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Mini-review: Invisible Shield for iPhone 3G

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Invisible Shield is the well-reviewed clear-plastic wrapper for mobile devices including iPods and laptops.  Its incredible claim is that it protects devices making them scratch-proof.  Having seen the demo videos I’ve no doubt that’s true.

One of the privileges of writing for SMS Text News is that you get to review stuff that manufacturers send out.  Sure, you have to send it back eventually, but you get to give a product a good workout before buying it and recommending it to other people.  This is not one of those reviews… I paid £14.99 at my local Carphone Warehouse for an iPhone 3G wrap.  If you want the quick version take a look at the picture above (that’s my kitchen bin) and you know all you need to….

In slightly more depth: The pack comes with front and back covers and a small spray bottle of what looks like water.  Following the instructions I peeled the front cover off its backing, sprayed it with the solution, laid it on the front of the device, lined it up and used the special plastic tool to squeegee the few bubbles away. 5 minutes later it had dried and looked great.

The back was less of a success.  Whilst the front had been a simple flat-glass face, the back of the iPhone is curved and needs cut-outs for the keys, speaker, microphone and SIM tray.  I applied it twice following the same routine, but the corners wouldn’t stick… I tried again and used the techniques suggested on the manufacturer’s site.  Still no joy.  The problem (aside from getting the cover aligned) was that the corner segments overlapped the microphone slots at the bottom and the corners wrinkled – looking as if they had too much plastic in them.  I tried one last time… disaster.  In removing the cover a second time some of the adhesive remained on the phone and subsequent applications gave a bubbled, cloudy appearance.  After an hour and a half of trying I gave up…

Instead of both sides, I just considered keeping the front face-covering on and had a play with the device in this state.  However, the Invisible Shield adds a tacky finish – ideal I would imagine for the back where you hold it – but it wasn’t pleasant in comparison with the slick feel of the iPhone’s glass screen normally.  It came off.

I’ve no doubt Invisible Shield does what it says regarding protection, but it’s current iPhone 3G template (which differs significantly from that pictured on the website) didn’t fit well for me on the back of the device – the only place I’d consider using it.  I can’t recommend it.

By Ben Smith

Ben is an expert on enterprise mobility and wireless data products. He has been a regular contributor to Mobile Industry Review since 2007 and is also editor of Wireless Worker.

5 replies on “Mini-review: Invisible Shield for iPhone 3G”

I've had an Invisible Shield on my i2G for a year now – brilliant.

It took a good 20 minutes of very careful work to get it on right, but has lasted very well and is utterly bombproof.

You really do need to be very careful with the install, and having wet hands is a must so it doesn't stick to you.

/m

I bought the invisible shield from carphone warehouse like yourself, and again like yourself, i found the installation a pain! You get the impression from the website its an easy 5 minute job, but in reality it takes a good 20-30 minutes of sheer concentration, a steady hand and bucket loads of patience. The front i found to be quite easy to install, though much to my horror, i found that when i removed the shield because the alignment wasnt correct, it collected dust, bits of cotton, tissue, hair, any sort of impossibly small yet annoyingly visible debris. The back section i found to be a waste of time and money. It took almost 3 hours for me to align it correctly, probably due to my shaky hands and nerves at potentially screwing up an expensive investment. The corners didnt stick properly, creased like you said, and it would appear that the cutouts for the volume controls and headphone socket are either to small, or so precisely cut that unless the shield is applied dead straight, spirit level in hand, it covers part of the opening. Ive ended up buying myself a hard case, with a plastic sheet cover for the screen. This is a big dissapointment, not so much because i spent

I bought an InvisibleSheild for my iphone 3g and I ripped it off about 2 days later. The first major problem is that unless the application is perfect, the plastic can bunch together and actually make the phone look like it has dents and/or scratches. Next, the piece that covers the face is just too “grippy” for a touch-screen phone. I found it difficult to move my fingers as they kept sticking to the surface coating. It wasn't impossible to use, but it definitely detracted from the original sensitivity of a truly “naked” iphone. And let's face it – the beauty of an iphone lies in that amazingly smooth and slick screen. I would recommend invisibleshield if you have a device that does not have a touch-screen, because it is a good product in theory, but it's not a good addition for the iphone 3g. Save $10 and buy one of the anti-glare coatings from the apple store.

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