Replacing a screen on a new phone can be almost half the cost of a phone like the $400 Pixel 3a, so please, protect that screen before gravity pulls it down to a shattering demise. Whether you prefer tempered glass or PET films, there's a screen protector that'll suit your new phone without breaking the bank.
With 9H hardness, oleophobic coating against fingerprints, and nicely beveled edges to help the glass blend in and stay down, Supershieldz tempered glass protectors are a good option if you need a spare protector without breaking the bank.
ESR's tempered glass protectors try to emulate the look of your original glass with black matte around the top, bottom, and sides, which can provide a cleaner overall look. However, the black matte also means that you'll need to be perfectly aligned.
This trio of screen protectors is slightly smaller than the front glass on your Pixel 3a so that they won't peel up at the corners when you stick it in a case. And three in the pack gives you more tries to apply it correctly — or spares if you need it.
Slick and simple
IQ Shield is one of the longer-running screen protector brands on the market today, which is why it's one of the most trusted Pixel 3a films around. Backed by a lifetime warranty, this durable, case-friendly film is self-healing and smudge-resistant.
Made in America
While ArmorSuit doesn't come with a spare film, you ideally shouldn't need one. This "military-grade" self-healing screen protector film resists smudges, scratches, and yellowing. It's also made in the USA if you prefer to buy domestic.
Skinomi's 2-pack of films is the best value around for a name brand screen protector and has self-healing, anti-yellowing properties that should help it hold up long-term. The wet install process makes it easier to line things up right the first time, too.
Will Pixel 3 screen protectors fit the 3a?
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The differences between the front of the Pixel 3 and 3a are incredibly slight, and most screen protectors will technically fit if you're sidegrading from the 3 to the 3a, but there are some important caveats here:
- The Pixel 3a is a little taller, so Pixel 3 screen protectors will leave a few more millimeters exposed near the top and bottom of the phone.
- The Pixel 3a doesn't have the front-facing bottom grill like the Pixel 3, so that will leave an unsightly gap at the bottom center of the screen as well.
Unless you for some reason already have Pixel 3 screen protectors lying around, do yourself a favor and buy protectors specifically for the 3a, as they won't have as many gaps in coverage.
Cover your glass
Tempered glass screen protectors are the bulk of the protectors available for the 3a — which is honestly just fine because tempered glass offers much more shatter-resistance when it comes to drops — but there are some affordable film options like the Skinomi TechSkin if you prefer the thinner, slimmer look and feel of plastic over a second slab of glass.
For tempered glass screen protectors, the brand that's been protecting my family's Pixel 3as these last few months, as well as their previous Moto Gs for a couple years, is the SuperShieldz Tempered Glass multi-pack. The pocketbook style of lining up the protector and then using stickers as hinges so that you can be sure everything lines up once you peel off the plastic covers is so simple, even my mom feels comfortable doing it on her own, and the tempered glass has stood up to drops off of step stools and being slung around in a crowded purse with coins and keychains.
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Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.