Sunday, July 25, 2010

Steinheil Skin Guard Review

Among Apple users there is a struggle regarding the use of skins and cases to protect the appearance of their prized possessions.   I have done a few things to protect iPods and my MacBook Pro. For the iPhone I wavered for days.  But being well acquainted with regret- the "I wish I had..." syndrome, I chose to protect it in the end.

First, I bought the bumper.  It is a good bumper.  Nice fit and quality.  The rubbery edge gives good grip and addresses the concern about setting it on a marble counter over a piece of grit.  Next the screen.  I have a couple of watches with mineral glass crystals, and can attest to their ability to survive shock and rough use.  But while those crystals have survived amazing abuse, they also scratched when addressed by sand and such.  So, I sought screen protectors, front and back.

I settled on Steinheil, based on not very much good internet information, but was intrigued by the opportunity to use a solid, faux leather cover for the back.  Like a Blackberry Bold. improved in-pocket indexing, cover the verbiage on the bottom of the back, and semi-uniquity.  There seems to be some agreement that these are tough and clear.

Application instructions don't come with the package, but are available on the company website.  Installation went as it should, and turned out well.  The only issue, the die cuts are designed to be "Bumper Compatible".  This seems to mean they are a few microns too small to go to the edge of the glass on front and back.  The bumper actually fits flush to the edge of the screen protectors, not over them.  OK, with a bumper installed, great.  Without, there is a bothersome edge I can feel just inside the edge of the iPhone screen.

The clarity is as clear as it can be, I think,  I can't perceive any difference in the Retina Display.  The faux leather back is just right.  Not too sticky but with some texture to make it a more sure grip.  But... the front screen is slightly grippy feeling, it is not as slick as the glass.  This may be a problem.  It is not enough to impact the scrolling or function in any way, but it does not feel as good.  Maybe this will "break in".

Is it worth $19 (including shipping)?  That is completely relative.  It does what it says, and does it well so far.

Update: the screen saver is a fingerprint magnet compared to the fanstastic oleophobic coating Apple uses on the glass, and the whole thing looks rather, oh, downmarket.  Like the BB Bold.  

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