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ZAGG invisibleSHIELD EXTREME Review for iPhone 5

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ZAGG recently announced their new invisibleSHIELD EXTREME for the iPhone 5 and other models. This new film differentiates itself from the original invisibleSHIELD as it is claimed to include ‘break protection’ and ‘shock resistance’. We received a sample of their Case-Friendly Screen Coverage version ($29.99, free shipping), which is made to accomodate cases.

Let’s take a quick look at some pictures below:

Inside the box you’ll find the film itself, application spray, a small cloth and the squeegee:

As you can see from this image, what makes the EXTREME different is that the material is considerably thicker to provide better protection from shocked impacts:

As for tips on installing the invisibleSHIELD EXTREME, my advice is to spray evenly and liberally on the film itself have some patience when installing. A few large quick sweeping motions will get rid of excess water without leaving bubbles behind; ensure your iPhone is sitting on top of a couple paper towels to soak up the excess.

Here is the final install after 48 hours; excess water that remains will eventually dry out and disappear. Notice the triangle cutout for the earpiece, which can make it easier to lay down for the install but it leaves more of the screen exposed:

Here’s the bottom half of the finished install; note the cut out for the button is open-ended making it easier to lay down than before:

Here’s how it looks from the aerial view; the film is cut a bit narrower than normal to accomodate the sides of cases:

Here’s a side view of the EXTREME, you can notice how it is thicker here:

I’ve been using ZAGG products since the days of my original iPhone. They have evolved and come a long way. The EXTREME does have much better clarity compared to the original invisibleSHIELD with little to zero ‘orange peel’ effect (which they say helps reduce glare). Reflections show a very smooth look and the screen did feel better protected because of the thicker cut, which is narrower to help fit cases on.

As for some concerns, I would say the extra room provided around the earpiece and home button is easier for the install, but it does leave more exposed areas. The extra corners around these areas, although rounded could possibly peel up and collect lint if you store your iPhone 5 in your jeans pocket. The install was straightforward and easy for me to perform, but for newbies it might require a bit of patience when it comes to spraying water and laying it down (here’s our video tutorial). The new cut areas did make it very easy.

I wasn’t able to test the shock protection by smashing my iPhone 5 screen with a hammer (yet). But the thicker film did bring a sense of confidence to the iPhone 5 screen, so it really does depend on your environment. Overall, it’s a decent film that is simple to install, has very good clarity but the new cuts around the home button and ear piece could be a concern for some as they are larger than normal.

Click here to visit ZAGG.com–the ZAGG invisibleSHIELD EXTREME retails for $29.99, and is currently shipping for free to Canada (as part of their 2 week promotion on orders over $29.98).

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  • Mark

    The ‘orange peel’ effect was supposed to have been eliminated in their HD film. It wasn’t. Very unpleasant result. Plus the stuff stretches when you try to get the bubbles out. Tried it on both iPhone & iPad. Sent both back. The one I bought at BestBuy (different product) for my previous iPhone had a way better appearance (in other words, “no appearance”), and was MUCH easier to install.

  • I bought one of these last week, installed it then promptly returned it. Zagg products are horrible. A nightmare to install, it doesn’t offer full coverage around the earpiece and home button, and it didn’t cover the entire face – 3mm on the left and right of the iPhone were not covered. It feels like your sliding your fingers across a rubber glove when you touch it too, not smooth like a glass screen at all. I spent $14 on something else and it came with 2 smooth screen protectors that were a snap to install. Zagg are a rip off.

  • schesbh

    Still waiting for mine… the full body protection Extreme… sigh

  • Jon

    I hate these things. Any brand. Your screens don’t need a cover people! They feel like crap. My ancient 3GS lives in my jeans pocket with no case, an is dropped and thrown around, and has NO scratches on the glass screen.

  • Kofinni

    The ZAGG was too thick and thus make typing on the iPhone much harder.

  • Drady

    This shield is legit, a little hard work installing it goes a long way. Plus the clarity isn’t bad and its way better then the original invisibleshield. What other screen protectors could take a hammer blow to the face? Challenges??

  • Networx

    Gotta say I’m not a big fan of Zagg anymore. I killed an iPhone and an iPod Touch with the solution (luckily, both covered by warranty). Just too stressful even applying their stuff to be bothered. I bought a .5 mm case from iphonecaze and it comes with a peel and apply screen protector that does a fantastic job. Their .8mm case for the iPad is great too. No more Zagg for me. Sorry.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    i would have to agree, installing it feels like your adding a layer of snot to your phone

    the SGP steinheil screenies are hands down the best

  • f1ght3r

    Ghost armor is a thousand times better than zagg invisishield

  • FunkyMan

    I have to say that I’m impressed with the InvisibleShield HD for the iPhone 5. I was NOT happy with the old InvisibleShield for iPhone 4 – after a few weeks, every version I used kept peeling off and being destroyed. I got sick of paying $5-7 for shipping of a replacement back to Canada and went with another screen cover.

    I bought the HD for the iPhone 5 because nothing else decent was available at BestBuy. Didn’t want my screen scratched while waiting. I’ve been impressed with it so far – the orange-peel effect is gone and it’s barely noticeable on the screen. True, it doesn’t cover the whole front (3mm on each side is barely noticeable), but I’m hoping that will make it stick better and not peel off – it hasn’t so far in 1.5 weeks in my pocket…

    I wish BestBuy had sold the full-body version, but oh well..

  • rackattack

    Are all of the front stickers 3mm shy on both sides or just case friendly ones?

  • Just case friendly.

  • draz

    Not a fan of the ‘triangle’ gap on the top

  • Vince Turnone

    Sounds like you might just not be that good at putting them on. They have videos on their website or YouTube or you can pay $5 and get best buy to do it. I love the HD, can’t tell it’s on at all.

  • Mark

    I guess not, But it appears several others here also have the same affliction. And, as I and others here have mentioned, other products go on very easily by comparison.
    I should clarify, I’m referring to the iPhone 4 when I’m talking about the HD film.

  • Kraken

    Stick with Best Skins Ever. Less than half the price of Zagg, with exact same protection. This “Extreme” edition of the Zagg with the open ended cuts looks horrible, IMHO.

  • James

    Pretty surprised at some of these comments. I’ve had every iPhone from the very first one. Dropped several of them, shattered 2 screens completely (and one back), scratched the front and back of every one of them despite babying them and never keeping anything but my phone in my pocket. I had an HD for nearly a year and never had the “orange peel” effect, it never bubbled, and never had any stretches. The HD was barely noticeable in terms of scrolling, tapping, and clarity. I was anti-screen protector until I tried the HD but I became a big fan. I put the Extreme on my iPhone 5 and again, didn’t notice a loss of clarity or scrolling ability. Installation is definitely tough, but there are good videos out there and if you spend some extra time putting it on, I had no problems.

  • Try Ghost Armor. I’ve been very happy with it on my iPhone 5, iPad 3, and my wife’s iPhone 4S. Full body protection on all of them.

  • Annoyed

    This is absolutely the worst review I’ve ever read….How could you possibly review a product thats ONLY reason for existing is to protect your phone from breaking….and not test its ability to do so before you write your review.

  • Send me your iPhone and I’ll gladly do a follow up test! 🙂

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