The best iPhone screen protectors of 2023 | Popular Science

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You may already have a case for your expensive iPhone, and AppleCare+ has saved us a bundle in the past, but a screen protector is a logical addition. The last thing you want in your busy life is to have to get a cracked screen fixed. When it comes to buying a screen protector, though, it can be hard to know where to start. Many may look similar, but they’re not all the same. While there are a number of things to consider when shopping for the best iPhone screen protector, the number one thing is the glass itself. The whole point is to protect your screen—if the protector isn’t up to snuff, you could still end up with cracks. To make sure your Apple device is always protected, we’ve put together a list of the best iPhone protectors for a number of different models and use cases.

An iPhone screen protector can serve two purposes: Protect the iPhone and protect the iPhone user. For the first part, ensure it’s constructed of durable 9H tempered glass—this will help ensure a positive outcome in the event of a tripod tumble. As for the second, consider your eyes. Sure, you could always throw on a pair of blue light-blocking glasses, but why not stop the blue light right at the source, which is something screen protectors can do. The market is full of iPhone screen protectors, many with similar selling points. To narrow it down to the best of the best, we first looked at the features, specifications, and prices of a variety of screens. We then compared these to expert analysis from a number of trusted consumer review sites as well as general consensus and write-ups from online retailers. We cross-referenced this to our own personal experience as well.  

Your iPhone is an investment, and there’s a lot on the line if you drop it and crack the screen: Heartbreak in the phone carrier store! Tears while talking to an Apple Genius! Little cuts on your thumbs because you told yourself the screen crack wasn’t that bad! And sure, you could fix a broken screen yourself, but it’s better to never have to try. You can feel confident that these are the best iPhone screen protectors on the market that will help keep it intact as future iPhone generations come out.

When it comes to iPhone screen protectors, you want one that’s durable and won’t let you down when gravity grabs ahold of your phone. Spigen’s Glas.tR EX Fit Tempered Glass Screen Protector is famous for its durability. With tempered glass with a 9H hardness rating, it will be there for your iPhone screen when you need it most.

Durability isn’t everything, though. There’s also the matter of getting the screen protector onto your phone. In that area, Spigen’s model also comes up trumps, with an installer that makes getting the screen applied with no bubbles a breeze. And, should you, unfortunately, make a mistake during application, the package includes an extra screen just in case.

Other points that make this the best overall iPhone screen protector include transparency to preserve the original brightness, camera coverage, an oil-free, and oleophobic (aka anti-oil) coating to resist smudges, and water repellency. While this version supports iPhone 14, 13, and 13 Pro, there is support for other models as well. You can find it for the new iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, and 15 Pro Max. 

What happens if you drop your phone with a screen protector already applied? The protector absorbs the shock and cracks instead of your phone screen. This is why it’s important to buy an iPhone screen protector made from tempered glass with a hardness of 9H. The amFilm OneTouch Glass Screen Protector fulfills this requirement and does it at a superb price. It’s also scratch- and fingerprint-resistant.

Installation of screen protectors can be tricky. To make this process as easy as possible, the amFilm OneTouch Glass Screen Protector includes not one but two installers and screens, so you have one for next time. It also includes two sets of dust removal stickers, wet wipes, dust removal covers, and microfiber cloths to ensure your screen is debris-free during application. Some users have reported issues with installation, so be sure to read the instruction manual first. 

This one is made for past iPhone generations. You’re in luck if you’re shopping for a screen protector for the new iPhone 15—it’s available for the iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, and 15 Pro Max. 

Most screen protectors are designed to be as clear as possible, ensuring viewing brightness remains unchanged. However, these do nothing to prevent the people around you from seeing what you’re looking at. If this is a concern for you, you need a privacy screen protector, one that is transparent from head-on but blacked out from the side.

JETech’s Privacy Screen Protector for the iPhone 14 has all of the features that you would expect from an iPhone screen protector, including oleophobic coating to resist fingerprints and guides to help with installation. It also stops those in your periphery from seeing what you’re doing on your phone. The package includes two screens plus a rear camera lens protector with night circles to improve photography performance in low-light situations. The price also can’t be beat.

With so much time spent in front of screens, many will want something to cut blue light. While you could get special glasses, it might be easier to go with a blue light-blocking screen protector for your iPhone. EyeJust is a leader in blue light blocking, using technology originally developed by NASA.

EyeJust’s Blue Light Blocking Screen Protector for the iPhone 13, 13 Pro, and 14 cuts intrusive blue light while remaining clear for viewing. It’s also anti-smudge, scratch-resistant, and, with its five different nano-layers of tempered glass, anti-shatter. While there’s no installer, the package does include a dust removal sticker and microfiber cloth. While considerably more expensive than regular screen protectors, if you’re at all concerned about blue light then this is a must-have. It looks like it’s not available for the iPhone 15 line just yet. We’ll update it with that info when it becomes available, but in the meantime, check out the Magglass Blue-Light Screen Guard, which is compatible with the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. 

While it’s always a good idea to buy the best iPhone screen protector that you can afford, sometimes you need to go for the budget option. Thankfully, JETech’s Full Coverage Screen Protector for the iPhone Pro offers protection for your device at a very affordable price—and even includes three screens.

This screen protector from JETech may be inexpensive, but it’s still high quality. It’s made from 9H tempered glass, so your own screen will be duly protected. It’s also water and scratch-resistant, perfect for life on the go. And, as you’ll be touching your phone with your fingers, there’s an oleophobic coating to whisk away sweat and oil. While there’s unfortunately no installer, the JETech Full Coverage Screen Protector comes with sticker guides and other accessories to get you ready for installation.

There are several factors to keep in mind when shopping for the best iPhone screen protector. The first is going to be the iPhone model. While some models share the same screen size, many do not, so a screen protector designed for, say, the iPhone 14 Pro may not work with an iPhone 11. Next, you’re going to want to make sure that the screen protector is suitably durable. Most are made from tempered glass with a 9H hardness rating, which is one of the highest hardnesses on the Mohs Hardness Scale. After that, you may want to consider the application method. Some products include installers to make application easier, while others do not. Additionally, many packages include multiple copies of the screen protector, such as two or three, so you don’t have to open your wallet for a new screen protector the first time you drop your phone.

Considering how much iPhones cost, the extra safeguard that a screen protector provides is definitely worth it. Even if your phone is under warranty when dropped, there’s still a matter of fixing it. And let’s face it, being without your phone for even a short time is incredibly inconvenient.

The best type of glass for screen protectors is, without a doubt, tempered glass with a hardness rating of 9H. Lightweight and flexible enough to not affect the way you use your phone but hard enough to prevent your phone’s screen from cracking should you drop it, 9H tempered glass is the way to go.

There are two general kinds of screen protectors: tempered glass and hydrogel. Hydrogel screen protectors are made of a soft and flexible material, while tempered glass is hard with good clarity. Tempered glass tends to be more durable and transparent, while hydrogel screen protectors offer better safety—being gel, they don’t shatter—and a much easier installation process.

Apple has no official policy about iPhone screen protectors. The company feels its screens are sufficiently durable to withstand scratches and other damage. However, neither iPhone warranty nor AppleCare+ covers accidental damage, so any screen repair costs will unfortunately be out of pocket.

iPhones are expensive and easy to drop. That combination makes them perfect candidates for screen protectors. When shopping for the best screen protector for your iPhone, you want to make sure that it has both the features that you need and the strength and durability to absorb impact. By going with a screen protector made from 9H tempered glass, you can be sure that the protector will crack and not your screen. After that, you can consider variables like clear or private, number of included screens, and method of installation. Even if your phone is still under warranty, it can be useful to have a screen protector in place, as there are few of us who can afford to be without our phones for even short periods of time.

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

Adam Douglas is a freelance writer. His focus includes audio production-related technology, music with a special emphasis on electronic and dance, and Japanese culture, bringing together the three main obsessions of his life. He started at Popular Science in 2021.

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The best iPhone screen protectors of 2023 | Popular Science

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