Protective cases for smartphones and tablets have evolved over the last 20 or so years to protect the user damaging their prized possessions. The evolution of handsets and tablets in the turn of the century has triggered changes in even basic leather cases to include inbuilt plastic screens for easier access. Whether for fashion or functionality, finding a protective solution is often essential to modern life which has begun revolving around our technology.
Different types of screen protection are becoming more of a common sight in today’s markets. From the early innovation of total waterproofing in the form of Liquipel, which was in many ways prohibitive due to costs, we now see many more companies try and fail to break the boundaries with liquid screen protection.
From big retailers through to freelance bloggers, we have seen a reluctance to believe that applying a liquid to a screen will add protection. This form of screen protection is viewed with the "Emperor’s new clothes" concept; because you can’t see it, it isn’t there. This issue was not helped with a company recently being prosecuted for supplying consumers with water-laden cloths in a false promotion of liquid Nano technology. We have seen companies try to prove the strength of their Nano technology by hitting the screen of a liquid protected device with a hammer; which has unfortunately lead to many having false expectation of the solution.
With all of the above in mind, we have tested and looked at a number of products in the market over the last 4 years and now seems like it is the right time for these products to break through. The growth of wearable tech; such as the Apple Watch and the evolution in handsets like the Huawei P9, Samsung Edge series and latest iPhone iterations means this protective technology can now take prominence.
Curved screen protection
The biggest factor we see contributing to the rise of Nano technology liquid screen protection is the move to curved screens by manufacturers. We saw the benefits of tempered glass, over the previously popular choice of film due to fewer bubbles with application and more protection.
However, we did see a number of complaints arise as customers saw that there was not a suitable tempered glass solution for curved screens. The glass either didn't cover the whole screen or managed to do so clumsily. Whilst some manufactured curved tempered glass solutions, the manufacturing costs of around £10 a unit meant the product was not adopted by many the traditional sales platforms.
There was also a lack of functionality in some of these products with some leading to the corners of the screen becoming unresponsive; although often due to how the customer had applied them, but nevertheless a factor that prevented mainstream adoption. In other solutions the raised edge over the curve meant the glass protectors caught on clothing, pockets or material and lifted the protector from the screen. Screen film was a non-starter as it again couldn't cater for the curvature.
Proven Liquid Nano Technology Protection
When speaking with a large retailer earlier this year we saw that they were adverse to the idea of a liquid protection solution without certification. The bigger players in the market such as WowFixIt or Sharkproof* are able to backup their claims of protection and are starting to dominate the space. WowfixIt is backed by TUV testing reports that prove their claims for protective and hygienic protection.
We expect more companies to enter the space as we see liquid protection develop in other sectors such as roofing, patios, sunglasses, watches and car manufacturing. In our opinion, it will be a space that quickly becomes very crowded with formulas for protection specific to each sector and no doubt some of the bigger chemical companies will be entering the main stream.
Things to look out for in Nano Liquid Screen Protection
Some key factors to consider and be aware of when looking at Liquid Screen Protection:
Drying time – this is the time it takes for the application of liquid to actually dry on the screen
Buffering time - how long it takes to polish the liquid. We have some claim up to 5 days which whilst offering substantial protection also seems too long opposed to 15 minutes with other solutions
Hygiene - many claim to provide hygienic protection, although for the most part they cannot provide the correct documentation to support their claims
Hardness - We saw one brand claim their formula would provide up to 5000x the hardness of a normal device screen; an unfounded claim that has since been removed from their packaging.
Anti-radiation - Again we see some brands claim this and yet we have only seen one company back this up with certification.
....Still be cautious with Nano Technology Liquid Screen Protection
What maybe hasn't helped some of the solution providers is demonstrating the products and some of the claims being made. We have seen some brands make ridiculously large claims of extra strengthening, for example; advertising that you can hit the product with a hammer is great marketing in some respects but unfortunately leads a consumer to believe that the smartphone or tablet can endure a severe hammering. If you drop your handset on the corner it is likely to break the screen regardless of what type of protection may have been applied, bar a bulkier solution like cases from Otterbox, Rokform or Lifeproof. A correct Nano liquid protection solution for smartphones and tablets will help protect from knocks and everyday wear and tear to your screen, but it is not a 100% protective solution.
Another factor to be aware of that seems to be swaying customers reaction is the screen quality in the first place. We spoke to one leading repair firm in the UK who have been selling the liquid protection in store and they highlighted that where some phones have been repaired elsewhere using cheaper, thinner glass replacement solutions meant the liquid had less protective impact, as would film or tempered glass solutions.
We know there are solutions that work and we are keen to see how this part of the device protection market develops.
Tempted to try Liquid Screen Protection for yourself?
We stock Sharkproof on our site - click here
Seen a brand that you think we should be aware of?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
*according to documentation provided to us by the brands