Since debuting in 2005, ZAGG’s “invisibleSHIELD” has been a very popular protective skin for the wide range of devices for which it is made. The invisibleSHIELD’s military grade film offers good protection from scrapes, dings, and scratches without adding a lot of bulk to the device on which it’s used.
Building on the success of the invisibleSHIELD, ZAGG recently introduced customizable ZAGGskins. The ZAGGskin line is a range of wrap-around adhesive skins featuring decorative designs. The skins are only 0.3 mm thick, but strong. While there is a range of pre-made designs, including some newly released designs for upcoming Valentine’s Day, we wanted to try ZAGG’s new customizable service, which allows you to upload your own images and to create personal designs by combining pre-made backgrounds and shapes. When ZAGG offered Gear Diary the chance to test out their new customized ZAGGskins, we sent them a couple of images to use for a ZAGGskin design.
ZAGGskins are available for a wide range of phones, including mobile devices from Apple, Nokia, HTC, RIM, Palm, Motorola, LG, and Samsung, as well as Apple iPods and Apple laptops. I decided to try a ZAGGskin for my iPhone.
To create your own custom design, go to the ZAGGskin product page and select your device from the drop-down lists. After the selection, you’ll be shown a template and set of tools for uploading images or adding designs and shapes to your ZAGGskin. The template will display an outline of the skin you’ll receive for your device, so you can see how the design will actually fit on your device.
Using the tools, you can upload your own photos or graphics, or construct a skin using pre-made designs and shapes in the ZAGGskin template. In the image above, I created a skin by selecting a plain green background design, then adding a tree shape on top of it. The tool allows you to resize, move, and rotate images, so you can really control what the ultimate look of the skin will be.
When ZAGG offered Gear Diary a chance to create our own customized ZAGGskin for review, I sent them two image files – one of my 3-year old pointer, and one of the Gear Diary logo. The skins I received nicely reproduced the original images.
Once you’ve received it, installing your ZAGGskin is quite easy. First, clean the surface of your device to remove any oils or other resides that might hamper the skin from sticking. Next, peel the skin from its backing. Try lining the skin up visually before actually sticking it on your phone, iPod, etc. Many of the skins will have specific cut-outs for camera lenses, buttons, or connection ports, so a proper alignment will be important. Don’t worry, though, if you stick the ZAGGskin on your gadget and it’s not where you want it. Unlike the materials used in many screen protectors, ZAGGskins can be removed and easily realigned. Also – and I especially like this aspect of them – ZAGGskins don’t bubble easily when you install them. Removing air bubbles from under other protective films is always a hassle, but not with these.
One thing about the ZAGGskin for my iPhone surprised me. Although I had the opportunity to see an outline of the shape of the skin in the template on ZAGG’s website, I expected slightly more coverage on the corners of my iPhone. When browsing the pre-made designs on ZAGG’s website, it appears that the skins cover more of the corners.
As you can see from the photos of my iPhone below, portions of the corners are exposed. In fairness, it is hard for me to imagine how the corners could be completely covered with a protective skin and not end up with creases in the skin or overlapping pieces at the corners. Still, if you’re ordering a customized skin, you may want to consider the color of your device and use an image that blends in with that color. (I used the white Gear Diary skin to better demonstrate the coverage area, but I’ll probably remove it and install the other design I was sent because it will be better coordinated with the color of my phone.)
What I like: Strong, but thin protective film; customization tool is easy to use and resulting images look great; really easy to apply
What needs improvement: A little more coverage at the corners
MSRP: $19.99 (add a screen protector to your order for an additional $9.99)