Review: HTC EVO screen protectors

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The HTC EVO 4G's hard glass screen is already durable and resistant to scratches, but those who want to protect it anyway can pick up a pack of official screen protectors being sold at Sprint stores for $12.99. Each pack includes one anti-glare and two clear screen protectors, which is quite the deal considering that some companies charge a similar price for just one EVO screen shield.

But is this a case of "you get what you pay for"? Read on to find out.

Quality & Feel

Both screen protectors are made of thick rigid plastic that stays stiff when removed from their backing; they're not those horrible flimsy shields that fold over and get stuck to themselves. The anti-glare protector has a soft finish to it, while the clear one is smooth and feels almost exactly like the EVO's bare screen.

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The protectors do not cover the entire face of the EVO, nor are they an exactly perfect fit for the screen. There will be a very small "border" around the screen, though this can be minimized if you position the protector perfectly.

Because the protector is only for the screen, the EVO's face isn't completely smooth. There's really no reason to run your fingers across the entire length of the phone, but if you ever decide to do it, you'll run into the edge of the protector.

Another issue is dust, which will get stuck along the sides of the protector and of course be very noticeable since it will essentially create a white frame around the screen.

Installation/Removal

Because the protectors are so stiff, they're a snap to install, remove (no sticky residue), and reposition. They lay over the screen very quickly and easily; you don't have to use one of those little cards to squeeze out air bubbles and smooth wrinkles as you along. These screen protectors can be applied to the EVO in one fell swoop.

Air bubbles will appear if anything gets stuck to the adhesive side or trapped between the screen and protector, but you can remove dust and debris with a piece of tape so it's no big deal.

Effectiveness

Both screen protectors function as advertised: the clear protector is very clear and the anti-glare protector reduces glare.

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In the image above, the clear protector is applied to the top half of the screen (that line in the middle is the bottom of the protector). As you can see, it's very clear. There's really no discernible difference in the clarity of the screen with or without the protector on it.

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Likewise, the anti-glare protector does a fine job at reducing glare. The image above shows the EVO outdoors under a tree. Notice how the reflection of the tree is clearly visible in the bottom half of the image (the bare screen) but just about disappears in the top half (the screen with the anti-glare protector).

So both screen protectors do a fine job at what they're supposed to do.

The problem is that the clear protector doesn't reduce glare (shown below)

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. . . and the anti-glare protector isn't clear (shown below).

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So you need to pick one or the other with this product. Anti-glare or clear; you can't have both.

Conclusion

Sprint's screen protectors for the HTC EVO 4G are inexpensive, easy to apply, and do what they're meant to do very well. But they don't protect the entire face of the handset, dust and lint will collect along the sides, and each protector comes with a trade-off (clarity or reflectiveness).

There's definitely a reason you get three protectors for the price of what some companies charge for just one!

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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