Today we will be looking at highly touted iPhone 3G clear film protectors– the BodyGuardz Clear Protection for Apple iPhone 3G. This clear shield is custom cut to cover every surface of the iPhone 3G to provide protection from everyday scratches and scrapes. It is composed of the same material designed to protect the paint on cars from scratches and can be easily removed without leaving any residue behind.
NLU Products is the maker of BodyGuardz and they sell this product for numerous devices including phones, media players, PDAs, gaming devices, Macbooks and more. Each BodyGuardz is custom cut for the specific device for which it was made.
The BodyGuardz Clear Protection for Apple iPhone 3G comes as a set of two front and two back shields. If you prefer just to get a screen protector for just the back or front of your iPhone 3G, NLU Products also sells each of these separately.
As a reviewer I have tested more iPhone cases and screen protectors than I dare to remember. The BodyGuardz Clear Protection for Apple iPhone 3G is definitely one of the better screen protectors that I have encountered, but there is a caveat. The application process for the back portion of the iPhone 3G is arduous. You will need a large amount of patience and some free time to get the BodyGuardz applied correctly
The BodyGuardz Clear Protection for Apple iPhone 3G arrives in a white cardboard box and features the BodyGuardz logo with a picture of the iPhone sandwiched between the clear film protector hovering above and below the phone. The back of the box lists a description about the product and its features.
Folding out the front cover of the package reveals the application instructions on the inside cover with two sets of clear film protectors for the front and back of the iPhone 3G resting in a sleeve. On the inside portion of the package we find the application solution and squeegee tool.
Packaged with the BodyGuardz films is a diagram showing how the films line up on the iPhone 3G during application.
BodyGuardz Clear Protection for Apple iPhone 3G
BodyGuardz are a clear film that covers the body of a device providing scratch protection from outside elements.
- include 2 complete sets*
- offer lifetime replacements
- are optically clear
- custom fit each device
- provide full body and screen protection
- require no special care or maintenance
BodyGuardz scratch-proof transparent shields are designed to custom fit each particular device for full body and screen protection. BodyGuardz protectors are made from the same material that is used to protect the front of automobiles from stones and other abrasive elements. Tough and durable, you can be assured that your device is protected by BodyGuardz.
BodyGuardz protective film is the toughest film on the market today and requires no special care or maintenance. Each pack* includes TWO complete BodyGuardz PLUS lifetime replacements- that’s right, two, providing you a spare just when you need it.
Two Complete BodyGuardz
Yep, you heard us right, TWO complete BodyGuardz are included in each pack. Let’s face it, there is going to be a time when you are going to want to remove the protector. You may need to submit the device for repairs, you may decide you want sell it and buy another, or you may just need an extra one for the second device you have. There are many reasons to have a spare. NLU Products is aware of this need and we don’t want you to have to wait the week or so to get another without protection on your device.
The Layout Diagram shows you exactly where each piece of your BodyGuardz goes on your device, making the installation process quick and easy.
One Bottle of Application Solution
The application solution is a critical piece in the BodyGuardz package. It allows you to position your BodyGuard perfectly without a frustrating mess. Until the solution dries, you can position and reposition the BodyGuardz on your device as many times as you would like. And don’t worry; there is enough solution in the bottle to apply both of the BodyGuardz included in each pack.
One ScreenGuardz Squeegee
The squeegee helps you push any unwanted solution and bubbles out from under the BodyGuardz. It is designed small enough to get around the smaller surfaces of your device.
Before installing the BodyGuardz Clear Protection for Apple iPhone 3G there are a few things you need to know. One is you will need to reserve at least an hour of time to install the shields on properly. Second, you will need lots of patience and last you will need to keep your iPhone 3G off for 24 hours to let the shield set appropriately. Preferably you should perform this job in the evening so the phone can set over night.
Start the process by shutting off your iPhone 3G; make sure your hands are clean, your work area is free of dust or dirt and your iPhone 3G is free from fingerprints and oil. Prior to starting I cleaned my iPhone 3 using Monster ScreenClean and their microfiber cloth.
Spray the application solution to liberally wet your hands, then remove the film from the liner and cover the sticky side of the film with the application solution. Do not use the spray on the iPhone 3G, only on your hands and the BodyGuardz!
The application solution has two functions – one is to keep the user from getting fingerprints on the shield and the other is to activate the adhesive. According to the web site the application solution is primarily a water based soapy solution and the canister can be refilled twice with water if more solution is required.
Take care not to have the adhesive side of the shield come in contact with any contaminant; otherwise that shield will be permanently dirty at that spot and can not be cleaned.
Now lay the appropriate piece onto the iPhone 3G, getting it as close to the final position as possible. If you have used adequate solution, large pieces will be able to be repositioned by placing your fingers on the film and gliding it into the correct location. If you need to lift the film off the surface to remove air bubbles, just re-spray the film before laying it back down. You should now have a moist iPhone 3G. Why does that concept make me nervous?!?!?!
Use the squeegee, from the center outward start removing any air bubbles out from under the shield. Do not use too much pressure so that the BodyGuardz shield does not get stretched. If some solution remains under the shield and there is a haze under the film, then you will need to wait for it to evaporate over the next 12-24 hours.
In the instruction video, they mention that the side edges of the back piece may not initially sit on the iPhone 3G and you will need to wait 10 minutes or more to let some of the solution dry out before attempting to adhere these edges to the iPhone 3G. Finally let the iPhone 3G sit unused for the next 12-24 hours to allow all the liquid to evaporate.
My experience applying the BodyGuardz on the iPhone 3G was mixed. I was able to get the front shield down and positioned without any problem.
However, the back was another story. Despite spending a fair amount of time positioning, letting it dry and trying to tack down the edges, I still ended up with “puckered” areas in three of the four corners. In addition I ended up with numerous small air bubbles on the back shield. This was frustrating to say the least.
After performing some online research some suggested applying the BodyGuardz in a steamy bathroom and using copious amounts of solution for the front and less for the backside. This technique seemed to provide a better result and much less risk for dirt/dust contamination. I guess that is why they give you two shields, because the first set if for practice.
After applying the BodyGuardz to the iPhone 3G and letting it set for the requisite time, I have to admit that it is nearly invisible when applied without any bubbles or dirt or debris particles. Unfortunately, I was not able to get it done perfectly on my test application.
The back portion of the BodyGuardz shield is precut to conform to the curves of the iPhone 3G and to keep all the buttons and connectors fully open and accessible. Getting these areas to sit properly was problematic to say the least and in the end I chose to trim the outstanding edges from the shield.
Overall, the process for getting the BodyGuardz applied was long, frustrating and tedious. That is more the fault of the iPhone’s curvy shape than the design of the product. Still there is no reason a phone shield should take so much time and effort to be applied.
OK, once we applied the BodyGuardz shield to our iPhone 3G, how does it fare against the sharp end of a key? I slide the point of my house keys along the front on the iPhone 3G screen protector and to my surprise, it scratched after a light rubbing! I proceeded to buff the scratch with a cotton cloth and it did fade away. But when I turned the phone over and scratched a little harder on the back of the shield, the scratch stayed despite multiple attempts to buff it out.
For all the hype about the scratchproof protective capabilities of the BodyGuardz, I was a little disappointed to see it get scratched and disfigured so easily. In defense of the product, it does protect the iPhone 3G from harm and that is the stated goal of the BodyGuardz. Still, scratchproof to me means the ability to resist scratches.
The BodyGuardz shields are slightly thicker than most screen protectors and minimally elevate off the screen surface. The top shield feels smooth, but has a little drag when compared to the bare iPhone screen and some glossy screen protectors. The screen BodyGuardz does capture skin oils and fingerprints upon close examination, but does not seem prominent when compared to other screen protectors.
Although the BodyGuardz shields are fairly low profile, they do ever so slightly increase the dimensions of the iPhone 3G. This can cause some cases not to fit around the newly shielded phone.
I prefer to keep my iPhone 3G in the the ContourDesign iSee case and unfortunately with the BodyGuardz it did not fit. While the BodyGuardz will protect from scrapes and other scratches, it will not save the iPhone 3G from a fall. This is why I prefer to use a case.
Also NLU recommends not having a plastic see through cover on ones case as the plastic see through covers will adhere themselves to the BodyGuardz if exposed to heat. Leather or other material cases are just fine.
The BodyGuardz Clear Protection for Apple iPhone 3G is a very good product with great clarity and aesthetics, but it does have some drawbacks. The first is the amount of time and effort to get it set perfectly. The addition of a second set of shields is good because the first set will probably get thrown out, as they will most likely be practice for the application of the BodyGuardz. The other issue is the scratchproof skin does not seem to actually be scratch proof.
Personally, I really like the front shield and found it simple to apply. It was crystal clear and gave the iPhone 3G screen its natural appearance while keeping it protected. Unfortunately the application of the back piece was a real chore. Also the addition of the back shield increases the size of the iPhone 3G ever so slightly yet enough to restrict the ability to use some iPhone 3G cases.
In the end I decided to only use front shield and keep the backside covered with something more low profile or not covered at all. Luckily, you can purchase the BodyGuardz as a full set or only just the front or back pieces. The choice is yours.
Crystal Clear Protection
Provides tackiness for improve grip
Additional set of shields in package
Arduous installation process
Shields can get scratched up
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