Screen protectors certainly have come a long way since the days of thick, user-cut, adhesive backed films that easily lifted and dog-eared at the corners, creating an eyesore that nearly defeated its purpose of keeping the display in like-new condition.
Nowadays we have a host of high-tech screen protectors that reduce glare, prevent fingerprints and protect from scratch and abrasion damage. Now as I found myself browsing through gobs and gobs of screen protectors online–some boasting super-high clarity, others with fingerprint-proof matte finishes–I came upon a very unique specimen that promised to deliver superior image clarity while providing unparalleled scratch and shock resistance. This is what I found:
Drill, knife and hammer proof–don’t try this at home kids!
That’s right, this isn’t one of your run-of-the-mill PET films, heck it’s not a PET film at all. The SGP Glas is a screen protector that is made out of–yup, you guessed it: glass. This means this bad boy provides shock and impact resistance in addition to scratch resistance. The fine folks at Steinheil also slap on an oleophobic coating to halt smudges and allows you to customize the bezel with 3 color choices: black, white and pink.
If you don’t like to read, check out my in-depth video review, application guide and unboxing:
Now for those of you who do like to read let’s take a look what the SGP Glas screen protector brings to the table.
Construction and Design
Unfortunately I didn’t take any picture of the Glas by itself so you will have to make do with the aforementioned video review to see the Glas fresh out of its case. The first thing you notice when you pick up the Glas is how thin and light it is. The screen protector is a mere .4mm thick, and has very precisely cut openings for the speaker and home button. In addition, their are windows for the Android manu/back buttons as well as windows for the front-facing camera and proximity sensors.
Overall, the screen protector, while quite thin, felt solid and was very accurately and precisely made–it looks just like the normal front panel of the Galaxy S II save for the absence of the Samsung badging, which gives the whole package a very sleek and chic appearance.
Coverage and Usability
The SGP Glas covers the entire front glass of the Galaxy S II (with the exception of the speaker and home button). Some screen protectors will combine the opening for the front-facing camera, proximity sensors and speaker into one complete open area which leaves the top left/center exposed to damage and abrasion from entry and removal from one’s pocket or purse. The Glas leaves absolute none of the Galaxy S II’s Gorilla Glass display exposed.
Included with the screen protector is a set of 6 epoxy coated buttons that you can attach to your home button. In addition to preventing the home button from being overly recessed once the Glas has been applied, it adds a nice rubberized texture and a slight hump to the home button that I much prefer over the stock button.
If you are worried about the Glas providing too much coverage and possibly blocking or reducing the clarity of your front-facing camera, you will be happy to learn that the above image was taken without any obstruction or reduction in quality.
The glossy surface of the Glas doesn’t assist much in the glare reduction department however, I don’t really consider this a negative because the screen retain’s superior optical quality and its glass construction retains the exact same touch/feel as the original display. If you are planning to use your phone outside a lot, you could even go as far as putting down a separate matte screen protector on top of the Glas.
There is however one issue that we have encountered with the Glas and the Galaxy S II’s usability. When charging or plugged in via USB, there appears to be some sort of electromagnetic interference which affects the digitizer’s sensitivity and ability to receive touch input. Apparently this can be remedied with a root/kernel update solution, but we have yet to try it. I found the problem to be somewhat mild but there are videos on YouTube of more moderate interference.
Durability and Protection
Did you not watch this the first time?! If the Glas were any stronger, it would be bullet proof.
Based on the cinder block test, I’ve come to the conclusion that your Galaxy S II will break before your Glas screen protector will budge, so unless you are repeatedly dropping your phone face-first into a box of hardened-steel spikes, the Glas should admirably protect your Galaxy S II’s display.
The SGP Glas is a superbly made piece of kit which provides the best protection for your Galaxy S II’s screen that you could ask for. When I began looking for a screen protector, I knew I wanted a high-quality, precision engineered protector that provided great damage protection and also looked good while doing it. The Glas fulfilled those requirements in spades.
Overall, I give the SGP Glas screen protector for the Galaxy S II a 9/10 with points lost only for the USB charging issue which can be fairly easily fixed. Check out the SGP store and get your own Glas screen protector for the Galaxy S II.