posted on 09 Feb 2013 04:47 by androids
Skinomi TechSkin - LG Nexus 4 Screen Protector
This is a review based on my experience with 2 of these things. Skinomi sent me a free 2nd one to review so I'm going to base my review on the experiences I've had with both of them.
This was my first wet application protector and like so many others, I was pretty paranoid about letting any liquid get near electronics. Would the water seep down between the screen and edge of the phone? would it get into the speaker by accident? Thankfully it doesn't appear as if anything has been damaged so that's good.
The only other screen protectors I've used on my devices have been from the company realook. I think they make the best protectors as they are simple to apply and feel like glass.
I contacted them about the nexus 4 and they're still perfecting their protector to accomodate the curved edge of the screen. So with that in mind, I turned to skinomi.
With the dry application screens, you usually get 1 shot to get it right. If it's not aligned perfectly, forget about trying to pull it up and re-apply. The odds of getting dust or lint under the protector go up exponentially. So the wet application of the skinomi made it easy to get it lined up. Doing this in the bathroom with the shower/sink running as hot as possible to steam up the room will remove all the floating dust particles.
After applying it and rubbing the bubbles out and drying with a microfiber rag, the screen didn't look very good but patience is the key and the instructions say let the phone sit overnight so in the morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see the imperfections were gone.
That's where the good experience ended for me.
I was using the iblason S design case and as many have noted (and I have noted on my iblason review) the iblason case rubs on the edge of the skinomi removing it from the edges of the phone's screen. So if you're reading this and you have one of the cases that looks like the iblason case, either find a new protector or a new case. These 2 products do not get along.
I recently got my ionic guardian case which is WAAAY nicer than the iblason and it wraps around the screen more and doesn't appear to mess with the screen protector at all. So that's a good alternative and also offer much better protection for the phone than the iblason. But I digress...
Back to the skinomi. It has a very sticky/rubbery feel to it compared to the realook protectors or the naked screen. That smooth silky feeling is gone and for my personal preferences, it's a bad thing. I like that slick smooth feel. The skinomi I guess due to it's extra thickness or material has a rubbery feel to it and also, the screen is a tad less responsive to my touch.
I verified this before applying the 2nd skinomi by going to the developer options in the phone, turning on the on screen pointer options and observing the PRS pressure meter. Without the protector, it will detect all the way down to 0.2 pressure and with the skinomi on the phone, it's only at around 0.50 on average. This makes a big difference in screen responsiveness in that more pressure from your finger is required to navigate.
This in my opinion is the biggest problem I have with the skinomi. I have no doubt that it will protect the screen but lets be honest... gorilla glass is incredibly resilient to scratching as it is and if the phone falls, no screen protector is going to save it from getting cracked. Get the ionic guardian for superior impact protection... but for screen protection, this protector is overkill to the point that it makes the phone's screen more cumbersome to use.
It may be nice to have on a cheaper screen that doesn't have as good of inherent scratch resistance but for the gorilla glass, skinomi really needs to re-evaluate their design and come up with something that is thinner and more slick/glassy to the touch that will allow better finger pressure to translate to the screen. For comparison, on my nexus 7, the realook protector didn't change the PRS rating at all vs the naked screen.
It's probably not the review that skinomi was hoping for but they asked for an honest and unbiased review and I'm being as honest and up front as I can here. It really all boils down to this: the only reason I'm using the skinomi is because realook hasn't released theirs yet. Once they do, the skinomi is coming off. I suspect that many other skinomi users are in the same boat. They're only using the protector because it's the only real option on the market right now.
I give it 3 stars because it's easy to apply and align, the air bubbles go away and it feels like it is very durable. Minus 2 stars because it decreases the screen's responsiveness and doesn't feel nice and glassy.