A review by James Ormiston (@macjim)
Having suffered a broken screen in the first few months of owning an iPhone 7 Plus, and splashing out £145 to have it repaired, I decided to protect my new iPhone Xr as best as I possibly could (especially due to the type of work I do for a living…) two cases and AppleCare purchased! Overkill maybe?
While I decided to go the fully enclosed case route for work use, I also didn’t want to carry my iPhone Xr outside of work in a totally armoured case either as that added bulk to the phone, I had downsized for a reason. A case, the Gear4 Piccadilly Case, was purchased (see my review here) as I felt it was strong enough to take all the everyday knocks that could, and would, happen to the iPhone, but this left me with the worry of accidentally damaging the glass screen when in a pocket.
This lead me to look at the various offerings from many companies, all of whom made promises to protect my phone, to one degree or other. My choice lead me to purchasing the Tech21 anti-glare, anti-impact screen protector with applicator. The main reason for this choice was down to this being a reputable company with a track record (as many others looked at were not known to me), and a claim of being easy to fit due to the enclosed applicator tray. I could have gone down the Belkin route as Apple offer a fitment service in-store but I felt it wasn’t a good choice as many reviews were not complimentary about the finished product.
In the box, were a pack containing a soft cloth, a wet wipe, a sticky backed paper and a plastic and cloth edged squeegee to assist in the application process. First, the screen was cleaned off with the sticky paper to remove loose detritus. Then the wet wipe was used to remove any grease and oils from use, and then a final wipe dry with the soft cloth. Then the plastic applicator frame was placed over the iPhone Xr – the screen protector is attached to the applicator – making sure it was correctly fitted before the first protective cover was removed from the back of the screen protector – the side facing the screen. The ‘squeegee’ was then used to smooth the screen protector onto the iPhone screen. Once all this was done, and I was happy that I had the protector applied correctly, the top protective cover was removed from the screen protector and the frame removed. It sounds more complex than it was to do, and initially it was a worry in case I made a mess of the fitting, but thankfully it proved to be very simple in the end… Well, I managed it! While I did try to make sure nothing got underneath the screen protector during the process, I wasn’t totally successful with one tiny speck getting trapped… Saying that, it wasn’t a fault of the product, but more my fault in not taking a little bit more care while cleaning the iPhone Xr beforehand.
Fit and finish of the screen protector is very good indeed, with just the right amount of coverage due to the screen having curved edges. The working area of the screen was fully covered with just a small edge over onto the black bezel, with a very accurate cut that followed the screen perfectly and while you can feel the raised edge, it doesn’t get in the way. Touch works as before with no real noticeable change to the way the phone works, which is great, and the anti-glare is very good indeed with the screen now readable outdoors all the time but it does reduce the clarity a little. If you’re doing photography work you will see a difference, making it a bit less accurate if you’re editing images on the iPhone; a small price to pay for the protection offered.
Would I recommend the Tech21 Anti-glare Screen protector for the iPhone Xr? Yes, I would, as it has proven to be a well designed product, accurately cut to fit the screen, and it’s easy to apply too, due to the included applicator.
The real downside is in the price for the convenience, ease of use and protection this product provides. At £25, it really is overpriced especially when you consider it’s ‘just’ a thin piece of plastic film. However, saying that, it has been well engineered and thought out by the guys and gals at Tech21 and if it saves the screen from being scratched and damaged it will be money well spent.
Overall I would rate this as ‘recommended’.