People spend about 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones daily. This makes sense considering that we use them to surf the web, communicate with loved ones, and even conduct professional business remotely.

Keeping your smartphone safe is important, and phone protectors are the best way to do that. Read on to learn the basics of common screen protector types so you can best protect one of your most-used possessions.

The Basics of Plastic Phone Protectors

A high-quality phone protector is well worth your money. Accidental scratches can easily lead to cracks that make the smartphone impossible to use. However, no screen protector is invincible, so it’s important that you choose the most durable option for maximum preservation.

Many people place their trust in plastic phone protectors. There are two common types: polyethylene terephthalate (PET) protectors and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) protectors.

PET Plastic Screen Protector Options

PET protectors are generally a poor choice for those who value durability. They’re light and thin, which makes them appealing to those who want a smooth screen and lightweight phone.

They’re inexpensive but provide basically no support. This is especially true for those with curved screens since PET plastic won’t cover curved edges. It’ll only work in the middle of your screen, and most cracks begin in corners and extend into the middle of the screen over time.

This means that TPU protectors aren’t a real option for those looking for protection.

TPU: A Superior Alternative

TPU plastic alternatives are way better. They’re not smooth to touch, which is off-putting for those who want a sleek, modern-feeling phone screen. They may also add an off-color sheen to your phone that may be ugly.

But their coarse texture is a good thing for protection because it absorbs light bumps and scratches. They will also cover the edges of even curved phone screens.

TPU is made to protect screens from superficial damage. This means that you won’t accidentally scrape it with your nails while typing. It will also defend against damage during minor accidents and light falls.

Unfortunately, TPU isn’t made for those who drop their phones frequently. It also isn’t great for those who worry about impact from hard surfaces. It’s way better than PET, but it isn’t good for heavy-duty protection.

Glass Phone Protectors: (Usually) the Best Option

A tempered glass screen protector is generally the best choice for those who are looking to maximize their protection. They’re much thicker and more durable than plastic, which may sound counterintuitive at first since they’re literally made from glass.

It’s important to remember that tempered glass is literally made to be shock-absorbant. It isn’t like a vase or a stained-glass window. If you drop a phone with a tempered glass layer, you can expect it to take the shock in place of your phone with minimal chipping or denting.

Drops and scratches will all go to the protective film rather than the phone screen. This is no big deal since tempered glass isn’t that expensive. It costs more than ineffective plastic, but you’ll still get a good bang for your buck.

Another great advantage of glass phone protectors is that they often come with additional features. Antiglare technology is becoming really common and makes it easier to read your screen while outdoors. Some companies even manufacture privacy protectors that stop people from being able to read your phone while next to you.

Are There Any Downsides?

The main disadvantage of a glass screen protector is bulkiness. Since they’re thick, you’re going to notice the protector on your phone. It’s important to remember that this is a good thing, though, since more thickness = more protection.

Another minor thing to note is that any marks on the protector don’t disappear. TPU plastic is self-healing, meaning that scratches and dents just repair themselves naturally over time. This doesn’t happen with glass protectors, but they’re easily replaceable.

Understanding Liquid Phone Protectors

A nano liquid phone protector is conceptually simple. It’s a liquid coating. It’s theoretically similar to a protective concrete coating or a hardwood finish, but for phones.

Unfortunately, this is all theoretical. When you slather the silicon dioxide layer on the screen, it will supposedly protect against dings and scratches… but it doesn’t. It will crack and chip anyway, so this protection is basically a waste of money.

You also can’t remove and replace it easily. You’ll need to wait for it to wear off naturally. This is annoying because your phone will be unprotected as it wears off.

The only real benefit to liquid protectors is that they’re easy to install, but this is meaningless since a professional can easily put on a glass or plastic coating, too. They also have some antibacterial qualities. Sadly, this also doesn’t matter because you can use normal hand sanitizer on any phone screen.

Which Is the Best Option for You?

A glass screen protector is the right choice for almost everyone. A liquid screen protector will almost never work out, so don’t waste your money.

There are, however, some instances where a TPU plastic protector is okay. It’s better than nothing and will work for those on a strict budget. It’s also generally fine for people who don’t drop their phone a lot or simply don’t use it much.

Still, glass doesn’t cost that much more, and it’s a worthwhile investment.

Repair Your Favorite Gadgets Today

While smartphones are known to crack and chip, a screen protector can help yours last as long as possible. Now that you know some basic options for phone protectors, it’s time to begin repairing your mobile technology with Fruit Fixed.

Our experts are committed to helping you repair your device regardless of its brand or model. We’ll help you choose and install a screen protector and phone case to protect against damage from dropping and denting. Find your nearest store and contact us to learn more about pricing, our methods, and more.

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