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Tech21 Impact Shield screen protectors save smartphone from damage, wayward ball bearings

Tom Morgan
2 May 2013
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Tech21 has launched its Impact Shield screen protectors for smartphones, which add an extra layer of protection

Tech21 has introduced ImpactShield, a new set of smartphone screen protectors in the Impactology range which should provide dramatically improved protection from accidental bumps and drops - along with an incredibly easy application process that should prevent unwanted air bubbles ruining the look of your device.

Tech21 Impact Shield

Unlike many screen protectors, which are often little more than sticky back plastic, Impact Shield skins are more rigid - to make them easier to apply and for added protection. The hard top layer softens impact force, and has been treated with a self-healing polymer to prevent scratches - we attacked one with a wire brush and it came out almost completely unscathed.

Tech21 Impact Shield

The second layer absorbs most of the impact force and dissipates it across the entire display. This "BulletShield" polymer was developed in partnership with chemical company BASF, and looks to be extremely effective: we were shown a metal ball bearing shatter an iPhone display when dropped from 6 feet, but an identical model equipped with an Impact Shield survived without any damage.

Tech21 says its creations provide this much protection, without impacting optical clarity or affecting touch response. Indeed, we compared two otherwise identical iPads and the only giveaway that one was using an Impact Shield was the unmistakable ring cut-out around the front-facing camera - it was otherwise nearly impossible to tell the difference between.

Anyone that has tried to fit a screen protector will appreciate the self-adhesive coating that avoids creating air bubbles - by pinching the edges of the Impact Shield and pressing the center down first, all the air bubbles are pushed outwards and can be brushed away using the supplied squeegee.

Tech21 Impact Shield

The ImpactShield protectors are designed to work with Tech21 cases - although they will protect from direct impacts to the display. They wont protect the edges of your device in case of a drop.

If you plan on getting one for your smartphone, you may be in for a wait - because Tech21 creates different polymers for each handset, based on the type of glass each manufacturer has used, they are currently only available for the iPhone 5, iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy s3, Note 2, S3 Mini and S4. Prices start from £14.99 and can be picked up from EE stores across the country, or directly from Tech21 online.

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