Technology
Fact Checked

What Is a Phone Screen Protector?

Christian Petersen
Christian Petersen

A phone screen protector is an accessory for cell phones, PDAs, tablet computers, and other devices that protects the screen. Primarily designed to protect touch screen devices without compromising image quality or device function, most phone screen protector accessories are self-adhesive sheets of very thin, high clarity, scratch resistant plastic. A typical phone screen protector of this type is made to be close to invisible when applied to the phone but to provide a high degree of protection. These protectors are disposable and leave behind no glue or other adhesive residue when removed. Other protectors are available for some devices that cover the entire device, not just the screen.

Most adhesive sheet phone screen protector accessories are made of some type of plastic. Urethane based screen protectors are the most common, but other types of plastic are possible. Several companies market such products, and most of them have sheets for almost any smart phone, tablet, digital camera, or other device with a touch screen or other digital display that could benefit from protection against scratches or other damage. Some companies even market adhesive sheet protectors for watches.

A cell phone with a screen protector on it.
A cell phone with a screen protector on it.

The rapid proliferation of smart phones and other touch screen devices in the first decade of the 21st century created a demand for these accessories. The urethane film technology was adapted from United States military applications, in which these tough films were first used for the protection of helicopter rotors. Later adapted for electronic devices used under difficult conditions of field operations, these thin film adhesive plastic protectors quickly found their way to the consumer market.

A smartphone with a touch screen.
A smartphone with a touch screen.

Further advancements have contributed to improvements in the basic phone screen protector. Advanced polymers and additives have led to the creation of thin film plastics that are said to be "self-healing". This type of adhesive protector can absorb scratches, and with the application of a little heat, such as from a hair dryer, the scratches can seem to almost dissolve as the plastic "heals" itself. Anti-glare features, polarization, and extended product life are just some of the improvements made to these products since their introduction.

Tablet computers can benefit from a screen protector.
Tablet computers can benefit from a screen protector.

Most products of this type require careful installation. Some require activating the adhesive by soaking in water or special solution before application, while others are simply "peel and stick". Each brand has its own specific methods and techniques for application, and so instructions must be carefully read and followed to ensure proper use and to avoid damage to the device.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments

anon325896

Screen protectors should installed by the manufacturer of the phone. I would gladly pay an extra $50 if the company who made the phone also fitted a nice screen protector and sold the phone with it installed.

It's so stupid that we have to run around looking for screen protectors to install afterwards and then half the time the screen protectors end up getting a dust particle or bubble underneath it during the installation and makes it look bad. Sometimes you pay for someone to install the screen protector for you and they use a cheap crappy screen protector that came out of china. The whole headache could be avoided if the retards did one extra step in the factory during manufacture.

chivebasil

If I put a screen protector on my phone how easy is it for me to take off?

I had a friend who had one and it basically got glued to her screen. When she did manage to get it off it had left a disgusting residue that basically ruined her phone. She had bought the screen at a drug store so it's not like she could complain to the cell phone company. She ended up having to replace her phone.

backdraft

Its really helps to try a screen protector before you buy it.

I have had several in the past that were too thick or too cloudy. They made the screen blurry or they could not pick up the motion of my finger on the touch screen. Basically they made it annoying to use my phone which is the last thing I want.

If you can, be sure to try any new protector out on your phone in the store. Its an easy way to make sure you are buying something you can use.

jonrss

If you are going to spend all the money on a nice new smartphone I think it's absolutely necessary to have a screen protector. Even the most careful person can easily damage their phone. A screen protector is a cheap, easy and effective way to make sure that your phone is protected.

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • A cell phone with a screen protector on it.
      By: amorphis
      A cell phone with a screen protector on it.
    • A smartphone with a touch screen.
      By: N-Media-Images
      A smartphone with a touch screen.
    • Tablet computers can benefit from a screen protector.
      By: bloomua
      Tablet computers can benefit from a screen protector.
    • Urethane film technology was adapted from U.S. military applications, and it was first used for the protection of helicopter rotors.
      By: V. ZHURAVLEV
      Urethane film technology was adapted from U.S. military applications, and it was first used for the protection of helicopter rotors.