Review: My Life With Zagg invisibleShield Protectors

I’m a big fan of screen protectors. My MacBook, my iPhone, my Android phone, my iPad — if there’s not a protector on it, I feel nervous. Over the past few months, I’ve tried various invisibleShield protectors from Zagg. They’re expensive, not always perfect, but sometimes I do love them. My review.

Before I dive in, that link above and ones below to Zagg are affiliate links. If you visit the site through them, and buy a product, I earn a little bit. Maybe you’ll want to after reading this review; maybe you won’t!

Good Grip, Feel Safe, But Not Always Perfect

Zagg’s protectors are feel slightly thicker and stronger than the typical plasticky protector you might be used to getting for your phone. I guess that’s because they use some special material that the web site will tell you all about. They’re said to especially help prevent scratches, and Zagg even has a warranty program to back them.

I’m most impressed with how well the protectors have worked for my iPad. I puchased “Full Body” coverage, which means I got coverings for the front and back of the iPad. It makes it far easier to grip the device. I definitely feel the iPad is more protected. I went with Zagg protectors because at the time, there weren’t lightweight iPad cases available. Now, I don’t even want a case.

I also got one for the Sprint Evo phone that Google handed out to attendees at its Google I/O conference. I don’t use the phone regularly, now that the trial period has ended. But the protectors — full body again — kept it safe when I was using it. As with the iPad, they give more “grip” to the device, so I’m less worried about dropping it. It’s very easy to see through, as well. You don’t notice it’s on.

In contrast, I had a Zagg protector on my Nexus One, and it looked terrible. It just felt for some reason like I couldn’t see through it properly, as if the top portion had been discolored. I contacted Zagg, and they covered it through their warranty program (sort of, I’ll get back to this).

On my iPhone, I gave up on it. For whatever reason, the protector just didn’t feel right when I was using it on that device. As I carry my iPhone in a case, I didn’t really need the extra protection that the invisibleShield offers.

Related to that, the Zagg protector that I put on my wife’s iPhone eventually died after a few months. It started peeling away on both sides:

I clipped one side, then the other, then eventually replaced it with a more typical protector.

Similarly, I purchased a protector for my MacBook that hasn’t held up as well as I’d like. I wanted a clear cover so that MacBook’s original finish showed through. The Zagg film does that. But one of the corners never went down correctly. Slipping it into my laptop bag, it caught and rolled back a bit. Now it’s a mess:

Tricky Installation

In the case of my MacBook, I mentioned how the corner never quite fit. A good thing about Zagg protectors is that they literally will cover every square inch of your screen or device. The bad thing is that it means you have to get them precisely on. Sometimes, it feels impossible.

Zagg provides ample instructions and even videos with advice. Personally, I wish the MacBook cover hadn’t been so precise, because I simply could not get it to fit the way I thought it should. It was also difficult in that the protector was so large — covering a 15″ laptop — that it kept sticking together as I tried to apply it.

Every Zagg protector will come with applicator spray. I’ve found it best to spray both the film and the device, which lets you slide the film into place more easily. You get a squeegee that you can use to push out bubbles. Commonly, you’ll find some microbubbles can’t be removed. Zagg says these will work themselves out naturally, and I’ve found that to be the case.

By the way, I wouldn’t bother with full body coverage if “front and back” is offered more cheaply. Zagg will produce little strips to cover all the side edges of your device. My experience has been that these just fall off.

Warranty Returns Lost In The Mail

I mentioned the warranty. I’ve done this twice with Zagg. The first was with my original iPad film, where the microbubbles never seemed to disappear as they should have. Zagg agreed. The second time was with my Nexus One film because of the discoloration. Again, Zagg agreed — though I never got my refund, in the end.

In both cases, the films were never received by Zagg, lost in the mail, I guess. The first time, they trusted me and issued a refund anyway. The second time, while saying that they did believe I’d mailed it and that the film was lost, Zagg still said they wouldn’t wave the replacement fee. See, the way warranty replacements work is that you buy a new film and get a refund when you send the old one back.

I get where Zagg was coming from, and they do advise to insure your film when sending it back. But that takes time to hit a post office counter, and it’s not worth it for their cheaper films. But if you do send one back, consider it, because my experience has been things seems to get lost much more than I’d expect.

Never Pay Retail

Finally, never, ever pay list price. Just follow Zagg on Twitter or Facebook, and you’ll get a 20% off code to use. Zagg often tweets special codes for deeper discounts, as well. You can also try searching on Google Real Time Search for zagg code and find people often sharing extra codes that they have.

Speaking of specials, today’s Cyber Monday. Zagg’s doing 50% off everything, site-wide. So if you’ve been considering their films, this is a good time to go for it. Just be aware that traffic to the site is currently making it very slow. You can visit them here.