VINE VOICEon 24 January 2014
Review for: [3-Pack] Anker Screen Protector Film (Ultra Clear) for Samsung Galaxy S4
pro: Thin and lightweight, reasonable thickness.
cons: Nowhere near as thick as the premium brands such as zagg, tech21 etc
bottom line: Reasonable protection, excellent value for money
Some of the `softer' protectors like the zagg are trickier to work with, but the Anker like many other pet screen protectors was very easy to work with. Whilst I don't doubt this will not give anywhere near the protection of Zagg or other protectors, its a good middle ground. Use this to protect the screen against scruff/keys etc. If it gets damaged the screen is still good, so you can peel the old one off and reapply a new one. Hopefully you'll still have two spare ones for this purpose.
If your criteria is better protection consider tempered glass screen protector or a premium brand pet screen protector, which can be a lot thicker. But also consider is it worth buying super expensive screen protector if the cheaper versions are sufficient? Would it be better to save on the screen protector and spend that on the case instead? Horses for courses.
Its the first time I've used Anker, and I am very happy with it. In fact I have recently changed my phone to a note 3 and ordered another Anker one for that too.
This item is titled, "Highest-Quality Japanese PET Material +Retail Packaging" Whilst I would say its a decent screen protector I wouldn't go as far as `Highest quality Material'. I have bought a large number of branded protectors over the years, from Zagg, Martin Shields to Tech21 etc, and used a large number of unbranded ones too on many different devices.
I happened to have a tech21 for the note 2 from my old phone lying around so I was able to compare them side by side. Although both protectors are super thin, you could very easily tell that the tech21 was *much* thicker. Looks like you really do get what you pay for. However at the price of the Ankers, you could buy multiple packs and it would still be cheaper than the premium brands, if you got a scratch, you would just rip it off and put another one.
Having said that I was just looking for a cheap and cheerful protector for smudges and light scratches. With the cost of the Anker ones so cheap, I got both the matt and ultra clear. Having used both I do actually like the matt one. In very bright light your reflection is dimmed, so its less of a mirror, which can be distracting. More of a personal taste thing - some would say the matte reduces the vibrancy of the screen too much, but for me matte was just right, although the matte does have a slighter rougher surface than the ultra clear.
Applying the protector is a reasonable affair. Pretty much the same as most protectors - if you don't prepare, you will mess it up. Luckily you have three in a pack so you have a few attempts. For me I have picked these tips after watching numerous videos over the years, and trying them out myself;
1. Apply the protector in a dust free environment - I tend to do it in the bathroom, on the toilet lid!! No bear with me - run your shower, bath to get a nice steamy environment - this can reduce the levels of dust (you still might get dust, but it will be a *lot* less likely).
2. Prepare a dust removal tool - all you need is a pen/pencil and sellotape. Wrap the sellotape (regular sellotape not the cheap brand which might leave residue) around the top, (non writing end), of the pen/pencil so the sticky side is facing out, and you have your own home made dustie :-) You then just dab the pen/pencil on the areas that might have picked up dust with the sticky end. Sometimes its worth having two of these - if your lifting an applied protector - use one dustie to lift the protector, and the other to dab at the trapped dust, although nothing stopping you using the same one. There was a stip of adhesive suppled with Anker, but I prefer my sellotape - getting set in my ways - danger of old age!
3. Wash your hands! - I always wash by applying soap on *dry* hands first, work it in and then wash it off (a trick i learnt to clean car grease off your hands after working on the car).
4. Have a small bowl of water to hand when you start the process - use this to dip the tips of your fingers in whilst you're working the screen. Some people even recommend mixing in a drop of washing up liquid in this - if you do, make sure its a very small drop! On one application I got a beautiful finish, unfortunately i must have put a big drop and the end result was a rainbow effect if you tilted the phone in the light at a certain spot, so now i just use water.
Whilst you're working the screen dip the tips of your fingers lightly in your water, so its wet (not dripping) to avoid leaving any fingerprints etc.
5. Dry lay your screen protector on the device so you orientate it correctly and work out the correct positioning - not all screen protectors cover the bezel (around the screen). The Anker does not fully cover the bezel (the black bit around the screen) on the sides, and does not go to the phone edge at the top (this is pretty normal for most protectors), but the Anker does cover the entire screen (unless it wasn't perfectly aligned). So work out the positioning first.
6. Start the process by cleaning the screen with a lint free cloth - one is provided with the pack, but you can also use any cloth similar to what you would clean your sunglasses/specs with. Dip fingers in water and sprinkle a few drops on your screen - remember the majority of mobile devices aren't water proof so dont go overboard!! Don't push any of the drops towards any ports or speakers - prob wont be very good for the phone! Clean with the cloth.
7. Remove about a quarter or less of the backing (for the side attaching to the screen) and carefully position the screen protector - some people like to work from bottom up using the home button to help positioning, myself I prefered using the top for the s4, using the top right hole to help positioning.
8. Moving slowly gradually remove the rest of the backing you started removing. Don't worry too much about air bubbles at this point - its the bubbles that form from trapped dust that are the big problem. If you come across any dust bubbles - stop. Lift the protector back and dab with your dustie to pick up the dust/hair etc. before continuing, its these dust bubbles that can ruin things for you. The most important part in this stage is removing any trapped dust and making sure the you align the screen protector correctly. If you get to the end and its not straight you can lift the whole thing and start again, but its a pain, so try to avoid that.
9. Once fully applied, unless you're a super expert, or super lucky (I'm neither), you may need to lift again to either reposition or get rid of any dust. At this point you will usually have one or more air bubbles. Using the card provided (any hard cardboard/plastic card will do the job) slowly push the bubbles from the centre towards the nearest edge. You can also do this with the lint free cloth. Some of the smaller air bubbles may not budge, tilt the phone to the light to make sure its not dust trapped underneath. If its not dust, you can either lift, dab with dusties and reapply, or you can leave for a week or so. Some of the smaller air bubbles will tend to go by themselves, but trapped dust never will and if its not aligned so it falls on an edge of the phone this may cause a stubborn air bubble.
10. Remove top protective layer, polish with cloth and you're done.
The whole process can take anything from 5 minutes to an hour, depending on your progress and whether you have done this sort of thing before. Personally, it usually takes me between 20 - 30 minutes, because i like to take my time over it.