Those who love gadgets know that a broken device is the only thing more annoying than a slow one. Have you ever damaged your smartphone? Then you will learn how timely – and expensive – it can be to sort.
When it comes to protecting our mobile devices, there are various tools out there that we can use. One of the most common choices today is phone cases and covers. These help to give our smartphones extra protection should they get dropped. Yet, while many phone covers protect the device’s exterior, they do little – if anything – to guard the “main” part of the device: the screen. With that in mind, many are investing in anti-shock screen protector solutions.
These come in many shapes and sizes and for numerous different devices. You can find stores like this that specialise in selling such protectors. But do they work? Or is this another smartphone gimmick designed to make you spend money?
Do anti-shock screen protectors secure your phone?
You first need to know factor here is that these protectors work – if you buy the right type.
Like any other smartphone accessory, you get two types: the real thing and the cheap imitation. As you might imagine, cheap imitations are usually protection in name only. It might look the part, but more affordable anti-shock screen protection aids are often a placebo. They tend to provide only the smallest and most basic level of protection, leaving you with very little actual security.
Considering that, buying something with a proper reputation is always better. You might pay a little bit more, but the cheapest screen protectors tend to be worthless. They might only cost you a few dollars, but they are still more or less useless!
Investing in something a bit sturdier is always the recommended choice. You want to find something with a proper level of depth. Many cheaper screens are tiny and can feel more akin to holding a piece of see-through paper than an actual screen guard. Good anti-shock protection will feel sturdier and thicker and should leave a noticeable difference in the thickness of your screen.
How do anti-shock screen protectors work?
How these tools work can seem quite confusing. However, for the most part, these work purely by giving your screen an extra layer of protection. Shock damage most typically occurs after something has been dropped enough to weaken the hardware’s structure and make-up. Anti-shock protectors work well because they ensure the protective layer takes the brunt of the damage. It is akin to wearing body armor for your device – it stops the shock from getting through to the ‘important’ parts.
This secondary layer helps absorb the impact and ensure it does not get through to the screen itself. This reduces the risk of your phone’s performance being impacted or of your phone being left incapable of being used afterward. What typically makes the biggest difference to your phone’s protection, though, is the thickness or hardness rating that the anti-shock protector has.
Determining the hardness rating of anti-shock screen protection
You have two primary ratings which are used today. Most brands refer to these rating systems as the ASTM Hardness Scale and the Mohs Scale. The ASTM scale is most commonly used, but its accuracy is often disputed. It uses a specific hardness scale that does not translate well. For example, the highest level of protection on their scale – 9H – is weaker than tempered glass. Given most of these anti-shock protectors are made using at least tempered glass, this is not a great indication of accuracy.
The Mohs scale, though, is far more effective. It does not sound as stylish or as marketable, but it is a more indicative reflection of the actual quality. You should find out if any of the protective kits you look at have been evaluated using a Mohs kit. This is more effective in determining your protection quality than the more jargon-friendly ASTM scale.
What is the best anti-shock screen protection material?
Most of the time, you will find that good old tempered glass will do the trick. They tend to be the best choice because tempered glass exceeds the ASTM scale and is the smoothest to touch. Other anti-shock protectors can feel a touch uncomfortable or rough to touch. As such, it can make using your phone less enjoyable. Tempered glass also hits the best mark between price and protection. If you want a protective cover that is going to be able to sustain shock damage, tempered glass fits the bill.
If you want screen protection that is more low profile in terms of visibility, you want something made from Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) or Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU). TPU films, in particular, are a good choice as they can self-repair after being impacted and offer full protection. If your phone has a curved screen, this is more likely to provide edge-to-edge coverage than you would get with other styles.
In general, though, any form of anti-shock protection should do something. For the most meaningful protection, go for tempered glass, PET, or TPU material.
Do I need anti-shock protection?
Most of the time, you might feel this is a superfluous addition. However, if you are someone who happens to be quite drop-happy with your phone, this is an investment worth making. The shocking damage that repeated drops can lead to cracked screens, poorer performance, and decreased efficiency for your phone. Therefore, anti-shock protection is a worthwhile investment. It might not save your phone from destruction if you drop it from a large height, but your “typical” drops should be secured.
You need anti-shock protection if you make a habit of dropping your smartphone. Even then, those who are extra-careful can still benefit from the extra peace of mind. It also helps to ensure that your smartphone is more likely to survive the typical drops, spills, and falls at any given moment.
So, should you buy anti-shock protection? Yes, if you feel worried about your phone. If you do purchase anti-shock protection, though, make sure you buy something actually worth the cost!