A mobile phone is meant to be exactly that: mobile. Whether you’re rocking the latest BlackBerry or you’re hanging out with Steve and the iPhone 3GS, you want to make sure that your smartphone is properly protected. You never know when you might accidentally brush your phone up with some keys or drop it onto the table.
Arguably, one of the problems with most conventional cell phone cases is that they can add a great deal of extra bulk. I used to carry around my old HTC Wizard in a leather holster. The phone was already big enough already, so the extra heft from the leather case just made it even bigger. Silicone skins and clear plastic cases are a little better, but they still make your phone bigger overall.
While they may not be able to offer quite as much protection as their heftier counterparts, the clear skins from BodyGuardz seem to be a very attractive option. It’s like getting the clear screen protector, but for every other portion of your phone too.
For the purposes of this review, I received the BodyGuardz for the Nokia E71, though the skins for other cell phones and mobile devices should be quite similar.
Two for the Price of One
You might be familiar with a similar product from Zagg called Invisible Shield. The BodyGuardz product is pretty much the same thing, but with one very notable difference: you get double the value.
If you were to order the skin from Zagg, you can expect to pay about $20 to $25 for enough clear plastic to wrap a single cell phone. For $24.99, the Nokia E71 package from BodyGuardz offers two complete kits. This way, you can replace it with your backup skin when the first one gets a little too mucked up.
Remember that each set is a complete set, so you get skins for both the front and the back. I’m only showing one set in the picture, but there are four sheets in total in the box. I’d say that’s pretty worth it. Along with the skins, you get the diagram, a squeegee card, and some application solution, the last of which is really just some watered-down baby shampoo.
In terms of initial impressions, the BodyGuardz protective film appears to be of equal quality to that of Invisible Shield. You can’t expect to get fantastic protection if you drop it out of your apartment window, but you can expect it to hold up against scratches and other minor dings. BodyGuardz says that its product is made from the “same material that is used to shield the front of automobiles from stones and other abrasive elements.”
Getting Wet with Application
The application solution is there so that the BodyGuardz protective skin does not stick to your finger (or to the surface) when you are applying it to your phone. The instructions remind you not to spray the solution on the phone itself, since we all know what happens when electronics get wet. You don’t want that.
This will vary from model to model, but the skin set for the Nokia E71 comes with a lot of little pieces of plastic. That’s just the nature of how this phone was designed, but it’s nice that BodyGuardz even provided skins for the absolute top and base of the phone. The same cannot be said about some other kits.
You’ll want to take some time with the wet application process, since things get pretty permanent once they dry. The adhesive is still quite sticky, even when wet with the solution, so you’ll want to be careful. Watch the tutorial video for some application pointers.
And the Final Product?
BodyGuardz says that its product is optically clear and I have to agree. If you didn’t know any better, you wouldn’t think that there is anything on your phone at all. The last thing you want is a screen protector that is all hazy and distorted. The thickness of the film is just perfect too, giving you a little bit of extra grip and protection without adding any real bulk.
The film is cut reasonably well too, though I did find that a couple of the pieces were just a little off. It’s not a huge deal, though, since the errors were relatively minor.
If you want a little more personality, BodyGuardz also offers designs for the skins, not unlike Gelaskins, though the selection of devices is a lot smaller than for the clear skins.
BodyGuardz offers a cost-effective protective solution for a variety of cell phones, mobile gaming devices, MacBooks, media players, and more. The application process may take a little bit of time, but it’s well worth the clean and simple appearance that your phone maintain.
Overall Score: 8.0/10