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Should you use a tempered glass screen protector for your Galaxy S8?

At this point, just about everyone has done some kind of damage to their phone screen inadvertently, whether by dropping your phone and cracking the screen or dropping something onto your phone that caused issues from the impact. This problem becomes larger with the Samsung Galaxy S8 because you have a much larger screen. That's why we're taking a hands-on look at a tempered glass screen protector to see whether it's worth it!

Getting started with a tempered glass screen protector

For plenty of folks, a screen protector is one of those accessories you buy right after picking up a new smartphone. However, the days of flimsy plastic screen protectors are going the way of the Dodo, with tempered glass emerging as the new standard for top-end screen protection.

We tested out an LK Tempered Glass screen protector (opens in new tab) for the Samsung Galaxy S8+. Before you get started with the installation, you'll need to thoroughly wipe and clean your screen so that no dust or oils affect its ability to adhere to your Galaxy S8's screen. Next, you'll need to line up the protector onto your screen. This is a pretty easy process if you use the cutouts around the top as a guide for placement, although it might take a few tries to get it lined up correctly if your hands tend towards shaking.

Once you've got that screen protector on, you'll get a sense of how it feels on your phone and in your hand. The first thing you'll realize is that unlike plastic screen protectors, tempered glass does add a bit of heft — it is tempered glass after all. Once it's adhered, you'll notice that the protector actually creates a small lip on the top of your screen.

For the most part, the tempered glass feels pretty decent on top of your screen. There are no issues using capacitative buttons on your screen through the tempered glass. It does take a few minutes to get used to but it doesn't feel terrible against your hand. For some folks, the feel of the screen can be a bit off-putting though.

There is one other big thing to remember with a tempered glass screen protector — it's likely to add some serious glare once you've got it on there. While this may not be a huge problem in most scenario, if you spend a lot of time outdoors the glare from the sun may cause some issues. You can definitely help this by upping the brightness of the screen, but in some cases you'll probably still end up with some reflective glare.

See the best accessories for the Samsung Galaxy S8!

How well does it fit the screen?

One of the biggest questions for anyone using a tempered glass screen protector is how well it's going to work for a Samsung Galaxy S8. That's because this phone has a curved screen, making it more difficult for a screen protector to stay adhered over time.

The screen of the Galaxy S8 curves slightly over the sides of the phone, which is where issues tend to crop up with oh so many screen protectors. However, manufacturers have begun to address this issue by making tempered glass screen protectors with curved sides, which greatly enhances your ability for their products to adhering solidly, and staying there.

This is provided that when you put it on the first time you've lined up the tempered glass screen protector properly. Lining up the screen protector so that it sits perfectly over your phone's display may take more than one try but it's integral to keeping the protector in place as you use your phone.

Over time the adhesive that attaches your screen may start to wear, especially along the curved edges of the screen. The best thing that you can do is keep an eye on the edges of your screen protector for any signs of loosening. Likewise, you'll want to avoid cracking the lip of the tempered glass against corners, which may end up causing the screen protector to shift.

Does the tempered glass screen protector work with Gear VR?

For many users of the Samsung Galaxy S8 one of the big questions about whether this screen protector is the right fit for them. Specifically, whether this screen protector with cause issues if you want to spend some time in VR.

Well, we have some bad news to report. Due to the thickness the tempered glass screen protector adds to the device these screen protectors arent usable with Gear VR. While it's very close, it just isn't quite thin enough to be seated within your Gear VR headset. This, of course, means that if you do decide to run with the tempered glass screen protector, you won't be able to use the phone for VR adventures.

Are you thinking of a tempered glass screen protector?

Tempered glass screen protectors offers a great deal of protection, but there is a trade-off in terms of feel, glare, as well as an inability to use your Galaxy S8 with Gear VR when it is on. On the other hand, if you're notorious for dropping your phone and damaging screens, then this screen protector may well be the best option for you.

See LK Tempered Glass Screen Protector at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Jen is a staff writer who spends her time researching the products you didn't know you needed. She's also a fantasy novelist and has a serious Civ VI addiction. You can follow her on Twitter.

42 Comments
  • I just don't get the need for a screen protector anymore. I haven't used one in 5 years now and I haven't had any problems with scratches. I keep it in my pocket with nothing else in it. And I work outside in the construction field. My old S6 screen looks new.
  • It's not just for scratches, it helps with shatter resistance as well. Plus the new Gorilla Glass actually scratches easier than the old glass.
  • I agree. Gg5 scratches so easily compared to gg3. Gg5 is more shatter resistant tho. I'd much rather have gg3 as I don't drop my phone, but gg5 scratches from even just being in my pocket with lint.
  • The problem is, cases don't protect the S8 very well, thanks to the curved glass.
  • Well I've never had a problem with a shattered screen. Even when I drop it. I always have a bumper case on it. Maybe I'm just lucky with phones. And the bumper case I have on the S8+ protects the edge very well unlike any of the previous edge phones.
  • *Curved edge*
  • As someone who knows a screen repair kiosk proprietor, I couldn't agree more. As someone who pays for nice phones, "I pity the fool."
  • Screen protectors are a 100% must. None of my phones ever scratched or shattered. Come my S6 Edge i decided that my experiences had been great so i didnt get the protector. Then the family came for a visit over the weekend and on the saturday night a party erupted. I went to bed quite early and couldn't find my phone on the way there. The next morning i found it on a coffee table scratched beyond belief. There was a white residue on the screen. Need i say more? Well i guess the manufacturer - and i do not blame them at all - do not test for these sort of situations where the phone is used as a chopping board. After the S6 however, i got the S7 - the screen broke the first time i dropped it...through the tempered glass screen protector yes. Now its time to get my S8 but don't have faith left with these gimmicks. Anyway, one thing is for certain: NO .MORE FAMILY WEEKENDS
  • I agree, no need for a screen protector. In all my years with a smartphone, I only had a screen protector on the first one. It didn't fit right and looked ugly. Haven't had one since(over 9 years) . Never had an issue or a scratch.
  • Well you 2 are in the minority... Absolutely everyone I've ever seen with a year old phone and not using a screen protector their screen is scratched... And many of them severely. Even those who have a Motorola with the unbreakable screens can still get scratches... My brother-in-law's Turbo 2 is severely scratched... He didn't use a screen protector because he knew he couldn't break the screen... Well he learned that it's not scratch proof. The one time I went without a screen protector, because I didn't get a replacement soon enough, my phone ended up in my wife's purse and came out with a scratch on the screen... Never again go without!
  • You also haven't used a smartphone with Gorilla Glass 5 on it. In their quest to make the glass more shatter resistant, the glass has become more susceptible to scratches. Just ask any former Note 7 owner like myself about GG5 scratches both front and back.
  • All depends on the screen and how it's used. I always had at least a minor scratch on all my phones, but for some reason HTC screens have been real good for me. I've even gone running with change in my pocket against the glass, and it still looks brand new after 3 years now (the glass, not the change!). My iPhone 5c? Not so much. My 6s fared OK, but the 5c got better treatment than the HTC and was scratched all over.
  • No I use a matte one for fingerprints and reflection. Reduces the crispness, but whatever. I rarely have to wipe phone down because of fingerprints.
  • The reviews are bad on Amazon
  • Is it true we can't us vr I have not tried yet with the S8+ but I used vr with with my S7E with a screen protector
  • Tcdude you wouldn't be able to use VR with your GS8 and this protector because of how thick the tempered glass is. It no longer seats fully within the Gear VR headset, so it can't be turned on.
  • Ok thanks must have been different screen protector, going to try it a different protector with my s8+ very soon
  • I've been using the Verizon Ultra Glass Protector with the new GearVR with no issues so far.
  • I don't use a screen protector for scratches though. I use it so that if it happens to take a fall, which will inevitably happen eventually, the $20 protector takes the impact instead of the $1000 phone. (Or $700 for most of you, I'm Canadian)
  • How does a thin sheet of glass absorb the impact of a device falling on a hard surface? Corner drops are the harshest on the device, but I don't think screen protectors extend to the corners.
  • It has always confused me that people think that. My screen protector is there just for scratches if it's breaking a screen protector will barely help.
  • I'm not sure the science behind it, I just know from experience that they have saved a couple different phones multiple times for me. Falls onto ceramic tile that would have easily cracked or sometimes completely demolished my display.
  • Much the same way a thin layer of Kevlar protects the human body. When something impacts it, it breaks and transfers the force laterally to the sides; energy is dissipated by breaking the glass. And since it's not part of the screen below there is minimal if any damage to the screen.
  • Edge screen with glass protector no way...thats y i choose G6 this year..really wish samsung would make flats models also
  • Tempered glass screen came off mine the second I put a case on the back of it. Gave the screen a good 12 hours to bed down too but it didn't make a difference.
  • This article is misleading. It's claim is only based on a single screen protector. The reason it didn't work with VR is likely a flaw in the design. Other brands are smart enough to not cover the sensors and cameras at the top, which probably interferes with the headset. The headline needs to be changed to imply that the article is a review of one product, with no real research going into glass screen protectors as a whole.
  • I've recently read about the Whitestone Dome glass screen protector. Has anyone heard of it, or used it with the GS8? It is the only glass screen protector I have come across that has a wet installation process. Google it. It seems to be out of stock at the moment. But I may try it once it becomes available again.
  • I use armorsuit is a plastic, is very thin but really strong. and protects the phone. You can even buy the whole armor to protect your phone for the back and sides, and there's no glare like the tempered glass.
  • I put a Zagg tempered glass on my S6, it's on perfect, can't even tell it's there, has a couple minor scratches on it, if it wasn't there, they would be on my phones screen
  • I really don't understand why people need these. I've had cellphones since 2001, and PalmPilots before smartphones were invented. Never once have I scratched or cracked a screen. I may drop a phone once in the 2-3 years I have it. I consider the whole screen protector industry to be a scam for careless people.
  • Or you just don't use your device nearly as much as people like me.
  • Nope. Never used one on the past, and not starting now.
  • I tried two different brands of the glass protector for the GS8, and they both have the same issue: they don't adhere to the screen fully so they create a gap between the screen and the screen protector itself, successfully turning the display into a resistive touch screen. In other words: you have to apply pressure for the screen to respond to touch. It was pretty annoying, so I got ghost armor instead.
  • I haven't used a screen protector probably since like 2010. Never had any issues, the whole point of the new gorilla glass isn't for shatter resistance (wtf, where'd you hear that from??) it's for scratch resistance. In fact, in their quest to make it more scratch resistant, the glass has become way more brittle, making it easier to break. Just look up any youtube video by "JerryRigEverything" he tests phones fully. Screen protectors are a thing of the past, most screens right now are resistant to around 6 on the mohs scale, which means your keys, coins and other metallic objects won't scratch it. Sand (due to different kinds of particles) will scratch it because all it takes is one tiny grain to be on the 6 mohs scale.
  • I've been using Skinomi screen protectors on my last several devices and they have been great -- easy to install, minimal bulk, great customer service, and they do what they are supposed to -- prevent scratches. The initial Skinomi I ordered from Amazon came off when I added a case. However, Skinomi wrote me even before my phone arrived to make me aware of that possibility and offer a "case friendly" version for free. No problems since the change.
  • I have NEVER seen a screen-protector panned so badly on Amazon's Customer Reviews as the LK model.
  • Never have used a tempered glass protector and have never cracked a phone screen. But that's just me.
  • I used a case but no screen protector for 2 years on my old S6 edge and never had a problem. I plan to do the same with my new S8+.
  • When I got my s8 from verizon I had a choice between a glass protector or a new liquid protector which you wipe on. I chose the liquid because it is designed to make the screen even more scratch resistant. But they left the plastic film on that comes on the phone for now because they were out of stock of the liquid screen protector.
  • In Hong Kong, having (not necessarily using) a screen protector is a must because that increase the resell value. Since we usually do the exchange in person, you can just snap one before selling it. If the buyer or a shop sees no screen protector, they always knock 10 to 20% off the asking price.
  • Well this was interesting to know. Just shifted to HK, will keep this in mind when I go to sell my phone :)
  • I really don't get the need for a screen protector I'm afraid. A case, absolutely - I've had the Spigen Neo Hybrid on my S7 since purchase and it has been fantastic. I've dropped it about three times, each time from chest height, and not a mark on the phone itself, just some scuffs on the case. I carry it in my pocket all the time, although don't keep keys or coins in that pocket and have never had the slightest mark on the screen. I must say this is what makes me totally unexcited about the S8, they're emphasising the lovely glass back, etc, yet it seems to get scratched very easily and I'd therefore prefer to keep it covered. As a result I don't really care what the back of the phone is like!