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Whitestone Dome Glass Screen Protector for Note 9 review: The clear winner

Tell me if you've heard this one before. Company releases phone claiming that its glass screen is "stronger" and "less prone to scratches and cracks" than the one before. So you believe the claim and forgo buying a screen protector only to drop the phone onto concrete shortly thereafter. Your heart stops and you inhale sharply as you lean down to pick up the face-down phone. You turn it around and it's a spiderweb of debris, money down the drain.

Or this one. Company releases phone claiming that its glass screen is "stronger" and "less prone to scratches and cracks" than the one before. You don't believe the claim because it's still just glass and glass scratches and breaks. You log onto Google, search for "best screen protector for phone" and buy the recommended one. When it arrives in the mail, you eagerly unbox it, follow the vague and poorly-written instructions, and end up with a bunch of frustrating air bubbles that distract you every time you look at the phone.

Both of these scenarios are pretty common. The issue has been exacerbated with the proliferation of curved glass phones — phones like the Galaxy Note 9 (opens in new tab). Phones that cost way too much money to risk having their screens shatter, or having bubbles under their screen protector.

That's where Whitestone's Dome Glass (opens in new tab) comes in.

Pros:

  • Finished product is perfect
  • Installation is straightforward
  • Glass appears high quality

Cons:

  • Installation is very involved
  • Very difficult to correct if you make a mistake
  • Expensive

Whitestone Dome Glass What's good

Whitestone approaches a screen protector installation like surgery, and for good reason: I've tried installing so-called "professional" and "easy-to-apply" screen protectors on Galaxy devices going back to the S8 and they've all turned out badly.

Name a company — Zagg, IQ Shield, Skinomi — and I've had a poor experience. They're not bad products, but the reality is it's really hard to get a screen protector, especially one made of tempered glass, to adhere properly to a curved screen.

Well, by approaching the installation like a surgery, Whitestone has managed the impossible: a perfect installation. The process is seriously involved: there are about 10 steps you have to follow, and to the letter, or you risk something going wrong.

First, there are all the precautionary measures to ensure that, when the adhesive is eventually applied to the screen, it doesn't damage the Note 9's buttons or ports. So you have stickers and absorbing sheets and a full-tilt station to acquaint yourself with.

But once you read the instructions a few times — they're not translated well, so I made sure to read them more than a few times — it's pretty straightforward. The tricky part is making sure that, once the adhesive is applied, the tempered glass adheres bubble-free to the screen. Because unlike some film-based screen covers, air bubbles can't be forced out of this one. If they're there, they're there for life.

Note: I highly recommend buying the 2-pack (opens in new tab) when investing in Whitestone's screen protector. It saves you from having to salvage a disastrous first attempt (as you'll read below) and lets you replace an installation if it becomes too scratched.

Once the protector is installed, the cool part begins: using the included UV curing light, which sets the adhesive in under a minute and ensures that touch response is identical to the display in its natural state. It's USB-powered, so you'll have to plug it into a nearby AC adapter or battery pack, but you only need it for a couple of minutes.

You pay more not necessarily for a higher-quality screen protector but a better installation that ensures the protector adheres properly.

The best part of Whitestone's Dome Glass is the fact that, once properly installed, it's not going anywhere, even on the notoriously finicky rounded edges of the Note 9. To wit, I've been using it for over a week now and there's no evidence of the edge lift that you commonly see in cheaper solutions.

And how is the tempered glass itself? Honestly, it's fine. It's a standard 9H-rated glass slab, thick and weighty but likely no higher quality than anything you'd find for a quarter the price. That's not really what Whitestone is selling here, because a properly-installed curved screen protector is going to be much less likely to crack or dislodge when dropped. The fact that the Dome Glass adheres to the Note 9's screen uniformly ensures that are no areas of particular weakness. And that is this product's greatest strength.

Whitestone Dome Glass What's not good

As far as screen protectors go, there isn't a lot to complain about here. I did have to throw away my first install because I made an error in my first attempt, letting the adhesive run too far down my phone. The most important thing to know about the Dome Glass is precision: every step needs to be followed perfectly, or you risk ruining the process.

Then there's the question of cost, and whether you need a screen protector at all. Whitestone makes a good product, but it costs $45 for a single and $60 for a two-pack. (There's also a $35 "refill" (opens in new tab) that arrives without the UV curing light). If you want the best, this is it.

But with Gorilla Glass 5, the Note 9 has a pretty tough glass exterior on its own. It may hold up to a few minor falls, and you'll probably not notice the average scratch against it.

Should you buy it? Absolutely

If you regularly drop your phone, a screen protector is a must. If you regularly drop your Note 9, Whitestone's Dome Glass is basically your only reliable bet. In this case, you're not paying for a higher-quality product but for the tools to successfully install it.

4.5 out of 5

Yes, the Note 9 is one of the most expensive phones out there. And yes, its curved display is often more hassle than it's worth.

But if you want the best, you have to pay for it — and that's true of the phone and the screen protector.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

24 Comments
  • I absolutely love the Whitestone Dome Glass Screen Protector. I've been using it on all of my curved display devices. My only complaint is that the glue/adhesive on the curved part of the display appears "webby" if you put it in a case. I'm not sure if that's from the case lifting the glass off the display a little bit (I don't think so) or what, but it's there. But otherwise I'll never use any other glass protector on curved displays ever again.
  • Does that happen with cases that are on their list of compatible cases?
  • Same thing happening to me
    Using Spigen case , doesn't even touch the screen protector
    But went to remove the case to clean the phone and just form pressing my thumb against the edge of the case I got webbing on the side now
    Just ordered new dome from Amazon
  • I would heartily recommend one more step...before you try an installation, in addition to reading the instructions thoroughly, watch EVERY installation on YouTube. This will give you a better feel for the process. Don't bother with the long ones (some are 20 minutes and more) they're just the ones that like to hear themselves talk.
    I've had mine on for the better part of a year and it still looks like it was factory installed!
    Even a minor drop can push your case edge and give you some minor webbing.
    If you're careful, taking the case off and on shouldn't cause a problem.
  • Totally agree. I have watched a bunch of YouTube install videos. Watched my favorite a few times to make sure I had the whole process nailed. Turned out great on the first try and already saved my screen once. Had to replace the protector but my screen is still perfect.
  • I bought a 2-pack to be safe, but I'm not sure I'll wind up installing it. That said, the biggest reason to buy a screen protector for the Note9 is to protect its trade-in value, as Samsung either rejects or significantly discounts phones with cracked screens.
  • How is the behavior of s-pen and his 4096 levels of pressure whit this screen protector in note9?
  • I had used Zagg for years. With the Note 9 I ponied up for this protector. Hands down the best ever. Watch an installation video on YouTube and installation isn't difficult. Nailed on the first try. Love how there is not lint build up around the edges!
  • This screen protector is magic! The oleophobic surface minimizes finger Smudges, and as a result, your finger and S-Pen glide over the surface effortlessly.
  • I tried Whitestone and threw it out... I ended up with the equivalent of a bad science experiment. Installation is for surgeons only. My own favorite is the tempered glass by Invisible Shield: Glass Curve. Keyboard response is excellent, and I only run into repeat taps occasionally at the top of the screen. I have no doubt Whitestone is good... But it is extremely difficult to apply.
  • I'm calling you out on this. I say BS.
    AMAZON only has a 3.3 star rating for this extremely difficult to apply for the common person screen protector. It's definitely expensive. And yes, you can get a replacement for another chunk of change. This is truly not worth the money. Until they come out with a better and easier method for the common person to install, you are better off going with a full screen protector such as LK for $12. You MUST be getting paid to promote this. If people buy this, sure buy it on Amazon, so you can get a refund. I'm on screen protector #5 for my Note 9 and the best on my opinion is the LK for $12. Report on something worthy like how Samsung has scammed thousands with the "Turn Up Your Play" promo.
  • Agreed. Amazon is crediting me for my surgery gone wrong.....twice.
  • Not a fan of this screen protector at all. Bought a two pack for my wife's phone and besides being difficult to put on, it's a finger print magnet. You see every single touch and smudge on it right away. And after a week the corners were lifting up. Took it off and trashed the second one, wish I never wasted my money on that worthless screen protector..
  • Their customer support, for warranty replacement which you WILL need eventually is nonexistent. I've filed a claim with payment provider. The product is great when it works, but the LOCA they use is crap and breaks down. There are many stories out there of paid warranty exchanges that never get fulfilled. Do your due diligence on this.
  • Don't be fooled. It's a great screen protector, but it has a major flaw. The edges unglued, happened twice to me already. Don't buy, you'll be disappointed.
  • Why would anyone use any other screen protector?!?! Whitestone dome glass are the absolute best
  • Comments⬆️
  • Bought a 2 pack at launch of note 9. Looks beautiful installed. Unfortunately it already has multiple scratches and 3 separate hairline cracks after a short time of use. I too have the webbing effect on one side of the curve even though my case is a good mm away. Very disappointed with this Glass so far. If it was $10 i would not have complaints but I paid top dollar.
  • This.
  • So difficult and risky to install tgat i don’t think it deserves such a high recommandation...
  • Try SGfreshideas Loca applied screen protector. Their Loca dries less tacky and customer service is great. I botched my first glass for LG V35 and then sent another free. Also half price and they give a shopping discount with SHIP30, or SHIP50 code.
  • So if you buy this, you 100%
    - spend $45
    - invest 1 hour of work
    - run around with a screen protector, the Display without anything is always better If you don't buy it, there's a higher chance you will end up with a broken screen, but if you don't drop it alot, the absolute chance is still probably below 50% without protector over the whole time you own the phone. Let's say it's 50%, and 25% with screen protector.
    Let's say a broken screen costs you $250. That means not having the screen protector costs you 0,25*$250 = $62,50. So if you drop your phone alot, might be worth it by ~$15 if you ONLY look at the money values and ignore the time and screen quality drop. Obviously I'm just estimating, but I think you foremost buy emotional security. If you're sure you'll drop your phone multiple times, maybe get a phone without a curved screen and put on a good case.
  • I've installed the Zagg "curve" on my N8. Very easy install (but do watch the YT vid). First one lasted two months, took a fall, minor crack on corner but no damage to the N8. I had registered it so I got a free replacement from Zagg. Great customer service! M
  • I've had mine since I got my phone, and I have had no issues and it still looks perfect.