PET, TPU, or Tempered Glass – all you need to know to choose a screen protector
If you have a cheaper or older phone, or you're fine with the most basic and affordable screen protection, get a PET protector. The manufacturer doesn't really matter, but if you have a soft spot for a particular brand, there's no reason not to go with theirs. Chances are that protectors from established brands will be better cut-out for your device and won't leave loose edges that can catch on to your clothes and peel the protector away (it has happened before).
The "military-grade" tag most TPU protectors proudly carry is worthy of an explanation. One manufacturer says that this material is used "to protect jetfighters". And what do you know, it's true! Skim through this Aerospace Surface Protection brochure - it's full of polyreuthane protective tapes used for "aircraft and windmill leading edge protection". However, getting a TPU case or screen protector doesn't guarantee it's made of the same quality of material. But your smartphone also isn't a fighter jet, right?
If you are willing to pay a slightly higher price, a TPU protector is, logically, better choice than PET film. At the very least, it's going to provide better impact protection (although you shouldn't be pushing your chances). It's also nicer to the touch, although it isn't glass-smooth. Arguably, the best part is that you'll get to explain to your friends and acquaintances how your phone has "fighter jet protection". Pretty cool, huh?
A glass protector is superior to its alternatives in every way. It has better light transmittance, making for a clearer display. It's anti-reflective and glare reducing. It has oleophobic coating, which heavily reduces fingerprints. It has the smooth feel of actual glass under your fingertips. Unlike Gorilla Glass 3, it resists sand scratches, making it the only viable option for beachgoers. And let's talk about shock protection. T-glass protectors boast a material hardness rating of 8H to 9H, meaning they are hard enough to resist scratches from anything that's not topaz or corundum (extremely hard aluminum oxide). Yet, they aren't completely shatter-proof. Since this is toughened glass we're talking about, in the event of a fatal drop, the protector will absorb all the damage and break into tiny shards. Chances are pretty good that your display will end up unscathed underneath. Thus, instead of having to replace the entire screen, you'll only have to get a new protector. Which is easier on both your soul and your wallet.
As you probably expected, tempered glass protectors are the most expensive kind. Most renowned brands can charge up to $40 for their products. And although that's money well spent if you are rocking an expensive flagship smartphone, excellent tempered glass protectors can be found for less than $15 online.
Dry vs Wet Mount
references: Toughened glass , Thermoplastic polyurethane , Liquid optically-clear adhesive , Types of screen protectors , Material hardness table
1. RuiBacelar (Posts: 138; Member since: 25 Feb 2014)
Nillkin 9H Anti-Smash Tempered Glass for less then 10£ FTW. Have it on my Xperia z2 and it's as good as it gets.
15. vincelongman (Posts: 1332; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)
Agreed, I got one for my Nexus 5 for only $10 with free shipping
I've seen many posts where people dropped their phone and their Nillkin saved their screen from shattering
20. Furbal (Posts: 333; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
Got it on my m8 and g2. They're the go to for glass!
21. mixedfish (Posts: 142; Member since: 17 Nov 2013)
I don't like Nillkin glass, I use Overlay instead, I find Nillkin is slightly thicker and glass doesn't feel as good.
2. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3421; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
Well thanks to paps.. err BILLGATES, Tempered glass will be my choice from now on. Already ordered one from Orzly at amazon :)
3. smsmrules (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Jan 2012)
Very good , was asking my self which one to get for my new LG G3 ,, i think iCarez Glass 2mm would be good with 12$ :)
4. npaladin2000 (Posts: 134; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)
Well, clearly the author prefer's dry-mount over wet-mount, there's noticeable bias in that section. You will pry my spray bottle and squeege from my cold dead hands, have you ever TRIED to get dust off of the staticy side of a dry-apply protector? Not happening. And the longer you try, the more dust you end up with. Wet application suspends the dust in the solution allowing you to force it out. Yes, drying needs patience, it'll look like flap for several hours. It's worth the wait though.
Let the flame war commence. :D
8. na7noo7 (Posts: 264; Member since: 29 Mar 2014)
Dry Installation is too hard.
Wet Installation can cause water damage to your device.
PET Film is too weak.
Tempered Glass is still a bit weak.
Get an xGear Krystal.
19. kevin91202 (Posts: 77; Member since: 08 Jun 2014)
roll some scotch tape around your finger to remove dust from screen and/or protector. Very easy.
5. RandomUsername (Posts: 495; Member since: 29 Oct 2013)
I want a sapphire glass screen protector!
6. na7noo7 (Posts: 264; Member since: 29 Mar 2014)
There are Sapphire Screen Protectors, it's from xGear: xgearlive.com/products/iphone/krystal-0
11. npaladin2000 (Posts: 134; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)
And what if you have a real phone instead of an iPhone? ;)
18. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)
Will be searching for my Z2 and Note3, if it's available.
7. na7noo7 (Posts: 264; Member since: 29 Mar 2014)
xGear Krystal Genuine Sapphire Screen Protector is a beast, just wish they make one for the One M8 and LG G3.
12. npaladin2000 (Posts: 134; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)
I'm not sure if I like the whole solid glass screen protector idea. Nice thing about the TPU protectors is that they will actually pad and absorb impacts.
16. vincelongman (Posts: 1332; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)
With glass screen protectors, the glass screen protector will shatter but your phone wont
IMO its better than plastic screen protectors since plastic gets scratch easier, so you have to replace them a lot
22. mixedfish (Posts: 142; Member since: 17 Nov 2013)
Glass screen protectors are not 100%, they are dual layered glass on PET. so there is always shock absorption on your actual phone's glass.
13. syncronyze (Posts: 97; Member since: 26 Apr 2014)
The biggest problem with glass screen protectors is you get what you pay for. Most regular plastic screen protectors are the same, but if you aren't paying above $15 for a glass one, you get some cheap knockoff that isn't aligned correctly and are fingerprint magnets... Not to mention they're usually thicker than more expensive ones.
14. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1242; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
$8 ebay glass screen protector for the Note 3. Been rocking for over 8 months and it's as good as the day I put it on. Money well spent.
17. fzacek (Posts: 1909; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)
The hinge method is the best way to apply a dry-application screen protector IMO. It's very easy and works flawlessly almost every time...