Good morning ladies and gentlemen! Hope your Monday morning is going well so far. Today we have another review coming your way. It’s the new Clear Armor protective film for the iPhone, made by our friends from Case-Mate.
There are a lot of choices for those “clear armor” fully body film protectors. With the iPhone in mind, I’ve reviewed the invisibleSHIELD, BodyGuardz, and BestSkinsEver. I have personally tested and installed all three of these films on iPhones (I have some lucky friends and family members I tell ya) and they have all worked great. Let’s see how the Clear Armor from Case-Mate fares against the others.
What’s included in the Clear Armor box?
After opening the package of the Case-Mate Clear Armor I found the following inside:
– 2 sets of Clear Armor–manufactured by 3M Scotchguard Protective Film
– bottle of spray solution, application card, microfiber cleaning cloth (a Case-Mate standard!), and installation instructions
Immediately I like how Case-Mate included two sets of Clear Armor (BodyGuardz does the same), because you never know when you’ll mess up your initial install and need to start the process all over again. Case-Mate always includes the microfibre cloth which is a nice touch. I found the application card to be a bit thin for my liking. It was just a thin sheet of plastic, whereas the invisibleSHIELD offers a durable plastic squeegee.
How did the Clear Armor installation go, compared to the others (invisibleSHIELD, BodyGuardz, BestSkinsEver?
I’m going to fill you in on the secret involved with applying these “skin” on your iPhone. It doesn’t matter what brand of plastic protector you’re installing, the premise applies (no pun intended) to all three. Here it is: spray, spray, and spray!
Yes, that’s right folks. Most people don’t spray enough solution on their iPhone when they are starting out with these installs (including myself in the beginning). By spraying more liquid, it makes it easier to apply the film and align it into place. Squeeging out air bubbles is a cinch since they will roll right out with the solution. Don’t forget to spray your fingers plus he freshly peeled plastic too (to prevent finger smudges and dust accumulation).
With my super tip out of the way, I found the install of the Case-Mate Clear Armor trickier than the other installs. The reason for this? Well, for starters the pieces of the Clear Armor are not fully cut all the way around so removing it from the backing sheet caused the “leftover” plastic to peel off too. Also, some of the cutting is not precision-cut to fit the iPhone perfectly (the invisibleSHIELD comes to mind). I found large gaps in the top area near the SIM card tray in the corners.
Also, there is a separate “optional” back piece that fits over the black bottom part of the iPhone. I am curious as to why the back film wasn’t cut in one sheet like the ones from Zagg, BodyGuardz, and BestSkinsEver. In the end, I installed the Clear Armor but the final install job definitely wasn’t up to my standards. My friend Greg’s iPhone was the guinea pig for this install! haha. Take a look at these pictures and make your own decision:
The Clear Armor’s plastic felt very tough and strong. It felt thinner compared to the invisibleSHIELD (win a free iPhone 3G–they have a contest!) and was similar to the feel of a BodyGuardz install. There are so many companies out there making these protective films, it is definitely a competitive market. These experienced plastic film makers are on top of their game (think of Zagg’s lifetime replacement warranty) so when new entrants come in, it can be a challenging scene in the marketplace.
Case-Mate makes some of the highest quality iPhone cases out there. You might have remembered my review of their Phantom Black leather case, Naked Case, Leather case with holster, and their unique Privacy Screen Pro. However with their Clear Armor protective shield, I think it maintains their high standard, but the problem is the other guys have already had a jump start to perfect their skins to almost perfect specifications. With that in mind, I would expect that possibly a second generation Clear Armor could be coming in the near future for the iPhone 3G.
Selling for $19.99, the Clear Armor can be a great alternative to other sets, considering you will receive two sets. Maybe your installation experience will differ from mine. As a bonus, every Clear Armor purchase comes with a 15% off coupon inside the box. That’s a very nice touch to reward customers. Click here to visit the Case-Mate website. Check out this video to show you just how strong this 3M plastic really is:
Case-Mate Clear Armor Contest/Giveaway!!!
You read that right folks! Another giveway to the lucky readers of iPhoneinCanada.ca! I used one Clear Armor set for the review install, but there is another set leftover. I even used leftover spray from the invisibleSHIELD and a different squeegee for my review, therefore keeping everything still in its packaging–to give away (how thoughtful huh?)
How to enter? I’m going to keep it simple this time around. Post a comment here to win–that’s it! The contest will run for one week and end on June 30th at midnight PST (can you believe it’s almost July?!). Good luck everybody!
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