PET, TPU, or Tempered Glass – all you need to know to choose a screen protector

A bit of a disappointment in the past, today's screen protectors are easier to install, cheaper, and better than ever in every aspect. There are three varieties - PET film, TPU (polyreuthane), and our undisputed favorite - tempered glass. And then there are two methods to get them on your display – dry and wet. So here's more about how screen protectors work and what they offer...
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31 Comments

1. RuiBacelar

Posts: 153; Member since: Feb 25, 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.

9. luis.d

Posts: 354; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

Exactly. More power to Niilkin!

15. vincelongman

Posts: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 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 unregistered

Got it on my m8 and g2. They're the go to for glass!

21. mixedfish

Posts: 1545; Member since: Nov 17, 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: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 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: Jan 30, 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: 165; Member since: Nov 06, 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: 278; Member since: Mar 29, 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.

10. TheMoltenD

Posts: 109; Member since: Jul 13, 2014

All suck.

19. kevin91202

Posts: 640; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

roll some scotch tape around your finger to remove dust from screen and/or protector. Very easy.

31. xieth101

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

I agree with you. It was mentioned to use tape and such to get rid of dust. Guess what, that doesn't aways work. SOMEHOW, dust finds a way. Not always, but still common. The author says that it is really awkward and folding flabby everywhere. I have never had any such issue with the countless ones I have installed. You also don't have to have "precise placement," as the author notes. You can be slightly off, then just slide it right where it needs to be for perfect placement. Only problem I have had here and there, is stretching the thinner edges around the earpiece and/or possible Home button too much, causing that part to never fully adhere. With dry placement, you DO need to have precise placement, despite being able to reapply once or twice to ge tit right.

5. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

I want a sapphire glass screen protector!

6. na7noo7

Posts: 278; Member since: Mar 29, 2014

There are Sapphire Screen Protectors, it's from xGear: xgearlive.com/products/iphone/krystal-0

11. npaladin2000

Posts: 165; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

And what if you have a real phone instead of an iPhone? ;)

18. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Will be searching for my Z2 and Note3, if it's available.

7. na7noo7

Posts: 278; Member since: Mar 29, 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: 165; Member since: Nov 06, 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: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 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: 1545; Member since: Nov 17, 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: 103; Member since: Apr 26, 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: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 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: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 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...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMPqDwVZzzM

23. Crossblade

Posts: 224; Member since: Apr 21, 2005

good info

24. portsmouthisland

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 21, 2015

dailymail (dot) co (dot) uk/sciencetech/article-2190668/The-science-shatter​ed-phone-screen-What-causes-crack-others.html My main reason for a screen guard is sand. You don't have to be at the beach to encounter it. Just drop your car keys into a residential street gutter where water runs. Pick the keys up, sand and dirt. The problem with sand is it can be, and most likely is, made up of stuff harder then your screen. Just that one little particle on that swiping finger. Worst, transferring some on the inside cover flap of your case where it can get rubbed into the screen being carried in a messenger bag. That said I do live in a high sandy area, beach just 2 blocks away and vacations to OBX.

25. Yulia unregistered

Just my few cents, TPU varies greatly depending on what it is based on: Polyether, Polyester or Aliphatic (which is the most expensive kind). If you search hard enough, you will understand that most Chinese-made TPU are the cheaper kind, which means it is not great for protecting your phone screens. Also, it is not thermoplastic polyreuthane, as the author wrote, but thermoplastic polyurethane: check your grammar please, before trying to sound like an expert. Also, 9H is a marketing gimmick (but that's a separate topic) and making a screen protector from Sapphire doesn't make any sense (ka-ching!). The industry is going away from temper glass, as you can witness by looking what companies like Zagg and Clear-Coat are up to.

26. williamshaw

Posts: 11; Member since: Dec 23, 2014

right now, there are too much different quality of tempered glass screen protector in the market. Do you know how to distinguish the different tempered glass screen protector? 1. thickness. there are 0.2mm, 0.26mm, 0.3mm, 0.33mm, 0.4mm tempered glass in the market. the thin, the more expensive, the better. 2. transparency. high transparency( up to 99%) is the best tempered glass screen protector. usually, the normal one is 95%-98%. 3. hardness. there are 8H-9H tempered glass screen protector. 9H hardness tempered glass is the best, it can protect your screen preventing scratch by sharp item, such as knives and nail, etc. 4. anti fingerprint and anti oil. usually, normal tempered glass screen protector have little function anti fingerprint or anti oil. the best quality one can keep your screen clean and comfortable. more info, pls link to: weaccessory.com Shenzhen Western Electronic Co., Ltd

27. david316

Posts: 8; Member since: Sep 17, 2015

LOL,you really gave us practical about how to classify the screen protector,I‘m one of those accustomed to looking for really pretty quality tempered glass for protecting and making the phone unique and i found a shop with huge collections of great variety of tempered glass from onu-mall,I thought the tempered glass are so much more and cheaper than other shops online,would you give me a favor to give me some suggestions,I wonder what's your opinion,appreciated to your prompt recommendation.

28. eugenekat

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 02, 2015

Really useful information on the classification. I have also been looking for a good quality tempered glass for my phone and tablet. I usually buy from online, but Prices do varies. Branded ones like Zagg and Bodyguardz are expensive! I bought mine from Jedishield.com which is much cheaper and they are doing free shipping! You can give it try!

29. matt760

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 09, 2015

well i have used tempered glass but i was not satisfied with the result. No matter what i did there was always dust present inside the screen which became very annoying after a while, Im using nano liquid protector these days by shark proof and im satisfied with the result so far
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