Review: BodyGuardz Protective Skin for iPhone 3G

The BodyGuardz Protective Skin for iPhone 3G is available now in the iMore Store for $24.95. It is a thin, clear, protective film that covers almost the entire body of your iPhone 3G - screen, back, top, bottom, and sides, yet still gives your iPhone the "naked" look and adds virtually no bulk while offering protection against scratches and scuffing. Read on for the full review and see if it's right for YOUR iPhone 3G.

 

What's In The Box?

Upon opening the BodyGuardz package, the inside cover contains detailed instructions and hints for installation of the scratch-proof transparent film. There is also a helpful tip referring you to their web site (bodyguardz.com) for How to install instruction videos. A pocket on the inside of the front jacket contains two (2) complete BodyGuardz transparent film sets and installation diagram.

On the right side of the package is a spray "tube" of application solution (harmless water and baby shampoo) and a credit card-like "squeegee" applicator. You definitely want all of these tools to do the job right.

Installation and Performance

Installing the BodyGuardz transparent film may look very intimidating at first. I've used similar products on other devices and had them "professionally" installed at mall kiosks. For purposes of this review, I did this installation all by my lonesome, and I have to say, it wasn't as difficult as I thought. The instructions are pretty straight-forward and the videos on the BodyGuardz web site are helpful.

The secret is using enough of the solution to make your job easy. Make sure you have solution on your fingers at all times - it's a safeguard against your fingers sticking to the film. You also want to be sure to handle the outside of the film to avoid leaving fingerprints on the tacky side that will apply to your iPhone. Just slowly remove the film from it's backing, spraying the sticky side with solution as you go, and then apply the pieces of film to the appropriate locations on your iPhone. The screen protector is the easiest, then it gets a little more tricky as you apply the film to the rounded corners of your iPhone.

If you use enough solution, I found that installation was much easier because the film will "float" a little on the surface areas of your iPhone and allow you to move them more easily into position. As the water starts to dry, the film gets more tacky and sticks in place better. This is particularly helpful to know when installing around the corners. As the film gets more tacky as it dries, just press and hold the corners in place until they stick on their own.

Once the film is applied, there will likely be tons of bubbles where moisture is trapped between the film and your iPhone. Don't let this be a big worry. Just use the squeegee to smooth out the bubbles, carefully pushing them to the edges where most of the moisture can escape. It's recommended that you allow your iPhone to sit overnight without being placed in a case or pocket - you need to allow the film enough time to "cure" so it adheres to your iPhone. Once in place and dry, the film will stay put and won't come off. You can peel it off later without leaving any residue if you want, but until that time, the BodyGuardz will stay on your iPhone and protect it from scratches and scrapes.

The nice thing about using the BodyGuardz transparent film to protect your iPhone is that it adds minimal bulk, it shows off the sleek design and color of your iPhone, and it does a fantastic job of protecting against scratches and scrapes. It is also a good idea to apply BodyGuardz before using another kind of case. I've learned through sad experience that some cases, although designed to protect your iPhone, can cause scratches over time as dirt and dust get trapped between the case and your iPhone. There are some downsides to using BodyGuardz. First, it adds just enough bulk to your iPhone that some form-fitting cases, particularly the hard cases, may not fit properly. Second, over time the film can get dirty and start to peel around the edges if you aren't careful. Sometimes this can be remedied if you keep it clean and reapply the corners with a little moisture and curing. Finally, it offers no protection from harmful impacts. Also, it may be a little bit on the pricey side at $24.95. But, that price does include two (2) sets of BodyGuardz.

Conclusion

The BodyGuardz scratch-proof transparent film is an excellent way to protect your iPhone and still give it that "naked" look. It's moderately easy to apply and stays put once everything dries. It does a fabulous job protecting your iPhone from scratches and scrapes, but is not recommended for protection in the event of accidental (or intentional) drops to the ground. It may create a problem if you want to use a hard form-fitting case. Personally, I like it enough that it's still on my iPhone and will stay there as long as I have the phone. You can get BodyGuardz here in the iMore Store for $24.95.

Pros

  • Adds minimal bulk
  • Clear film to show off your iPhone
  • Moderately easy at-home installation
  • Protects against scratches and scrapes

Cons

  • Adds enough bulk that hard form-fitting cases may not fit properly
  • Offers no protection for damaging impacts
  • Can start peeling off on the corners over time; wear and tear
  • A little pricey at $24.95
Post Script: In my opinion, the Pros far outweigh the Cons - I just want you to be fully informed!

TiPb Rating:

The iPhone blog 4 Star Review  

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Reader comments

Review: BodyGuardz Protective Skin for iPhone 3G

13 Comments

when i first bought my iPhone they had a booth set up in front of the APPLE Store trying to get ppl to pay $25 for BodyGuardz...while i dont doubt how well it works, BestSkinsEver.com sells the same exact product for 1/3 of the price...i have it on my iphone now and you'd never notice...i hope this helps ppl save a little money...$25 for a piece of plastic during a recession not to mention the holiday season is crrrrrrrrazy.....

@Glenn you make a point I have the zagg inivisisheild on my phone also. I love it, but I have heard that it around the corners these dont hold to well over time. I have friend who got this for is ipod touch and i must say, its not exactly pretty after about a year of having it on..
just my .02

I disagree... you should see mine after 4 months of use... it's disgusting and now i have to pay another $25 for a new one? BS..
save your money and get that glare shield they have in the apple store. there is no reason why you should protect your GLASS iphone front with a plastic shield anyway ha

You are right about it causing a problem with a form-fitting case. I had the Invisible Shield on the front and back and tried to put on the Incase Slider. Big mistake, totally chewed up the back IS though the front was not damaged. I wish someone made a protective covering for the back like this that was thin enough to use with a case if you wanted to.

I have had good luck with both the invisible shield, and the one from the apple store that is anti glare. ITs pretty nice...

I have used the BodyGuardz for my iPhone since July. For the most part, I have been very happy with it. However, I did find applying the back to be somewhat difficult. It is a good thing two skins are provided. The first got messed up with practice. I never got all four corners to work well. A couple stuck pretty well, but after 3 or 4 months, they started coming up. The BodyGuardz do come with a lifetime warranty, so you get your $25 worth in value.
I finally switched to an actual hard shell protector because it had a built in macro lens. While I have been very impressed with how BodyGuardz protected against scratches, I was always still worried about the impact from dropping the phone.

Hello everyone, My name is Chris and I am a ZAGG Representative. If you have any questions about our product, please feel free to email me or post a comment here and I will try to answer you in a timely manner.
Thanks and great review!

I have used he anti-glare and now have the Invisible Shield. With both I only bought the front and have a hard case to protect the back for accidental drops. This option works best for me and it avoids the eventual "corner gunk" issue of the rear plastic protector. I eventually didn't like the anti-glare as it blurred the screen slightly and made watching videos or reading small text difficult (I am a huge fan of Stanza). One thing that is not mentioned in the article and the best reason to get a clear plastic protector for a glass screen is smudge. With both screens you don't get the constant smudge from facial oil or fingers on the screen. No longer am I constantly wiping the phone off to keep it clean.