The few seconds between dropping your phone on the pavement and picking it up again seems to drag on forever – a brief moment of panic during which your screen could either be shattered or not shattered.
If you’ve survived the mild trauma of seeing your phone’s display turned into a beautiful kaleidoscope after taking a nose-dive off the kitchen counter, chances are you went straight out and bought a screen protector.
Made from layers of tempered glass, these thin glass sheets offer your phone additional scratch and impact protection. Glass screen protectors are thicker, offer better protection and feel nicer under the fingers than plastic, and more like your phone’s original surface.
Most modern phone screens are already very resistant to everyday damage from loose coins and keys, but over time they can become scuffed by smaller, harder particles of sand and grit. Even if your phone doesn’t break when dropped, impacts can cause invisible micro fractures that weaken the glass and make it more likely to crack next time. Screen protectors offer some protection against dropping, but to survive serious impacts a sturdy phone case is needed.
No one wants to smash their screen, so it’s worth spending a little on protecting your device now to avoid a larger bill further down the road. The best screen protectors are 9H tempered glass, so as not to spoil the aesthetic of your device. Most come with mounting tools for achieving the perfect alignment.
Some offer features beyond protecting your phone from damage. There are oleophobic screen protectors to reduce smudges and fingerprints.
We tested these screen protectors on an iPhone 12, as well as other devices. We used coins and the business end of a house key to test each screen protectors resistance to everyday abuse, and considered how easy they were to apply to our device without bubbles or misalignment.
The best screen protectors for 2021 are:
No. 1 : iTech Parts 9H Tempered Glass
No. 2 : Atouchbo D Plus Tempered Glass
No. 3 : Remax Tempered Glass
The iTech range of screen protectors is the best we’ve tested, and has options covering the top-selling iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, Samsung Galaxy and iPhones. The 9H version of screen protector is available across most of the range and as well as offering the usual shatter and scratch protection. They come with a oleophobic coating to reduce smudges and fingerprints.
This screen protector also offered the best protection for your device, while Atouchbo came a close second, iTech was at the best price point so scored extra marks.
Remax came a close 3rd but being the most expensive lost out, although still offered good protection all round.