A touchscreen phone needs a little more care and attention than a regular phone with a keyboard, as the often large expanse of screen is easily damaged, resulting in at best reduced performance, or at worst complete failure. So what can you do to protect your considerable investment outside of taking care not to drop it?
These are thin, transparent pieces of flexible plastic which stick to the screen, offering a degree of scratch protection. There are many on the market, but not all are born equal. However, there are a few guidelines to follow to ensure you’re getting one of the better quality protectors.
First, unless you’re not looking to truly protect the screen, it’s best to avoid the mirrored effect items, which tend to be more for show than anything else and secondly, ensure that the product can be removed without leaving any residue behind. Most won’t, but it’s best to check.
Anti-glare coatings do make a difference and its presence is often a mark of good quality too, while hard plastic screen protectors provide more than basic scratch protection and will keep your screen looking its best for longest. Screen protectors are also easy to remove and replace when they get tired, something which cannot be said about the screen!
It’s also worth investigating whether your Storm came with a screen protector already installed, as you wouldn’t want to stick another over the top!
Even top-class products such as Zagg’s invisibleSHEILD, are cheap in comparison to the phone itself, and should be considered essential to your Storm’s protection.
Touchscreens are predisposed to being filthy – fact! Of course, there is nothing to stop you wiping your Storm with your sleeve to clear the screen of accumulated gunk, but this is perhaps not the best way of doing the job.
For the best results, you’ll need a small cloth, preferably of micro-fibre design. Although you can purchase BlackBerry specific items, there really is no need, as the cloth used to clean spectacles or sunglasses is perfect for the job and something most people have around their homes.
You can use this dry, but for the best results try a tiny spray – on the cloth – of the screen cleaning fluid for laptops or computers. This doesn’t use harmful abrasives and is designed to protect the coatings found on computer screens, so it’s ideal for your phone too. Failing this, then misting the screen with your breath seems equally effective!
Use the cloth as if you’re cleaning your laptop screen, in that you don’t scrub, you lightly polish. This method should banish fingerprints, smudges and grime.
Leather pouches, cases or holsters do protect your phone, but only when they’re safely wrapped up in them, which if you’ve got a pouch or a case, isn’t when you’re using the phone! The next step on the case protection ladder is a skin. Usually made from silicone, these encase the phone but not the screen, offering a higher degree of protection while lessening the likelihood of the phone slipping from your fingers.
If a silicone case is too cumbersome, ugly or too much of a dust magnet, try a full phone skin using the same material as top-end screen protectors. These wrap your phone in a protective film which is invisible once applied, but surprisingly effective at resisting scratches. Often packaged with a matching screen protector, there are several different versions on sale, including products from invisibleSHEILD, Clear Armor and BodyGuardz. All are designed to fit your Storm exactly.
We think that a combination of the above methods provides the best practical protection for your phone. By using a screen protector along with a silicone skin or leather pouch, your BlackBerry Storm should stay in tiptop condition during normal use, without sacrificing the cool looks of the phone by hiding it inside a leather case. If you don’t like the idea of a silicone case, then the full-phone protective film is the next best thing.