You placed an order and patiently waited. Now that iPhone 4 is in your hands, you are scared to actually use it and risk scratching the beautiful screen or the cool new glass back. Adding a case will help, but it will also cover up some of that gorgeous Apple design and make the device larger than intended. Even with the case, the precious screen is still vulnerable. Luckily, BodyGuardz have a scratch-proof film to protect virtually any device. So what is BodyGuardz?
BodyGuardz are transparent skins custom designed to perfectly fit many devices. The material is used on automobiles to protect the body from rocks and other items. It is tough, thin and crystal clear. The custom design allows the material to cover and protect the entire device including the corners, sides and screen. Since the skins are clear, enjoying the true design of a device without adding bulk from a case is possible. Buying a BodyGuardz will provide two skins and all of the necessary tools for installation. (one skin is included for some larger items)
As you can see, the package contains two skins. The left two are for the front of the phone and the right two are for the back and sides. The card at the top is important as it is used to smooth the skin and remove bubbles and moisture during application. The clear tube on the top contains the application solution and is a spray bottle. There should be plenty of solution to apply both skins.
I have installed BodyGuardz on my iPhone 3GS so I jumped right in. Other devices I have installed skins on have been quite a challenge. I was interested to see how difficult this would be. First and foremost, clean the device extensively before installing the BodyGuardz. Any dust, smudges etc, will cause the skin to not be clear or contain bubbles. I used a cloth that is used to clean sunglasses since it is designed to be lint free. Also, thoroughly wash your hands to help keep oils from leaving finger prints or affecting the adhesive. I cleaned the entire iPhone before installing, but I also cleaned each part I was working on as I continued. Again, cleanliness is imperative for the success of the installation.
Before peeling back the skins to install, spray your fingers generously to once again help lower the amount of oils that may transfer to the adhesive side. I began with the screen, followed by the back, then worked on the sides. It is best to touch the adhesive side of the skin as little as possible. I peeled back the front screen cover and sprayed it with the installation solution. The solution allows the skin to be moved into place and straightened, so spray enough so that the piece can slide some. I also kept a paper towel nearby so I could mop up extra liquid to make sure none of the moisture gets inside the phone. Once the protector is in place, use the squeegee to carefully push the liquid and any bubbles out from under the skin. This is another time the paper towel came in handy to help catch the liquid. Take your time smoothing out the skin and work any bubbles out toward the edge. Once everything is in place, the skin will not be clear. Do not worry, this is simply excess moisture that will dry and clear up over the next day or two. Repeat the entire process for each piece to be installed. Take your time and do it right and time will be saved as well as the extra skin!
The new design of the iPhone 4 makes for an easy installation. The curved back of old models made successfully installing the skin much more difficult. All of the items on both the front and back panels of the phone are not covered and the holes are cut accurately and were easy to line up. The front and back was actually much easier to install than I had thought. The side panels consist of six pieces. Take care when removing them from the card to avoid damaging the thinner sides that fit around the ports. It did take a little time and adjustment getting the sides straight and perfect.
The sides were just as easy to install as the front and back, just took a little longer to adjust the placement. One complaint of mine is how some of the side pieces are just square and placed in between buttons rather than cut to fit around them. The skins would look be more attractive if the volume buttons were actually holes cut in the piece. My guess is that there would not be enough material on the edge of that circle to be usable. Once the sides are in, the entire iPhone is safe from scratches while not covering the beautiful design or adding bulk. The entire process took me around 20 minutes and was super simple. Below is a photo of the other side and the screen about 12 hours into the installation. As you can see (or not see), the screen is almost completely cleared up.
The BodyGuardz for the iPhone 4 is a painless install. I had perfect outcomes on my first try and wasted little time doing it. The material used for the skins is amazingly strong. I am comfortable dropping my phone into my pocket with no worries of scratching any part of the device. If you are a fan of cases, remember that even though the skins are super thin, it does slightly change the measurements of the iPhone. Some cases may not fit well or you may choose for just the screen or back protectors to be installed to accommodate the case. BodyGuardz for the iPhone 4 can be bought in full body, screen protector only, back protector only or side protector only. Remember, each package comes with two skins and everything needed to install. Check out the BodyGuardz site here for other options and the complete line.
Full Body: $24.95
Screen Protectors: $14.95
Back Protectors: $16.95
Side Protectors: $9.95
What I like: Installation was surprisingly simple. Protecting my iPhone while keeping its beauty visible and not adding bulk.
What could be improved: I would like to see a design change to the area around the volume buttons.