The iPhone screen protector industry has seen steady improvements in quality. You can select from wet application, dry application and the film themselves are also available in different finishes. Product quality varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but it’s largely been the same product, often cut differently for the latest iPhone. Spigen SGP has a new spin on an old product with the release of Glas.t, marketed as a premium tempered glass screen protector for the iPhone 4S/iPhone 4. Is it the same old, same old or are they on to something. Read on for our full SGP Glast iPhone review.

SGP GLAS.t Review

What’s Included
Included in the package are the following:

  • GLAS.t Tempered Glass Screen Protector
  • Alcohol Swab
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Squeegee
  • Set of epoxy coated buttons in assorted colors

Installation
Having done quite a number of screen and device protection installs, I can say that some are harder to install then others. Saving money on screen protectors doesn’t always mean you are getting value for your investment. Speaking from experience, I had some installs go so terribly wrong that they ended up wrapped up in a ball and sent back to the manufacturer.

With Glas.t, the installation is completely dry. Pull the tab to expose the adhesive and then you have to ever so carefully match up the home button and speaker openings. With any install of this nature, it’s much easier if you are in a clean, well-lit environment. If you make a mistake, you’ll have a small opportunity to correct it. During my installation of Glas.t, I noticed a small piece of cat fur at the bottom. I was able to unseat the screen protector at the bottom, remove the hair and then proceed with the install.

Once you applied Glas.t, the instructions will have you press the middle of the display. You’ll see the adhesive to start to magically spread, causing the tempered glass to adhere to your iPhone’s display. This process happens rather quickly. The included squeegee allows you to buff out any of the bubbles that remain. Post-install, I have a few very small bubbles, which I attribute to my removal and then re-application. These are only noticeable when the display is off. Your mileage may vary.

Protection
Other screen protectors are great against keys, spare coins or any other pocketable items that could cause damage to your iPhone. I’ve seen people tap razor blades and the iPhone come out unscathed. Still, it’s a thin plastic material, so it’s ability to offer protection is somewhat limited, despite being plenty for most folks.

GLASt

GLAS.t is a whole other animal. It’s tempered glass and will provide another layer of protection than what you’d get from standard fare plastic screen protection. While we don’t test drops, this product was designed to help with absorption during impact. The adhesive properties should also help support the display in the event it meets any sort of hard surface. By itself, probably not enough to give me a level of confidence. Combine this with a case for more than ample coverage. If the screen protector cracks, it will shatter into tiny pieces, to prevent from any harm to the end user.

SGP Glast iPhone 4S

Design & Usability
The GLAS.t measures in at just 0.4mm. The sides are not sharp and it doesn’t add any weight. The product fit great and coverage of the front was around 98 percent. Anything more could lend itself to greater difficult when installing. Once installed, the retina display burst with color through the GLAS.t screen protector. I felt as if I made zero compromises in using GLAS.t when compared to the out of the box experience. All of the added protection and I was still able to enjoy the vivid display of my iPhone 4S.

This being glass, it performs no different than your iPhone. The feel of glass as I swiped through tasks felt great.

SGP GLAS.t button

The package also contains a set of epoxy coated decals that effectively raise the level of your button. The result of applying this decal felt as if I had transformed my 2011 iPhone 4S into a Palm Centro. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the product designers at Apple felt the home button should be recessed, so I’m fine without any home button protection. I should note that you can choose from assorted colors if you enjoy a protruding home button.

GLAS.t bottom

Pros:

  • Easy installation
  • Superb protection
  • Retina display remains vibrant with color through GLAS.t
  • Glass feels good to the touch

Cons:

  • Pricey, when you consider only (1) screen protector is included
  • Doesn’t protect back or sides
  • Might not work with all cases
  • Home button epoxy coated stickers cheapen iPhone

Overall
One of the drawbacks of doing product reviews is that you sometimes have to displace a favorite product in order to properly conduct a review. This week, I removed my SGP Steinheil EX Ultra Fine Shield, realizing that I could always go back. I’m not going back. In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to anything other than a tempered glass product. The glass surfaces makes silky smooth swiping and the transparent nature allows you to enjoy Apple’s retina display as intended. GLAS.t provides the ultimate in screen protection without compromise.

The Spigen SGP Glas.t retails for $27.99 and is available from the everythingiCafe Store.

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