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Accessories Can you share your opinions about phone/screen protection?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Jofaba, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. Jofaba

    Jofaba Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter
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    Jun 27, 2010
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    I recently dropped my phone from 1-2 feet onto the sidewalk and destroyed the screen. I'm getting my fixed phone back from Samsung tomorrow. I won't get into how much of a hellstorm that was, but it ended up costing me around $162 (vs the $70 they quoted me before I sent it in).

    So, needless to say, the whole ordeal has put in the market for some quality protection. And, I've got some questions and a lot of confusion.

    1. Hard Covers: What's the point? I'd get it if there was a rubber support system inside that essentially floated the phone inside, but how does snapping a hard case over a hard body fix anything? The AT&T rep recommended it over a soft case, but I just don't get the physics of the option.

    2. Soft Covers: Besides most being ugly, they seem too thin to really absorb any hard hits enough to protect the phone or the screen. Even the AT&T rep agreed. Oh yeah, and almost none of the cover's are advertised as being able to protect from a drop. Just scratches and dings.

    Who cares about scratching their phone so much that they'll cover the parts they'll scratch? Cant you cover the scratches once/if they happen with a cover?

    3. Otterbox: Only one of the Otterbox covers are advertised as protecting against drops. It costs $50 and isn't even available yet. If it's protection was like that of a surge protector, with an ingrained insurance policy, then that'd be a perfectly acceptable price. But that essentially works out to being a $50 deductible against a bad drop, and since it doesn't protect the screen itself, anything that hits the screen is going to damage the phone as if it were naked anyway.

    4. Zagg InvisibleSHIELD:

    a. Okay, so first, is it really invisible? Is it impossible to tell that you've got something over your screen? No bubbles, and you cant see the edges of the film? It doesn't ruin the touch screen responsiveness at all, and it doesn't affect color or image quality?

    b. How often do you have to change it even if you don't scratch it. Does it get worn out? Does the touch quality degrade? The screen itself is very smooth and touching it is very natural and smooth. Is the film not rubbery and "Grippy"?

    c. What's the deal with "full body shield". Is that purely about scratches? Does the ZAGG film protect from drops? I know that may sound stupid but I've seen some recent materials that can absorb crazy amounts of pressure. Remember that guy on Pitchmen who hammered his hand as hard as he could with that jelly product of his placed over his hand?

    5. What about all-around cases? Leather, etc, whatever. It sorta seems like adding the step of removing them from their case once you've removed them from your pocket/backpack/whatever then you're adding to the chance that you'll drop it because of complicating the task.

    6. Besides Otterbox, is there any case that looks good, is inexpensive, and actually protects against at least 90% of drops?

    As crazy as it sounds, I'm starting to think that running naked is still the cheapest and best way to run. I'm just going to be crazy afraid everytime I handle it vs being afraid while also being dissatisfied with the appearance/handling.

    That said, I did buy a Body Glove universal "mesh smartphone case" which has a clear window to the screen and looks to do a decent job of protecting the phone for a drop on all sides. I may remove the window plastic to expose the screen if it seems to offer decent access. I will almost certainly remove the belt clip. And I am not happy that it doesn't have the kickstand option that the bodygloves online do. But it seems decent enough to start with.

    I'm sorry that this was a long introduction/rant/inquiry but I am really at my wits end. I don't understand how most of these expensive cases really do anything besides protect the parts of the phone being covered from being damaged. And I'm not sure how any of the ones currently on the market offer any protection against a drop.

    All responses are welcomed, even if you just want to take a moment to tell me how stupid I am.
     

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  2. rubiconjp

    rubiconjp Well-Known Member
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    I use the Body Glove rubber case from at&t (you can find same case for much cheaper on ebay now). I have dropped my phone 2 times since - no damage. The raised rubber edges around the screen protects it pretty well.
     
  3. Prim8

    Prim8 Well-Known Member
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    Jul 27, 2010
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    A hard case might still protect you in case of a drop. Even though it's hard it still absorbs some of the impact and it's not so soft that something will go right through it.
    A phone has no moving parts so it doesn't have to be protected by a bunch of phone like a laptop would.

    Zagg isn't quite invisible but it's not bad. It does have sort of a rubbery feel to it that I didn't like with the touchscreen.
    I tried Phantomskinz after my Zagg I didn't like and it is almost the same feel as the screen itself while still giving the same protection as the Zagg.
    It is possible to install these without bubbles but it may take a couple tries to get it right. You can just pull it off and try again.
    Mine has a few small bubbles but I can only see them when the screen is off so it doesn't bother me.
    None of the skins will really protect the phone from drops. They would probably keep it from getting scratched, or scratched as much but they wont really absorb any impact. They're very thin. They're designed to keep your keys or dirt on the table from scratching your phone.

    If I were you and I was really worried I would consider a hard case and add one of the skins. I recommend the Phantomskinz between it and the Zagg. I haven't tried any of the other brands.
     
  4. ironhorse

    ironhorse Well-Known Member
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    Sep 10, 2010
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    Cases are designed for impact and scratch protection. A hard case is designed to break and absorb the impact where a soft case is designed to absorb the impact via a cushion method. Basically the soft material disperses the shock across the majority of the material. My personal preference is the tpu cases. It is kinda a crossbreed between hard plastic and silicon.

    wiki TPU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAUrtjpWujs

    ebay tpu captivate

    As far as screen protectors I like the SGP ultra crystal

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQncfJXVlCA
     
  5. Jack45

    Jack45 Well-Known Member
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    Jul 13, 2010
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    The reason I like the Body Glove soft shell case is that it's a perfect balance of protection and grip. Not so rubbery as to make it difficult to remove from your pocket, and not so slippery as to make it a challenge to hold.

    Going naked may make the phone look sleeker, but the grip provided by the thin Body Glove case has helped me avoid any drops. As for the screen, when I place it on a desk it's either front side down or I sit it in this:

    OfficeMax Mesh Business Card Holder, Black
     
  6. sremick

    sremick Well-Known Member
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    Jun 18, 2010
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    IT Admin
    USA
    Totally agree with Jack here 100%.
     
  7. mikeaustin

    mikeaustin Member
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    Dec 7, 2010
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    I'll answer these since I have a Zagg:

    Not invisible, but pretty near it. It has a very, very, very slight 'orangepeely' texture to it but I like it (unless I'm doing hypesensitive microscopic electric wiring picture studies!).

    You cannot see the edges of the film. 2 months into it no peelback whatsoever.

    It does not affect screen responsiveness at all.

    It does not affect color, maybe .50% half of 1 percent) quality.


    They say lifetime warranty (it's an industrial film which is used in the military), so I'll assume it's good for life. At the worst I'll assume it'll be intact for my 2 year cycle.

    I haven't scratched it yet, it's pretty hard to. I don't plan to dig a knife into it to "see", so I can't answer what might happen.

    The next 2 questions in particular I like:
    The screen is smooth, like the texture of a window tint on glass. You feel a little bit of a "pad" but in no way does it inhibit swiping or other uses.

    Frankly I really like BETTER the feel with the Zagg. It's 99% like the glass surface but just a touch of "pad" enough that you can tell. But I like it better because I know I can go to town on it and not scratch the glass! The feel is just a touch enough different from hard glass that once I got used to it (about 1/2 hour) I liked it more. It's not "rubbery" or "grippy" but just a microscopic degree padded and less slick than the glass. Like I said, it's almost indistinguishable but just a touch, but again I can whomp on it and not worry.

    I don't have the "full body shield" but it does a good job protecting scratches.
    My guess is that if you drop it, if it lands on the screen side, it'll absorb some of the shock, on the backside, no. Definitely the screen will be protected. The film is not just plastic that tears... it's a high-tech poly blend that is exceptionally tough.

    I really like the Zagg, yes it was the quickest easiest option I found and yes it's more $ than some other solutions... I didn't care much, it was what was available so I read up on it and bought it. The box is way overkill, prettying it up to help you absorb the $20 "blow" but I would say that while I don't think it's completely "worth" that price, it's exceeded my expectations. I enjoy the phone feel and look with the Zagg and have no fear of scratching, etc. to the glass. I'd buy it again.
     
  8. Divadkab

    Divadkab Active Member
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    Ontario, Canada
    I was having a hard time choosing a case as well. If you want a hard case, with a soft inside, take a look at the Otterbox Commuter, which is just that.

    If you want a closer look I found a good thread with reviews/pictures:
    Otterbox Commuter Now Available... - xda-developers

    Pictures on page 1 and 5.


    As for screen protectors, I ordered Realook (Amazon.com: REALOOK AT&T Samsung Captivate Crystal Clear Premium LCD Screen Protector 2 Pack: Electronics) since they seem to get a good customer review everywhere I look.
     
  9. jopet216

    jopet216 Active Member
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    Sep 3, 2010
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    San Diego
    I have the Body Glove case and the Zagg screen protector on mine. I've dropped my phone twice, once screen facing down and nothing happened. Still works 100%. Love the body glove cuz of the gripp it gives me, but I'm not too crazy about the Zagg screen protector. I have the realook but been too lazy to install it.

    BTW...thanks for the post on your flashing of cognition. Been thinking about doing the same.
     
  10. Jofaba

    Jofaba Well-Known Member
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    Jun 27, 2010
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    I'm still trying to decide between the seidio and otterbox. I'll finally make a purchase in the next week or so after some more research. I suppose I could buy both, try them in person, and then sell one on ebay or to a member here...
     
  11. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle Member
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    Jul 7, 2010
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    Software Engineer
    CT
    I've been using a Seidio Innocase for about 6 months now and can report that it definitely protects from falls. I've dropped my Droid Incredible onto concrete 2-3 times now from heights that should have busted it, but it came away without a scratch.

    I also use Seidiou Ultimate Screen Guards. Truly invisible, no edges visible, no bubbles, has no effect on color, clarity or touch screen sensitivity.
     
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  12. jpovis

    jpovis Well-Known Member
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    Sep 11, 2010
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    Engineer
    St. Louis County, MO
    I've got the same case. It's awesome! Keeps the phone sleek and easy to hold onto. I do not use screen protectors! The Gorilla Glass was a huge factor in my decision to get this phone. It's nearly indestructible. I abuse my phone....no scratches or blemishes what-so-ever (knock on wood).
     
  13. Jofaba

    Jofaba Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter
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    Jun 27, 2010
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    I bit the bullet last night and bought a cover. I spent some time probing a friends brain with my options and we both agreed that the otterbox commuter seemed like a pefect balance of looks and protection.

    Otterbox charges around 35 for the cover and with shipping it comes to around 40 bucks. I shopped around a bit and found the same thing on ebay and bought it for $26 SHIPPED! Not a bad deal huh?

    I'll report back once I get it and post a review. I'm pretty psyched getting it that cheap. Hopefully I'll get it quickly and its as advertised.
     
  14. happycappy

    happycappy Well-Known Member
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    Dec 28, 2010
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    Just picked up that case too, only because the guy at AT&T says thats the only one out so far.:p Well I wasn't going to argue (its the holidays). The Body Glove isn't that bad as long as you don't go cow tippin' or mud wrestling with it. I also picked up the AT&T screen protectors and those seemed the best fit, no bubbles, from any I've ever got.
     
  15. GreatBizarro

    GreatBizarro Member
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    Dec 26, 2010
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    Electronic Message Ct Repair
    Texas
    Otter Box is the best I have found. The Defender is what I use but it does cover the lower section of the phone a bit more than other covers. The commuter may be a better choice
    Samsung Captivate Cases // OtterBox
     
  16. TripsYou

    TripsYou Well-Known Member
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    Oct 13, 2010
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    Old Navy Clerk
    Calera, AL
    I have used Zagg screen protector, Realook screen protectors, Some off brand screen protectors haha even the "Military Grade" ones off ebay. In my opinion SGP Steinheil makes the best screen protectors. No water needed and they are very easy to apply. NO air bubbles at all.

    As far as cases go, I have tried almost all of them...trust me. I have tried Defender and Impact from Otterbox, Active X and Innocase II Surface from Seidio, Amzer's cases, and the Body Glove case from Att. If you are look for something to guard your phone from nearly any situation, the Defender is for you. I didn't like how the Defender made the bottom buttons hard to press and how my phone slightly shook if I shook the case side to side ( I went through 2 cases btw and both shook) and how if you ever but the case in your pocket or around dirt and dust, they will stick to it like a magnet. The Active X is great if your wanting to keep your phone protected fairly well while keeping the slim design of your Captivate. The best over all for me is the Body Glove case from Att. It does not attract dust, lint or dirt from your pocket. It provides pretty good protection and the rubber of the case is high quality. It also keep the slim design of your phone intact. A Steinheil anti-fingerprint screen protector plus a Defender case makes your phone a rock but you constantly have to clean your case. I hope my sloppy and random comment helps. Message me for any questions!
     
  17. Jofaba

    Jofaba Well-Known Member
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    Gotta say, got my Otterbox today and I am pretty damn happy with it. I have two main concerns though:

    1. The silicone sleeve that's exposed top and bottom (and buttons) gives me the the feeling that it's going to start showing signs of wear after being rubbed for a couple months (going in and out of my pocket etc).

    2. It's a quality case but I still think my heart will skip a beat if I drop it on a hard floor. Also, it's pretty slick. There's not a lot of grip to it.

    It is very attractive though, and I think it's a great combination of appearance and sufficient protection against MOST bumps/bangs/tumbles.

    I also gave the included self-adhering screen protector a shot and am very pleased. I am going to keep it on for a while. The case covers most of the protector's edges, the screen is 100% responsive, and while finger prints still smudge on the screen, it seems like a lot less, and is easier to clean quickly with your shirt (and no more worrying about scuffing the screen with harsh fabric).

    So far I am VERY pleased =)
     
  18. askpcguy

    askpcguy Well-Known Member
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    Aug 3, 2010
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    Okay, the Otterbox company has three levels of cases. The Impact is a gel/rubber sleeve type case. The Commuter has the same gel/rubber sleeve case but adds a two piece shell. While the Defender uses a two piece hard shell, and gel or silcone sleeve which goes on the outside of the hard plastic shell and it includes a belt clip/holster.

    The Active X case from Seidio seems to be the best of both worlds. It also appears to allow headphones to be plugged in while still being able to fit into the holster.

    I picked up one from Ebay for $33 shipped. I'll get photos soon as I get the item!
     
  19. Fremen

    Fremen Active Member
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    Jan 25, 2011
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    Student - UMass Amherst (Economics)
    Amherst
    I bought SGP and think that it feels pretty weird at first, but after a while, you get used to it (it feels worse than stock though. Stock screen feels amazing imo and every screen will mess that up).

    I have no idea whether soft vs hard case is better or whatever, but I will say that I've dropped my phone a number of times (it does get kind of slippery when my hands are really dry), and the only problem I've seen is that I have a one pixel thick line of gray across my lock screen (but when I unlock, it's gone). This is pretty tolerable to me, so I haven't asked Samsung about it, but it is pretty damn weird all in all...
     

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