[Ed. note: For this dually, Judie's comments will be in Black, Mitchell's comments will be in italicised Blue.]
One of the first things I started worrying about when I unboxed the HTC Advantage was how I would keep the humongous 5″ diagonal screen from getting scratched. While it was nice that HTC included a screen protector in the box, I think you could probably tell by the expression on my face in the unboxing video that I wasn’t too impressed with it, and sure enough – once installed, I saw that my unenthusiastic response was warranted. Don’t get me wrong, the stock protector was better than nothing, and it did keep my screen safe until something better arrived; but it was a complete throwback to the sticky, thin, gouge-able, one-shot-at-correct-installation screen protectors of yore.
At least you HAD a screen protector in the box! My Samsung BlackJack didn’t have any screen protection in the box whatsoever, and based on the review unit I received a few weeks ago before I got my own, the screen definitely scratches and looks BAD. For the first few weeks I used a cut-down EXIM Dopod 838 Pro screen protector which while it was perfectly clear, it had uneven edges, didn’t extend right to the top of the glossy display area, and was slightly crooked and peeling up on one side.
Thankfully, a better solution soon arrived in the form of the Proporta Advanced Screen Protector (ASP) for the HTC Athena (or Ameo, Advantage, U1000, yeah…it goes by all of those names and then some, I am sure).
Inside the Proporta kit is the perfectly sized protector, a reusable, orange, credit card sized microfiber cloth; instructions, and a small squeegee to remove the little air bubbles that always magically appear during installation.
Unlike some of the “ultra-clear” models I have reviewed, the ASP has a slightly matte finish that has both good and bad points. The good is that it provides anti-glare properties and a “paper” feel when writing on the screen with the stylus, but the bad is that it seems to dampen the bright colors of the PDAs screen just a bit. Well, I guess it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I guess that I just prefer a more smooth, glass-like screen surface.
I don’t really like this type of finish at all. The BlackJack display is fantastic, and this matte finish really dulls it down. It’s the same with laptop screens for me, the glossy displays look more vibrant than matte ones (and I am a bit annoyed with myself that I didn’t wait to get the glossy MacBook Pro display). I have also found that it is harder to view in sunlight, which is obviously not good.
Installation is done by pulling back the film attached to the yellow pull tab. Here is an installation tip that I found to particularly pertain to the large rectangular Advantage screen: Do not try to install in the portrait orientation! Landscape is totally the way to go. Because the screen is so large, and because the protector is cut to such tight tolerances, it is nearly impossible to line it up properly when installing it in portrait mode. You will end up with a bit of overlay on the final edge, and it will frustrate you – especially if you are as experienced at installing protectors as I am!
The adhesive on the ASP is the silicone based type which is wonderful for lifting, repositioning, removing, washing, and ultimately reinstalling. The paper-like surface will last for months, possibly years depending upon your usage. If you aren’t a heavy stylus-based gamer, and if you generally use a lighter hand when writing in block recognizer, then the ASP may be the last protector you ever buy.
Yes that was what was driving me mad with my make-shift protector, it wasn’t straight and was hanging off the display by less than 1mm, just enough to get a nice line of pocket-grit along the edge :S
The beauty of installing these silicone-based adhesive protectors is that it is extremely easy to get a good install without any air bubbles. If any do show up, a light scrape with the included paper squeegee will push them out. The included microfiber cloth can be used to buff the screen from future fingerprints or other spots that may show up.
The silicon adhesive protectors are the ONLY way to go, they just work so well. So easy to apply and reapply, and fix if a stray piece of lint makes it underneath.
If the screen should ever just seem totally dirty, or if you have a serious mishap while installing it (like dropping the protector onto the ground or something), it can always be washed with a dab of hand soap and tepid water. After it has dried, the protector can be reapplied. Any little particles or stray hairs that get between the protector and screen can be removed by lifting the protector with a piece of clear tape and using the sticky side of a second piece of clear tape to capture the offending bits.
Worked great on my BlackJack too. Getting it on straight is all you need to concentrate on, removing bubbles can be done afterwards without any side-effects.
The Proporta Advanced Screen Protector is a great long lasting option for anyone that wants a matte protector that will squelch glare and provide a paper feel when “writing” on the screen. Although my favorite protectors are generally the crystal clear ones, I have actually enjoyed the retro feel of feedback while writing. It’s kind of funny that such a sensation could make me feel slightly nostalgic, but perhaps it is because the Advantage is nearly tablet sized.
For my BlackJack I will probably be going back to an ultra-clear type. The matte one makes the display look quite sparkly, which I find very annoying, and since with a Smartphone all you do is look through it, “feedback” or stylus feel doesn’t matter. It is made worse on white backgrounds, and watching videos on it just does not look anywhere near as good.
The Proporta Advanced Screen Protector for the HTC Athena is available directly from the manufacturer.
What I Like: Easy installation; may be lifted, repositioned, removed, cleaned, and ultimately reused; long lasting; anti-glare properties; paper feel for those that like that sensation
What Needs Improvement: Extra tight fit – a screen protector noob might get frustrated by the installation