Three way shootout - BSE, Skinomi, and SteinheilAccessories


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  1. AshG

    AshG Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    (A couple things before I begin: First, I wasn't thinking about a write-up when doing the applications so there are no pictures for me to show. I apologize. Second, there are multiple reviews out for each of these products; this is a short summary of my experiences with each and my opinion for future purchases.)

    Over the course of four phones (BB8830, BB9630, BB9650, Droid X) and three audio devices (Sandisk Sansa e200, Zune 30, ZuneHD), I have gone through countless experiences with products made for screen protection. These are my my most recent experiences with three of the bigger names.

    BestSkinsEver and Skinomi occupy the wet application niche in my experience. Although the application process is similar, there are some other very identifiable differences that one should be aware of.

    The BestSkinsEver product is among the lower-cost offerings available outside of the multi-name throwaway brands. Rather than focusing on extravagant packaging or crazy gimmicks, BSE provides a quality product at a very reasonable price point - the Droid X screen skin is only $5.99. BSE skins ship in a business envelope with the instructions folded around the individual pieces. No squeegee, cloth, or solution is included. A full body skins is also available.

    After application and drying period (I wait about a week before passing judgment on an installation), the BSE has a definite orange peel texture to it, both visible and tactile. It does not greatly distort the display when looking head-on but the texture is easily visible from an angle. The surface of the skin provides a slightly rubbery feel and does have some give when pressed into by a fingernail. After frequent usage, the product can become very slick as the surface collects skin oils; a quick wipe with Windex and a microfibre cloth gives it back its higher drag feel.

    One note about BSE and other similar products - the manufacturing process leaves open the possibility of pigmentation absorption. Over time, skin cells and poorly-applied fabric dyes can seep into the skin and cause discoloration. I will try to post a demonstration of this with my Zune 30 and MacBook when I have the chance as both have noticeable changes in coloration from contact with skin and fabric.

    Skinomi's product ships in a brightly adorned box; the skin and squeegee are in a flap on the box top, and a premixed solution spray bottle is included in the main packaging. The base cost for a screen-only protector is $11.95 from Skinomi's site, but can be found less expensively on Amazon. Skinomi also offers full-body skins of the same material and a new dry-application carbon fibre pattern body skin that includes a wet application screen skin.

    While Skinomi's skin base is quite like that of BSE and Zagg, there is a noticeable post-application difference. Skinomi has added a glass-flat top layer that does not absorb oils or dyes; it is much easier to wipe back to its original consistency with just a cloth. This super-flat layer also gives the phone's surface more of a pure glass feel and makes the orange peel effect from the lower layers much harder to notice unless you intentionally go looking for it. The fingernail press test indicates a slight bit of cushion without damaging the outer flat layer.

    Even with all bubbles and dirt particles out, there is still the chance for some distortion and microprism effect as the skin sets in. On my last Skinomi application (a quick application, far from my best effort) I did have some microprism effect around the top third of the screen. After letting it sit overnight it was not easily visible with the backlight on, and after a week the skin was uniformly clear. Again, this was with a hurried install and more careful application does not have this problem.

    There is one minor issue I have found consistently with wet-application skins that is often not mentioned, and that is the appearance of microlines running the length of the material. This is another case where it is not noticeable without light hitting the screen just right, and the lines are most noticeable with a side-angled light with the screen off.

    The Steinheil/SGP Ultra screen protector is of the dry application type. The Ultra Clear edition comes packaged with two skins, a squeegee, tape foe dust removal, and a microfiber cloth. Again, I won
     

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  2. dequardo

    dequardo Well-Known Member

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  3. Leftyguy

    Leftyguy Well-Known Member

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    Steinheil - Good Choice...
     
  4. kramerica

    kramerica Well-Known Member

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    Did you have any experience with the skin on the phone itself?
     
  5. Justintoxicated

    Justintoxicated Well-Known Member

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    Wow and I was happy with my BSE skins/protectors.

    Guess I will have to try something else next time. As far as skin/dye etc getting in over time, I have noticed this when I change skins about once a year. The adhesive starts to wear out on the sides and curved areas over time, so I would be changing them out anyways. Is it really worth paying more for the glass layer if you plan on changing the skins every 6 months to a year anyways? Does Steinheil offer a full body skin? One thing I like about the BSE full body skin is that it makes the phone stay put and not slide around on smooth surfaces.

    How do the Steinheil help up to something like BSE or Skinomi?

    Thanks for testing these and I vote sticky as well.
     
  6. kramerica

    kramerica Well-Known Member

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    I am also a long time user of BSE and used Zagg when I was desperate. Because of BSE's price, I was swapping the screen out every 3-4 months at a minimum. Zagg is so overpriced it's almost criminal.

    I switched to the Stienheil because of a review on this forum and have been in marriage love with it. Have had it for a couple months and feel it's got another 3-4 months in it. The "glass" seems to slide better and it does give the screen a nice clarity. Since you get 2 in the case, it makes it easy to swallow a couple extra bucks. Of course, i wasted the first one because of installation error on my part. The big knock on Steinheil is their complete lack of customer service.

    I am using a rocket fish case but want to get back to the real phone and it's slimness. Was looking at Skinomo on line because the BSE skins don't really cover the phone like it should (which is bizarre as that was the other reason I always bought them).
     

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