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11-14-2011, 08:58 PM #1
[Review] Ghost Armor for iPhone 4S - Protecting (mostly) your new iDevice
Well folks, this is my first review, so please, be gentle in your scathing replies.
First a little background...
I finally got back to owning an iOS device, and one of the first things I felt a need to do was find some protection. The iPhone 4S may feel like it's made of depleted uranium, but for me, I felt like I was going to drop it every time it came out of my pockets.
Because of this, I decided that some type of protection was in order. The days before I made my iPhone purchase, I had started looking through cases that were available and gauging what I would best fit my needs. The most important things for me are protection without bulk. It may sound like the two can't be mixed together, but I don't have a desire to carry around a cryogenically sealed otterbox that would make me walk with a limp.
I decided to avoid the many $1-2 gel cases and jump straight into companies that I knew provided great products.... or so it would seem. My first selection would have been the Incipio Feather Case, but after reading reviews of peeling coating, it made me nervous. I loved my feather case for my older 3GS, but with so many negative reviews, I passed.
Next in line was Speck. They have a fantastic line of cases, including the much praised CandyShell case. The CandyShell is a bit bulky for my needs, as I keep my phone in my front pocket, and even though I don't wear hipster pants, it still felt bulky. The other option for a somewhat thin-ish case was the Fitted case. It provides some protection for the sides and rear of the device without adding too much bulk. Unfortunately the overwhelming negative reviews about fabric coming up or sides cracking made me second guess that decision as well.
At this point I was feeling somewhat worried that I wasn't going to find a case that would really fit my needs while retaining the eye-catching look of the iPhone. After searching around a bit more and pinging friends with mobile devices, I remembered a few of them had Ghost Armor installed on their devices. We talked about the pros and cons of the product, the most obvious being a distinct lack of impact protection.
I decided to bite the bullet and get Ghost Armor installed on my 4S. Their full coverage package includes the front/back, as well as sides, including the small areas between the volume buttons and mute toggle. This would do the job in protecting my phone from random scratches without bulking up the device to the point where it becomes a chore to get in and out of my pocket.
I opted for the full coverage, which includes the rear with cutouts for the camera and flash, sides, which covers most everything except the SIM tray, and front, which has cutouts for the speaker/camera/light sensor. I decided to go with the matte finish on the back, as well as going to one of the local kiosks to have it "professionally" installed. They warn of a 2 day curing time, when you shouldn't be sliding the device in and out of pockets or anywhere that creates friction. They have small sunglasses-esque carrying cases that they're happy to sell you, but I had an extra sunglasses bag in my car and opted to use that instead. The sales staff are quick to tell you that it's easy to accidentally peel up corners during this curing time, but they will replace it within the first week if you accidentally goof up any corners during the curing process. The day after getting it installed, I did in fact catch myself putting my phone straight into my pocket, but managed to stop myself. I can't say that this warning is needed, but I wanted to assure that it cured as properly as possible.
After the 2 day curing time on the adhesive, I was able to better experience the device on a day-to-day basis. My first observation during normal use is that there is a semi tacky feeling to where the Ghost Armor is installed. It's a very different feeling, as the device feels steady in my hands compared to the naked phone, which feels like it's about to go skittering onto the ground at a moment's notice. Touch interaction with the screen doesn't seem to be impared at all, which could be of a concern to some people, as the film does feel somewhat thick. I don't see any of the orange peel effect that I've seen with other full-body films, which was my largest concern with this type of coverage. I've seen the ZAGG Invisible Shield start to give this type of effect after only a few weeks.
Overall I feel good about the product quality, though I'm beginning to question if it's the right product for me. I'm really not a fan of the tacky feeling, as it feels more like I'm interacting through a layer of rubber instead of the glass screen.
That being said, I'm not sure there's another product on the market that will truly fit my needs, so I may end up sticking with the Ghost Armor for the long haul. It will definitely provide scratch protection, though it doesn't cover 100% of the device, so I would hesitate throwing it in a pocket with keys or loose change if your phone has to stay in immaculate condition. (I'm guilty of this)
Is this a perfect solution? No, but currently it seems like the best on the market, and sometimes we can only ask for so much as consumers. They do provide the best warranty in the business, covering everything for the life of the phone. I would say the warranty is the only thing keeping me from returning the Ghost Armor, as I'd rather have lifetime protection than replacing a $15-30 case every month or three.
Hopefully you guys have enjoyed this little adventure as much as I have!
11-14-2011, 09:07 PM #2
Great review, Thanks for the info. I'm going to stick with my bumper for work and no case for all other times, but I do appreciate your review.
01-16-2012, 03:53 PM #3
Are there any pictures or does it not really look like anything other than a clear skin?