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After several years of waiting for Apple to get the kinks out of the iPhone, I finally purchased an iPhone 3GS, and right from the store the phone went right into a case. The thought of scratching my new crown jewel of tech toys was horrifying to me and I wanted to do everything I could to keep it scratch free.
Now a few months later my iPhone has rendered some minor scratches on the back from being taken out of the case for docking purposes but today that ends. After some research and advice from others I finally settled on the full body Invisible Shield from Zagg. And after investing in so many accessories for my iPhone I now can use them all without fear of scratches to my phone. The full body Invisible Shield offers all around protection for the iPhone from the screen to the back and metal bezel.
The Invisible Shield comes in four pieces: front screen, full back, and two strips for the top front and bottom metal bezels. Also in the box there is an installation squeegee and a bottle of application spray. The whole package has the instructions printed on it and some tips for installing the shield. It even reminds you to register your shield for its lifetime warranty from Zagg.
Installation was both easy and somewhat tricky in a few spots. A bit of advice; work in a place where there is very little, if any dust floating in the air. First I cleaned off the front of my phone with a little glasses cleaning cloth that I had and made sure there was no oil, fingerprints, or dust on the screen of my phone. Zagg also suggests you turn off your phone to protect the circuitry if you end up getting some of the application spray inside a small opening somewhere.
Then came time to start with the shields. I started with the front piece and actually skipped putting on the home button protector, but it's there for those who want the full front of their iPhone covered. Application spray on the back of the shield, and after some trial and error with alignment with the headphone slot and sides, down went the front. The application spray helps edge out the air bubbles and also works with the shield to help set it in place. I found that if you take the squeegee and wrap it with a cloth, say the one you used to clean the front, it helps to glide across the front and push the bubbles out. Another note here, be sure to have a highly absorbent piece of either material or lint-free cloth to help absorb the application liquid that comes out to the edges.
Next was the back, and this is where a little of the trickiness of installation came into play. Installation steps are the same with the application spray, but alignment can be tricky because the back has less points of reference that can be used to help align the shield. Another factor that makes this piece harder to align is the fact that the sides actually bend all the way around to cover the metal bezel and each side has to be just right or else the shield may peel. Again after much trial and error I finally was able to get the back aligned fairly evenly on both sides of the bezel. Then things got a bit tricky here. The ends/corners of the back piece wrap around the corners on the back and on the bezels but they don't stay at first application. The technique that finally worked for me was to spray the hanging pieces with the application spray and letting it set for a few minutes, letting the ends become somewhat dry. After this I pushed the ends down and used my palm to help mold the shield to the contours of the phone. One corner at a time and a lot of patience is the key in this phase of installation.
The last steps to installation are the top and bottom front bezel strips, which are a breeze to put on, a little flimsy but a lot easier than the other pieces. After all is said and done set your phone aside and let it dry and cure, but be sure to check it after about an hour to make sure the corners are still in place and that nothing has peeled or shifted. It's also a good idea to leave your phone off for another few hours to makes sure that any liquid that may be in little cracks has a chance to dry. Zagg says to let your iPhone cure for 24 hours, so as long as you can go without your phone the better.
After all my installation was done I felt great about carrying around my phone around "naked" in my pocket without the fear of scratches. But after about a week it went back into the silicone case that my iPhone originally resided in. A bit of warning though, the Invisible shield does add just a bit of thickness to the iPhone that can interfere with some accessories that slide onto the phone's body. But as for soft cases I don't see there being much problem with using those ones with the Invisible shield, if you want the extra protection from accidental drops and falls.
Zagg backs the Invisible Shield with a lifetime warranty against wear and tear as well as the possibility of scratching the shield. It's a great investment if you want to protect your iPhone but don't want the added bulk of a case. So for the protection you receive plus the lifetime warranty, the $25 spent on an Invisible Shield from Zagg is $25 well spent.
Zagg Invisible Shield
Joshua Virata is a 2008 graduate of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA. He has been using computers since the age of 2 and is proficient in the areas of home wired and wireless networking, music creation, secure computing, cell phone communication and GPS navigation. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org