pretty clear that problems resulting in "installation errors" were not covered. I’ll likely be going with the slightly cheaper, disposable screen shields that do not require that I apply liquid in such close proximity to my iPhone.

Last Friday ZAGG announced that they were releasing a more clear backing. Who knows, maybe that will be a little better than what I experienced.