I made the mistake of buying a carbon fiber skin from a company I had never heard of, when I decided that I didn’t want to keep my HTC Titan in a case. My disappointment with the product started when I realized that there was a huge cutout in the back so that the HTC logo would show through. No offense to HTC, but I don’t need to see their logo to know that the phone was made by them.
I was able to easily get all of the pieces installed, but the skin just didn’t seem very substantial. I didn’t have much confidence it would protect the Titan from much of anything (especially since it left the middle of my phone’s back exposed), which is why I also wound up a keeping the Titan in a Boxwave shell most of the time.
For the record, I would never expect any skin to protect my device if it suffered a serious drop or crushing, but what I would expect is the skin to protect my device from scratches and light dings … and look good while doing it. Otherwise, what’s the point?
The Titan is already an almost too-large phone, and the addition of the shell makes it nearly impossible to pocket … which meant that there were many times when I would leave the case behind. I soon noticed a disturbing amount of scratches showing on the skin, and its corners were starting to bubble and lift! All of this just made my otherwise lovely phone look ugly.
I mentioned that to Dan, and he immediately asked why I hadn’t just got a BodyGuardz skin to begin with.
Well, that’s a good question, Dan. =P
The folks at BodyGuardz were gracious enough to send me a Titan Armor Carbon Fiber skin to try. Available in black, red or white, each kit comes with a moist wipe to clean the screen, a microfiber cloth, a plastic squeegee, a screen protector, and the PVC material /carbon fiber skin laid out flat on a peel-off sheet.
I started on the bottom of the Titan, laying out the carbon fiber so that the cutout on the skin perfectly matched the phone’s microphones.
The BodyGuardz pieces are easy to line up and install, but if you wind up off-kilter, you can gently life the skin back up and realign it.
Corners are notched so that they will lie flat once installed; the other brand I had installed didn’t have this feature, and the ends were always a little bit rippled (which I thought looked nasty).
I got the skin on just a smidge further over to one side than I’d meant to. I’m okay with it, but if it had truly bothered me I could have gently lifted up the skin (before I had pressed it all down firmly) and realigned.
The PVC carbon fiber pattern is pronounced, and it has a great texture. This skin feels thicker than the one I had before, but it is still thin enough that my phone doesn’t feel like it’s any bigger.
Each BodyGuardz Armor comes with a 30 day money-back guarantee, and they also offer a lifetime of discounted replacements should you need them. I don’t know if this particular skin will ever get as scratched up and ugly as the other one I had did (because it seems to be a much better quality, and it is holding up very well), but it’s good to know that if it does BodyGuardz will share some of the cost to replace it.
All BodyGuardz products are incredibly durable, but with normal wear and tear, may need to be replaced. Some of our products already have the first replacement included in the box. For a very low cost, you can get replacement protectors for the lifetime of your device. We have recently expanded this program to include BodyGuardz Armor Carbon Fiber products.
With the carbon fiber skin installed, all that remained was the screen protector.
Now here’s the deal: I generally buy silicone-based adhesive matte screen protectors because I like how they cut down on screen glare, and I like how they add a bit of texture to the touch experience. I also like that they can be easily lifted and cleaned if a spot of dust or a loose pet hair gets underneath during the install. [With both a dog and a cat in my home, it's not exactly a sterile environment.]
When I pulled out the BodyGuardz protector, I was a bit disappointed. It was obvious when I first started to peel it from the paper backing that it was too stretchy to be the kind I generally like; I was afraid that this was going to be one of those rubbery cling-on types — where you have to wet the area first, carefully lay the protector down, gently squeegee out the air-bubbles (without distorting the film), and then wait a day or two to see if the bubbles go away. Even when perfectly installed, those screens feel rubbery under my fingers, and I don’t like that sensation.
While it’s true that this protector was more stretchy than I expected, and while it’s also true that even after my most careful application I had a few dust spots underneath — which meant I had to ever so gently lift the corner and hope that I didn’t stretch anything out while I snared the debris with a piece of tape, I was able to get the screen properly covered. There was just one problem: the screen looked cloudy and a little bit bubble (still! urgh!), and I wasn’t at all impressed with the result.
Knowing I had other protectors available to use, I figured I would just replace it the next morning.
But amazingly enough, when I looked at my screen the next day (with a different protector in-hand and ready to be installed), the BodyGuardz had somehow become nearly invisible and it felt similar to glass! I liked the result so much that I immediately ordered the iPad 3 Clear Skins Full Body Protection. I like to use the Apple Smart Cover most days (because it is so thin), and that leaves the iPad’s back completely exposed.
If you are looking for a way to protect your mobile electronics from scratches and light dings, and you don’t want to keep your device in a case, then you’ll find that BodyGuardz offers a great solution for a reasonable price. My best advice to you when applying the screen protector is to be patient and do it slowly … and then wait until the following morning before you decide whether or not you hate it.
BodyGuardz Titan Armor Carbon Fiber skins are available in black, red or white; you can find them for just about every mobile device under the sun
What I Like: A more substantial carbon fiber skin than I’ve tried; easy to apply; “reposition-able”; kit comes with everything you need
What Needs Improvement: Seeing a normally beautiful screen appear cloudy and slightly bubbly is disconcerting, but if you can be patient, you’ll like the end result