Why choose a Glass Screen Protector over a Plastic Film?

We still remember when screen protection meant buying an uncut piece of film and trying to fit it to your display. Now we have all sorts of protectors, ranging from peel & apply films, to wet-apply films, all the way to tempered glass protectors. What’s the difference and why do we believe tempered glass ones are the best? Take a gander and you’ll find out!


PET Film Protectors

You are probably familiar with the plasticky screen protectors that can be found all over the web or at your local mall kiosks (for exorbitantly high prices). They are made from PET, the same kind of stuff that your soda and water gets bottled in. Can you guess what their number one feature is? They are very cheap for the manufacturer and resellers—not necessarily for you, the consumer. Although they may “protect” your screen, they are not nearly as purpose-built and cutting edge as the merchants would like you to believe.

Now we will give them credit for their ability to offer protection from scratches and sharp impacts, but as time goes on, they will become unsightly from all the scratches, dings, and divots due to PET’s softness. To compound this issue, many films (especially the self-healing ones) do not come coated with an oleophobic, anti-fingerprint coating, making smudges and fingerprints more frequent and difficult to wipe off. This means your screen clarity as well as touch responsiveness will be significantly reduced.


Chemically Strengthened Glass Screen Protectors

Glass isn’t the first material that comes to mind when considering durability. We’ve all been witness to a wine or dinner glass shattering, but the glass used in smartphones is a whole different animal. Even in the world of toughened glass, chemically engineered glass is especially resilient due to its unique treatment:

Glass is submersed in a bath containing a potassium salt (typically potassium nitrate) at 300°C. This causes sodium ions in the glass surface to be replaced by potassium ions from the bath solution.

This replacement of ions causes the surface of the glass to be in a state of compression and the core in compensating tension. The surface compression of chemically strengthened glass may reach up to 690 MPa.

The resulting glass is extremely hard, making it difficult to scratch. In addition, the physical properties of this glass allow it to absorb catastrophic impacts while still protecting the underlying display, something that PET films cannot do.
Protection isn’t glass’s only forte, in fact, our favorite feature is its superb texture and smoothness. For the same reason that glass is used in the first place on your device display, the benefits hold true when used as a screen protector—optical clarity, touch responsiveness and smoothness. In addition, an oleophobic coating resists fingerprints, smudges while making it easier to wipe clean when the display does get dirty.


Real World Comparison

To get a candid look at the performance difference of these two technologies, we took two devices that we had at our office—one with a PET protector and the other with glass—and compared them:

gvp 4

The Nexus 5 is protected with a PET Film. The protector itself was laden with smudges and scratches:

gvp 2

As you can see, the soft nature of the PET results in all sorts of marring, swirling and scratching. These are compounded by the smudges left on the display which create distortion in the output of your smartphone screen.


The iPhone 5 with Movaluate 7 Glass Screen Protector had some dust particles and lint on the display, but was otherwise in pristine condition:

gvp 1


Final Thoughts


When it comes to preserving your device’s value, PET films beat having nothing on at all. However, if you can pony up a few extra dollars (and you should, here’s why), you can get superior function and feel. In addition to excellent protection, Movaluate 7 protectors are backed by Movaluate’s 60 Day Money-Back Guarantee and customer support! Pick yours up now with Free Shipping:

For a limited time, get a free Movaluate NFC Tag as well!

Join the mailing list

Check your email and confirm the subscription