on June 7, 2013
I've purchased the Realook screen protectors for two Samsung Captivates, one Samsung Infuse 4G, one Samsung Exhilarate, and one Samsung Galaxy Note. For every one of those devices, they're perfect.
Yes, I wasted a whole pack of Captivate protectors (and so had to purchase another; expensive lesson) learning how to do it properly, without getting any dust beneath, and without getting any edges or corners that didn't want to stick. There's actually a bit of a trick to it; though, that said, it's not rocket science. Somewhere else around here (just find my profile page and look-up my reviews) I explain it. Kinda' involved, but boy-oh-boy does it ever work.
And I got one pack containing protectors with virtually no (or at least ineffective) adhesive on them; either that or the adhisive was really old or something...
...didn't matter, though: Realook replaced 'em, lickety split, no questions asked, no shipping charges... nothin'. Gotta' like that.
But there's more to it than just that; more which qualifies them. Turns out that most makers of these things don't do it very well. Forget the soft ones; they end-up looking like you hand-made 'em from plastic wrap. And forget the anti-glare ones -- even the ones Realook makes -- they just disburse the light weirdly, resulting in a seemingly dimmer screen. Always go with crystal clear rigid screen protectors, regardless what kind of device it's for: phone, tablet, whatever.
But not just any crystal clear, rigid screen protector will do. Again, turns out that most makers of these things kinda' don't know what they're doing. I mean, don't get me wrong, Realook has maybe three other competitors who seem to know what it knows, and who do a good job, too. But there's nevertheless something of a trick to it, and Realook, in my opinion, knows what it is as well as or better than any of the others. Its protectors are just really, really good.
If they're not made right, with the right layers of the right kind of whatever plastics are used in these things, they won't apply properly, or stick properly through all kinds of temperature changes, they'll scratch easily, they'll not really be as crystal clear as they claim (and so not only will the images seem not as sharp, but small amounts of light from them won't flow in a straight line to your eye, thereby disbursing it a little, and making the image appear the tiniest bit darker. Badly made ones will also goof with the capacitive touch capabilities of the Gorilla glass screen beneath, and so, then, ever-so-slightly impede touch sensitivity and responsiveness. Badly-made ones will also exhibit that weird blue/green swirly motor-oil-on-water look when held at certain angles to the light; and they just won't clean-up well... will have dull swirls from the cleaning cloth left behind; and if you use something like a McDonald's napkin to clean 'em, they'll eventually get little scratches in said swirls.
None of those things -- not a one -- are a problem with the Realooks.
Oh, don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that they're a perfect product, but, seriously, they're as close to perfect as this sort of product gets... I kid you not. If you apply them properly, trust me, they'll be just like glass... you'll not even be able to tell they're there, to speak of.
Some people say they're fingerprint magnets, but I did some testing on that a couple years ago. Turns out that these kinds of really high-quality rigid plastic protectors -- the Realooks, as well as the top two or three others -- don't show fingerprints any more than just plain glass. The reason people think they're fingerprint magnets is because fingerprints are a tad harder to clean off of these protectors than plain glass. So there's an illusion that the protectors are fingerprint magnets. But they're not.
All one need do is never try to clean them dry, or using just the steam from one's breath or something. Always use a few drops (don't use too much) of a good, non-abrasive glass cleaner -- or even just plain tap water -- and a clean, soft paper towel or toilet tissue, and they'll clean-up to a shiny, crystal-clear, glass-like appearance in a few wipes.
My normal routine, every day, is to get up and unplug the phone from the charger, then reboot it, and let it just sit on the nightstand while I shower. Then, just before I leave in the morning (after I've put my phone's horizontal leather pouch on my belt, I grab the phone off the nightstand and take it into the bathroom and get my fingers wet under the tap and fling a few drops of water right onto the phone's screen. Then I use a clean and dry white 100% cotton wash cloth (which I've devoted to this task) to make the screen look brand new. When I'm out-and-about, I just go into a men's room and do the same thing, only I use soft toilet paper (not the stuff in the hand towel dispensers; though the Realooks, at least, are hard enough that they could take it; I just don't wanna' tempt fate) to dry it off. Soap's not even necessary.
Only if I'm cleaning the entire phone (actually, it's only the TPU skin/case and the screen protector that I'm cleaning; the phone, because it's in the case, stays clean) do I use Windex and a soft paper towel. I hold the phone out at arm's length and spray a cloud of Windex from a distance in the air above it, and let it fall, atomized, onto the phone, front and back; and then use the towel to clean the screen first, then the rest of the hone, including front camera lense...
...which is also, by the way, covered with a Realook protector. Be careful when you open the package, 'cause there's a pair of little circles or squares in there, too, made to fit and protect your phone's front camera lens; and it's easy to lose 'em! They're a nightmare to install, too, truth be told; but I've finally got the hang of it, now.
Some also complain that some Realooks, for some phones, don't really cover edge-to-edge. That, sadly is true. On some models, it's so close to being truly edge to edge that it would be unreasonable to ask that it be any better. But on others, honestly, there can sometimes be... oh... maybe 1 to certainly not more than 2 millimeters of uncovered glass, all 'round. That bothered me at first...
...that is, until I fit the TPU skin/case on the phone, and the parts of it the wrap up and around the sides and bezel, touching the glass, more than cover the gap. So it ends-up looking, as long as one's got a TPU skin/case on the phone, perfect.
By TPU skin/case, I mean someting like this...
Soft TPU Gel Grip Skin Case Cover (Black)
...which they make for pretty much every phone, and which, as you can see, don't cost much. They fit like a glove; look and feel good; actually provide some protection (though not, obviously, like an Otterbox or some other two-or-three-layer hybrid case) and I wouldn't own a phone without one.
Even if you use a silicone case, though; or any of the hard-plastic, with one- or two-layer silicone hybrids out there, the part that wraps up and around the sides and bezel until it touches the glass will more than cover any tiny bit of glass not covered by the screen protector. So it'll end-up looking really, really good.
One protector will last a good, long time. But, trust me, you'll waste at least one the very first time you try to install. That's okay, though, 'cause you'll still not need to buy any new ones for a long time. They really hold-up. Just go read the customer comments, here, for the cheap, five-to-a-pack, $5-or-less-per-pack ones (or even ones costing two to three times that much), and you'll see how short are their lives... hence the reason they're five to a pack! Realooks are two to a pack, and cost a bunch.
But it's worth it! Trust me on this. Rigid screen protectors for phones and tablets simply don't get any better than this. Again, there are, even Realook would admit, a couple or three decent competitors out there; and you'd not be shooting yourself in the foot to purchase their products instead. But I'm tellin' ya', here, that with Realook, you need look no further. They're best-of-breed, and that's the long and short of it.
Just plan on screwing-up installing your first one or two. No, really, just plan on it... it'll be less stressful. You'll get dust under one, or fingerprints; or a corner or edge won't stay down 'cause ya' didn't get it quite right; and then if you fiddle with it too much trying to fix it, you'll hit that point when you know it's ruined. Ugh.
That said, if you happen to get the first one right, after all, then you'll be a freakin' genius, and women will want to have your children. So, see? It's win-win, all 'round. [grin]
I just got a new Samsung Galaxy Note, and my wife just got an Samsung Exhilarate, so that's why I have renewed experience with Realook, installing the screen protectors we just bought for them... hence my coming here and writing a review. The pair I installed on her Samsung Captivate, and my Samsung Infuse 4G, almost two years ago, are still goin' strong. About three months ago, I thought my wife scratched the one on her Captivate; but I'll be darned if what I thought was a tiny scratch didn't clean off with just a little Windex and elbow grease. I don't know what it was, but it was really stuck on there; and sure looked like a gouched-out sort of little scratch. But it wasn't.
Dealing with them again, today, installing them on these new phones, just made me remember how really good Realook protectors are. And, no, I don't work for Realook, or am a dealer, or anything like that. I really am just an end uers, who just wrote this to share.
They're that good.
Now I'm gonna' go write essentially the same thing over on the page, here, for the Samsung Exhilarates's Realook protector.
So, in any case, I dunno if any of that helps, but helping was certainly my intention.
Gregg L. DesElms
Napa, California USA
gregg at greggdeselms dot com