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Recently, I joined the throngs of tech buyers pushing Apple’s profit to all new highs when I bought an iPhone 6 for my wife. Now, smartphones are pretty tough customers, considering they’re mostly glass (OK, very tough Gorilla Glass – see our friends from Mythbusters on The Glass Age) and plastic and metal. They’re constantly with us and go through substantial abuse. Hence, the benefit of cases and screen protectors. Cases to mitigate the affects of a drop; protectors to mitigate scratches.

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I’ve always thought it a wise idea to have something between that gorgeous screen and the cold, cruel world of scratching things. On the other hand, you now have something between your eyeballs and that gorgeous screen. So, it needs to be crystal clear as well as protective. Long gone are the days where you’re primarily looking at contacts to dial on your phone. You’re surfing the web, you’re looking at videos and your Skyping. You really want a clear screen for those activities. I remember when I got my first Android smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy S (Epic), back in the Gorilla Glass 1 days, and bought a Zagg Invisible Shield to protect the phone and the screen. While I know I’m not going to be a brain surgeon anytime soon, my eye-hand coordination isn’t utterly pathetic. Yet, trying to apply the Invisible Shield so that it aligned perfectly was beyond my purview. Moreover, no matter what I did, I could never get the screen part of it to be completely bubble free. I watched the videos. I applied the special water. I use the squeegee. I did it in a quiet room when no one could bother me. There was no hope. I finally got it reasonably well on and, as the folks at Zagg indicated, most, but not all, of the bubbles went away. This, after much blood, sweat, and tears. I also finally determined that having my really beautiful screen obscured with a protective “invisible shield” film wasn’t worth it. I took it off, threw it away, and haven’t looked back since. I’d rather take the risk than noticeably diminish my visual experience on a daily basis.

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A colleague of mine recently showed me somthing new: Tech Armor’s ballistic glass. The protection was a solid piece of clear plastic rather than a flexible film. It looked great on his phone. So, it was with some excitement and trepidation that I  decided to take the plunge again and try this new screen protector. Oh what a difference new technology makes. I approached it with the same care that I did the film versions. I made sure I was going to be uninterrupted. I had a clear working space. I carefully prepared the phone for the installation. Man, I could’ve relaxed a lot more. It went on easily, with no angst. I didn’t have any noticeable bubbles to squeeze out. While the alignment, is not utterly perfect,it  is well done. I could feel the tension leave my body when I realized that I was not playing the game of Operation and losing, where losing meant either having a diminished phone experience or throwing away my money and the protector. No, Tech Armor was dead easy and spot on.

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So, now the slings and arrows of outrageous key scratches are no longer a worry. My wife originally couldn’t even tell the protector was on until she looked a bit more carefully. You simply see right through the screen protector without even noticing it’s there. This is the way consumer tech needs to be. Straightforward, while doing the job. Now, Gorilla Glass 4 is some seriously amazing technology. Not even it can totally eliminate scratches, nor will Tech Armor’s Ultraclear Ballistic Glass. It will, however, protect the underlying screen from getting those scratches. If, for some, reason the glass gets scratched up to the point of being bothersome, I’d much rather pay $10 or $15 to replace the protector that the $100 or more to replace an iPhone screen.

I heartily recommend tech armor for your phone. I personally own one of the toughest phones on the market, the Nokia Lumia 920; its ability to withstand the harsh realities of life is legendary. I would order a Tech Armor screen protector for it, if they carried it. They do not. The only Windows phone for which they have a screen protector is the HTC M8 because it’s the same outer hardware as its Android cousin. They do, however, carry  most of the popular lines including recent iPhones, iPads, Samsung, LG, Google and HTC Android phones, as well as Amazon’s Fire. Seriously, check them out if they carry your device.

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