Review: G1 Screen Protector by SPE

It's launch day for the G1 today and undoubtedly people are going to be hunting down some accessories. The G1's screen has a few of problems with it. First: it's plastic and therefore vulnerable to scratches. Second: it's pretty reflective and is susceptible to glare. Third: it collects fingerprints with a vengeance.

So naturally the first thing I wanted to do was slap a screen protector on it. Enter the SPE Screen Protector Pack for the T-Mobile G1. It's a three pack of matted-screen protectors for 14.95. Read on to see if and how they tackle the above issues!

Applying the Screen Protector

Check out the glare!

The first and possibly most important step in applying any screen protector is cleaning the screen beforehand. Get as much oil, dust, and debris off the device as humanly possible. I don't recommend going so far as to use chemicals like Windex (which can damage some plastics), but a good clean cloth is a must (These 3M Cleaning cloths work great).

Once you have the screen clean grab one of the SPE Screen Protectors and note that it has a convenient tab for peeling off the backing. This is a nice touch and not common with most screen protectors, which make you try to peel away the backing directly and you inevitably end up getting a fingerprint on the sticky side.

Next up is the trick passed down to me by a shaman: peel off the backing and then reapply it to the sticky side of the protector, as you see in the image above, right. This gives you more control when applying the screen protector because you don't have to 'bend' it as much to try to pull the backing out from 'under' it. It also lets you re-apply the protector a few times if you don't get it straight the first time.

Finally, line up the top of the protector with the screen and roll your finger down from the top to press out any bubbles. If you have it straight, remove the backing and finish rolling your finger down. If there are any extra little bubbles in there they'll likely work themselves out over time.

The SPE Screen Protectors are nice because they are relatively firm without being too thick, they don't 'flop around' when you're trying to apply them. Because they are matted, you do lose a little bit of 'crispness' in the display and you need to apply just a tiny bit more pressure on taps and swipes, but all in all I find those trade-offs worth it.

The Results

The results: good. The screen is now safe from scratches, doesn't show fingerprints, and is significantly better about glare. Win-Win-Win. A three pack will set you back $14.95, but it's worth it. Check out the 'after' pics below, check out that reduced glare compared to the screen-protector-less photo above!

You can buy the SPE Screen Protector Pack for the T-Mobile G1 in the Android Central Accessory Store.

Verdict: 5 of 5, Recommended!

Dieter Bohn