If you’re obsessive about keeping your iPhone 4 scratch-free, there are a number of companies that offer shields including Zagg, Bodyguardz, SGP and Wrapsol among others. They all offer a high level of scratch protection. I recently installed the Wrapsol Device Protection on the iPhone 4. Join us after the break for installation and a full review.

Installation
Wrapsol offers two types of kits; original scratch protection or the ultra drop + scratch protection. The ultra offers a dry installation process. For my review, I opted for the original scratch protection. There are 5 pieces in the current kit sold by Wrapsol, with the two most important being the front and back. My kit had 6 pieces, so I’m not sure where they differ.

After washing up, I found a well lit area and began the installation process. I’ve sped up portions of the riveting install video to keep within the 10 minute maximum length imposed by YouTube. The installation took roughly 30-40 minutes from start to finish.

Regardless of what brand you select, there are few guidelines I can recommend for the installation process:

  • Find a well lit room. Natural light is best
  • If you have pets, try and use a room they don’t frequent. Despite my best efforts, I’ve had cat hair magically appear after installing a shield on my MacBook Air.
  • Use a soft cloth or towel for the iPhone.
  • Have a roll of paper towels handy
  • Spray your hands before peeling back the film
  • Take your time
  • Be careful

The back of the iPhone looked pretty good immediately after applying the film. The front, not so much. I had squeegeed all the liquid from underneath the film and there no bubbles remaining. As you’ll see in the video, the front didn’t look very good, but I was hoping that wouldn’t be the case post-cure.

Although it’s not shown in the video, there are 4 pieces (current kit includes 3) that get applied to the sides of the iPhone 4. These were dead easy. Protection is the best you can expect given the difficulty in getting around the microSIM, dock connector, volume buttons and headphone jack.

Once you are content with the install, there is a 24 hour curing period. The manufacturer recommends you leave the iPhone powered off.

With the install completed and the 24 hour waiting period over, it was time to put the iPhone 4 back in action. There were a few air bubbles at the sides, but using my finger I was able to rub them out by pushing to the sides of the iPhone.

The film on the back is a matte finish and changes the look of the shiny glass of the iPhone 4. For me personally, I think it looks great, but it’s a matter of preference. If you prefer shiny, then I’d recommend other screen film manufacturers. The film was not a perfect fit, but it was more than acceptable. I found there is a bit of give that allows you to stretch the film a bit during the install. Apple’s bumper case, now free for iPhone 4 owners, is a nice compliment to the Wrapsol and it covered those small areas that weren’t covered by the film. Same for the front, with the film covering say roughly 98% of the screen. Again, the bumper bumped that screen coverage to 100%. The Wrapsol doesn’t suffer from what’s been termed the orange peel effect, where the film texture actually looks like the outside of an orange. In fact, the screen protector is hardly noticeable.

From a usability standpoint, I didn’t notice much of a difference when comparing an iPhone 4 with the Wrapsol to one without. If anything, I’d say the screen is a bit slicker when navigating, but nothing major.

Wrapsol, like the others, will protect your iPhone 4 against scratches. If your iPhone 4 finds itself in your front pocket with some loose chain or at the bottom of your pocket book with a set of keys, this material is made to withstand these types of real-world encounters. If you drop your phone, the Wrapsol won’t do prevent the glass from shattering or the corners getting dinged. The absolute best protection would be to combine a screen protector with a solid case. While the film is ultra-thin, I should note that some cases may not fit. Apple’s Bumper case fits perfectly. The previous generation iPhone 3GS with a Zagg Invisible Shield would not fit in the Incase Slider. If you plan on pairing a case with your Wrapsol, check our forums or with the manufacturer.

Overall
The Wrapsol for iPhone 4 is a well made product, not to difficult to install and offers you excellent scratch protection. The matte finish looks phenomenal, but won’t appeal to those looking to retain the shiny glass look of the stock iPhone 4. When combined with the Apple Bumper or compatible case, the Wrapsol Device Protection Film offers superior protection for your iPhone 4.

Wrapsol for iPhone 4 retails for $24.95. More information can be found at Wrapsol.

Disclaimer: Wrapsol did not provide the device protection kit. It was purchased for the purpose of this review.