Buying a new smartphone is undoubtedly an enjoyable experience, but it's equally important to ensure the safety and longevity of your device. Even a minor scratch on the screen can ruin the appearance of your phone. When it comes to protecting your smartphone's screen, manufacturers have introduced various options, with two prominent choices: tempered glass protectors and hydrogel screen protectors. The question that naturally arises is, which of these protectors is better for you?
Hydrogel and tempered glass screen protectors differ mainly in material and properties. Hydrogel protectors, made from flexible gel, offer impact absorption, scratch resistance, and good touch sensitivity. In comparison, tempered glass protectors, made from rigid glass, provide exceptional impact resistance and screen clarity. The choice depends on personal preferences and needs, with hydrogel protectors being thinner and easier to install, while tempered glass offers durability and superior clarity.
Read the whole Hydrogel Screen Protector Vs. Tempered Glass comparison to know their features, pros and cons, and more.
What Are Tempered Glass Screen Protectors?
There is a good reason why tempered glass screen protectors dominate the smartphone screen protection market. They are exceptionally strong and can withstand major damage and ensure the safety of your screen. However, they also have some drawbacks, although their remarkable effectiveness often hides these. Read the advantages and disadvantages of tempered glass screen protectors below.
The Benefits of Tempered Glass Screen Protectors:
- Superior Durability: Tempered glass screen protectors are better than their competition in withstanding accidental drops and impacts, which makes them the preferable choice for protecting your device's screen.
- Scratch-Resistant: With an impressive hardness rating of 8 on the Mohs scale, tempered glass protectors are excellent at fending off scratches, preserving the clean appearance of your screen.
- Cost-Effective Option: They tend to be more budget-friendly when compared to hydrogel screen protectors, which makes them a wallet-friendly choice for many.
- Widely Available: With their popularity, tempered glass protectors are easily accessible, ensuring you can find them easily in various marketplaces.
- Grime and Oil Resistance: These protectors usually come with an oleophobic coating, which effectively repels fingerprints, smudges, and oils, maintaining a clean and clear display.
- Diverse Selection: There's a wide array of glass screen protector options to choose from in different marketplaces, allowing you to select one according to your preferences.
The Drawbacks of Tempered Glass Screen Protectors:
- Replacement Required: When tempered glass protectors sustain damage, they require replacement, which can be an added expense.
- Limited Protection from Severe Shatters: While they provide good protection, extreme damages can still potentially harm your smartphone's display.
- Lack of Self-Healing Abilities: Unlike hydrogel screen protectors, tempered glass protectors cannot heal minor scratches or imperfections.
- Incomplete Coverage: In some cases, especially with curved smartphones, tempered glass protectors may not fully cover the screen, leaving your phone edges exposed.
- Risk of Breakage During Removal: Removing a tempered glass protector can be delicate, as mishandling may result in it shattering completely.
- Manual Bubble Removal: Addressing bubbles under the protector often requires manual work, which can be a difficult process.
What Are Hydrogel Screen Protectors?
Hydrogel screen protectors are the latest innovation in screen protection technology and have recently gained popularity as an alternative to traditional tempered glass protectors. What sets them apart is their soft TPU composition, which provides a gentle and flexible touch. This unique quality gives them a number of advantages and disadvantages that make them stand out in the world of screen protection. These pros and cons are given below.
Benefits of Hydrogel Screen Protectors:
- Self-Healing Capability: Hydrogel protectors can autonomously repair minor scratches and dents, enhancing their longevity.
- Bubble-Free Application: Unlike plastic protectors, they offer a bubble-free appearance during installation.
- Easy Maintenance: Cleaning is effortless; you only need a microfiber cloth to keep the screen looking clean.
- Full Coverage: These protectors offer edge-to-edge protection, even on curved screens, ensuring complete protection.
- Simple Installation: Installing them is comparatively an easy and trouble-free process.
- Shock Absorption: Hydrogel protectors are excellent at absorbing shocks and impacts without shattering, preserving your device's screen.
- Crystal-Clear Transparency: They are completely transparent, guaranteeing an uninterrupted user experience with no compromise on-screen clarity.
Drawbacks of Hydrogel Screen Protectors:
- Higher Cost: Hydrogel protectors are expensive compared to standard tempered glass protectors, which may be a drawback for budget-conscious users.
- Impact Resistance: Their impact resistance does not meet the expectations that are offered by tempered glass, making them less suitable for heavy-duty protection.
- Rubbery Texture: The soft material can occasionally give the screen a rubbery feel, which might be different from everyone's liking.
- Limited Scratch Repair: Deeper scratches may not be entirely repaired by the self-healing feature and can leave visible marks on the protector.
- Susceptibility to Oil and Dirt: Hydrogel protectors are less resistant to oil and dirt, which means more frequent cleaning is necessary to maintain a clean appearance.
Hydrogel Screen Protector Vs. Tempered Glass - Features
Hydrogel screen protectors, made from soft TPU materials, offer durability and elasticity. They excel in preventing bubbles and fingerprints on device screens while providing efficient scratch protection. The self-repair feature for harsh screen scratches and suitability for curved screens make them appealing. These protectors are easy to install, but come at a higher cost due to their technology and material.
On the other hand, tempered glass screen protectors are a popular choice in modern times. They protect against scratches, bumps, and accidental falls due to their solid TPU construction. One main difference that is not found in any other screen protector is the various protective layers, including Oleophobic Nano-coating and anti-shatter film, which enhance their strength and durability. While lacking self-healing properties, tempered glass protectors are excellent alternatives for protecting your device effectively.
Read the table below that provides a full Hydrogel Screen Protector Vs. Tempered Glass comparison at a glance:
|Hydrogel Screen Protector
|Tempered Glass Protector
|Comparatively, 3 times more expensive
|3 times cheaper
|Comparatively, low transparency
|0.11 to 0.13mm
|Comparatively less safe
|Better impact absorption and cushioning
|Shock is not absorbed efficiently
|Best touch sensitivity
|Not as efficient as Hydrogel screen protectors
|Elegant and Superior
|Not as good as the Hydrogel Protector
How to Choose Between Hydrogel Film and Tempered Glass Film?
When it comes to choosing between a hydrogel film and a tempered glass film, here are a few pieces of advice that you should take note of:
If you have a mobile phone with a curved screen and there isn't a curved screen tempered glass film available that fits it perfectly, we'd suggest going for a Hydrogel Screen Protector. (However, if a 3D tempered glass film that can fully accommodate the curved screen is already on the market, that's the better choice.) These films work best for curved-screen mobile phones. It's important to note that, when considering hydrogel films, there's no need to spend on expensive options. Regardless of the packaging or branding, the primary material typically consists of TPU, and performance will remain the same.
On the other hand, if you have a smartphone with a flat screen or can easily find a curved tempered glass film that provides complete coverage, our recommendation is to go for the tempered glass film. Not only does it offer robust protection, but it also tends to be a more cost-effective choice in the long run.
In the world of smartphone screen protection, the decision between hydrogel and tempered glass screen protectors depends on individual needs and device type. Tempered glass protectors are known for durability and cost-efficiency, but they may lack edge-to-edge coverage. Hydrogel protectors self-heal minor damage, making them ideal for curved screens, but they come at a higher cost. Ultimately, the choice should be according to your specific device and preferences, ensuring your smartphone's screen remains protected and clean.