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How to Choose Mobile Phone Screen Protectors?

When buying a new phone, the first thing most people will do is to put a film on its screen. First of all, it can prevent the screen glass from being scratched by various sharp objects in daily life. Besides, it can also perform a certain degree of shatter-proof effect.

At present, there are three main types of mobile phone screen protective films on the market, PET, TPU, and our favorite tempered glass. In addition, there are two main methods of film sticking: dry sticking and wet sticking. Screen film seems to be an ordinary gadget, but do you really know the difference between each material and film method, and the effects they can provide?

PET Film

PET is the abbreviation of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). It is a kind of plastic with many varieties and different uses. In the manufacturing industry, PET is mainly used to make containers for liquid and food, but this does not mean that PET screen film and plastic beverage bottles are the same thing.

The PET screen film is a polyester fiber film with a scratch-resistant frosted coating on one side and a silicone adhesive on the other side. High quality PET film has high light transmittance, and it is to add a scratch resistant layer to the screen. However, it cannot provide protection against impact, that is, it cannot prevent crushing. Their scratch resistance is no better than Corning gorilla glass, which is commonly used in mobile phones. And it is only able to prevent scratches from nails, coins and keys.

The price of PET film is very low, but the disadvantage is that it is easy to change color under sunlight. It is also easily stained with oil, and the touch is not as good as glass.

If you want to stick a film on an old or cheap mobile phone and only want to provide it with the most basic protection capabilities, then PET film is a reasonable choice. The brand is not important when purchasing this kind of film. However, products of big brands can still provide a higher degree of fitting and are less likely to warp or peel off.


TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) is a higher-grade screen film. It is a chemically reinforced plastic with characteristics such as scratch resistance, elasticity, higher strength and oil repellency. Since it is an elastic material, TPU not only has a certain degree of "self-repair" ability, but also can absorb non-extreme shocks. In other words, it can maintain all or most of its original structure in the face of daily falls and minor scratches. For example, a slight scratch will only leave a small pit on it, and it will slowly return to normal.

Most TPU films will advertise themselves as "military grade". For example, some brands will claim that this material will be used to "protect fighter jets." This statement is true. Polyurethane protective tape will indeed be used to protect aircraft and windmills, but this does not mean that the TPU phone case and screen film are made of exactly the same material. But then again, our mobile phone is not a fighter either.

If you are willing to spend a little more money, TPU film is indeed a better choice than PET film, at least the former can provide better impact protection. In addition, it has a better tactile feel, although it still does not achieve the same smoothness as glass.

Tempered Glass

Toughened glass is absolutely the best choice for screen film. In terms of materials, high-quality tempered glass films are made by pressing multiple layers of materials. The bottom layer is shock-absorbing silica gel, then PET film, transparent adhesive in the middle, and finally tempered glass and oleophobic coating. All these anti-scratch, anti-drop and oleophobic abilities have been pressed into a glass film with a thickness of less than 0.4 mm, which is no more difficult to stick than PET or TPU, and the weight has not increased.

From any point of view, the glass film is better than the other two options. It not only has higher transmittance, makes the screen look clearer, but also has the ability of anti-reflection, anti-glare, as well as oil resistance, and the touch feeling is the smoothest.

Compared with gorilla glass 3, the Mohs hardness of tempered glass is generally 8 to 9, so it has stronger scratch resistance. As long as it is not corundum and topaz, it should not produce scratches when contacting with it.

The toughened glass is not 100% shatter resistant. However, in general, the mobile phone dropped on the ground should only be broken film, the screen is not broken. Compared with the high cost of screen replacement, the cost of a toughened glass film is almost negligible.

Tempered glass film is the most expensive of the three films, and the price ranges from tens to hundreds of yuan. If you don't pursue big brands, you should be able to buy good quality products for about 100 yuan. If you have just bought a flagship phone, tempered glass film is obviously the most suitable choice.

Dry Sticking or Wet Sticking

There are two ways to apply the screen film: wet sticking and dry sticking. No matter which kind of packaging box is used, there will be specific instructions.

Dry sticking is to fix the protective film on the screen by static electricity. Adhesives are not used. The method is very simple and direct. In short, it’s better to enter a dust-free environment (outdoor or damp bathroom), thoroughly clean the phone, and align the screen with the film.

Most dry sticking films don't have to be stuck successfully at one time. If you find that there is dust or the film is crooked, you can carefully uncover it and try again.

In contrast, wet sticking is more troublesome and more complicated. You need to spray liquid on the bottom of the protective film, and then stick it on the screen fitly. Since the liquid would add extra weight to the protective film, it will be very difficult to stick it on. However, it is said that wet sticking can better avoid bubbles as well as dust, and the films are less likely to peel off.

PET protective film can provide the most basic screen protection. TPU protective film is relatively rare, but it has the best balance of cheapness and strength. Tempered glass has the best degree of protection and touch feeling, but it is also the most expensive.

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