Screen protectors compared

Some like, some don’t. One issue is that there really is so many of them, which to choose?

Well, let’s have look on four different screen protectors and see the differences and their impact on usability.

Everything today is so easy, go to Protectionfilms24 and do a search for your transmitter like DS-16 or DC-24. Then you are faced with a problem, for example search for my DC-24 gives 11 different possibilities. 

Four screen protectors – The contestants

I chose four different screens to this test:

From left to right:

  • Upscreen bacteria shield matte (1pcs in package)  8,99€ / 9,47$
  • Brotect Matte screen protector (2pcs in package) 3,99€ / 4,20$
  • Brotect HD-Clear screen protector (2pcs in package) 3,99€ / 4,20$
  • Brotect Airglass Clear screen protector (1pcs in package) 4,99€ / 5,26$

All Brotech packages contain the screen protectors only, the higher price of Upscreen protector gives you also some help on applying the screen to transmitter:

The “Assembly Kit” contains a cleaning pad (70% isopropyl alcohol), guide stickers, dust remover, microfiber cloth and soft-card to get the possible air bubbles out after applying the screen protector. If the kit is worth the extra money is debatable but it sure is handy to have.

How test was done

I cut all the screen to 1/4 size of the screen and applied them to my DC-24. This was to ensure always same test-conditions and for quick and easy comparison of features both in good and bad.

Was there differences? Oh yes.

Comparing four screen protectors

Let’s have a look on first picture:

Looking the screen from straight up with no disturbing light gives a hint of what is coming. Upper left HD-Clear does give a little more contrast and deeper black than others. Lower left Airglass is quite clear second is this context. As name says, upper right Matte is a bit “dull” and, well, matte. The one we could call “protector”, the lower right Bacteria is somewhat “fuzzy” and looses a bit sharpness. It’s also the thickest of them all.

Using some light to check for reflections and readability is the first step, here we can see the biggest differences. To me the bacteria (Low right) performs worst, clearly smoothing contrast and sharpness too much. The Matte (Up right) does a bit better job but I would not call that too good either. Looks like I’m not found of matte at all. In this artificial light test the HD-Clear (Up left) and Bacteria (Low left) simply perform best. I would maybe put Airglass to first place.

Now, let’s look what natural light looks like?

Both right-side screens (Matte higher and Bacteria lower) are to me close to unusable. They do not reflect any light but they sure are not readable either. Choosing between HD-Clear (Up left) or Airglass (Low left) is once again hard, they are really close. I think Airglass takes this one.

Here’s a picture of screen when transmitter is turned off. it does tell us few things. The Airglass (Low left) is less reflective after all than HD Clear (Up left). Same applies for Bacteria (Low right) being less reflective than Matte (High right), not much but a little.

Sunglasses?

One thing that gives most headache to users of protective screens is sunglasses, and more precise polarized sunglasses. There is no easy way to determine what way (if any) these screens affect your view when using polarized sunglasses. You either are screwed or not. I do not have any polarized sunglasses so that part is left out of this test. All of these screens worked fine with my sunglasses.

How to battle this? There is one way of course. Order a few different screens to your liking and test. If you find a good screen you would like to use but it’s the “wrong polarity” do a search for a bit bigger screen of same type and cut it to size. After all, these will not bankrupt you, but they may save your few thousands worth of transmitters screen from scratches while still maintaining full readability.

Notes on applying the screens

Be VERY thorough with cleaning. If you look at the pics you can see two really tiny dust-particles affecting one of the screens above. And yes, it will piss you off big time. And yes, it’s nearly impossible to get them out afterwards. So use a dust-free place, clean really good, use guide-tapes for easier life. And take your time :)

Closure

What did I leave on? HD-Clear. It had 2 pieces in package. I would have used the Airglass but there was only one in package. Actually I may order one.

These things are largely based on personal preference, these are my thoughts on the subject. This small comparison is by no means a high-tech scientific test of screens.

And no, Protectionfilms24 did not give me anything, I paid full price on these.

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