Plastic, glass or sprayed on: Protection options for your smartphone

Your smartphone’s screen can be cracked in a fall or get scratched in your pocket by coins, keys or other sharp objects.

Repairs can be expensive, so it makes sense to take precautionary measures and add some additional protection to your device’s screen.

Three different types of protective layer are available.

Plastic ones are inconspicuous and will protect against minor damage. However, they can be hard to apply.

A glass layer is easier to apply and also offers more protection.

It may look complicated to apply a protection layer to your smartphone screen, but in reality, it’s far easier than it seems.

Special sprays can help protect your smartphone display and don’t leave air pockets behind.

“It withstands harder blows, is key-resistant, and sharp or pointed objects leave only minor scratches,” says Jannik Degner from the website Smartphonepiloten.de.

According to the manufacturers, some glass layers achieve 9H on the hardness scale. For comparison, diamonds top the scale at 10H, while some plastic protective layers only have a hardness rating of 3H.

The third type of protective layer is sprayed on. These spray-on screen protectors consist mainly of silicon oxide, a kind of liquid glass.

Their advantage: “You don’t have to cut the foil and have no problems with air pockets under it,” says Blasius Kawalkowski from the website Inside-Handy.de.

Which option you go for depends on the desired degree of hardness.

“If you want to be on the safe side and protect your smartphone as much as possible from damage, you should pay attention to the degree of hardness of the layer,” says Alexander Emunds from the website Teltarif.de.

Other factors can also play a role. For example, some protective layers, such as matte ones, can slightly obscure the screen. On the other hand, fingerprints don’t show up as much on matte layers. They’re also anti-reflective, which is useful in sunlight.

There are also special layers that provide a mirror or privacy protection. The former is fully transparent when the display is activated and becomes a mirror when it’s switched off. The latter limits the display’s viewing angle to about 30 degrees.

“This means that your seat neighbour on the train doesn’t see the content if they glance at your smartphone display,” Kawalkowski says.

It’s important to make sure the display is clean and free of grease before you apply a protective layer to it.

A microfibre cloth helps to remove dust that can otherwise lead to small bubbles between the display and the protective layer.

“To apply a display layer, you should take your time and have a steady hand,” Emunds advises. – dpa