When SGP Case sent me the iPhone 4 Valentinus case I reviewed recently, they included a couple of extra goodies in the box. They sent along the Steinheil Ultra Mirror Half Mirror Screen Protector for iPhone 4S/iPhone 4/CDMA iPhone 4 and the Kuel H10 Stylus Pen. While the screen protector is obviously only for iPhones, the stylus should work with any capacitive screen. How do they work?
The Kuel H10 (that’s H and the number 10) High Sensitive Stylus Pen packaging says it works with iPhone and iPad, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for any capacitive screen. It’s available in black, red, yellow, pink, and white; I received the black. It’s about 3″ long, not including the hanging loop, and about 5/16″ in diameter. It weighs about 0.2 oz.
The barrel of the stylus is made of brass. It’s coated with a textured paint, or as SGP says, “harmless-material-plated brass.” The cap is a silver-colored metal, and there’s a thin cord coming out of the top. If your case has a lanyard connector on it, you could loop this cord through to attach the stylus to your device. If you don’t have a lanyard attachment, you can attach the cap to the small plastic strap plug that you’ll see near the bottom of the package.
The stylus tip is made with “special silicone with high polymer abrasion-resistant coating.” It has a diameter of just under 1/4″. It doesn’t have any padding underneath; it feels like just a thin layer of the silicone. It compresses very easily. There’s a hard nub inside that you can feel when you completely compress the tip.
The barrel of the Kuel H10 is only about 2.75″ long without the cap. It’s short enough that it’s difficult to support the top end against your hand. It caused my hands to cramp up very quickly. Luckily, the Kuel isn’t designed to be used this way.
Grab the sliver tip and pull to extend the barrel to almost 4″. That length is long enough to allow the Kuel to rest against your hand. It feels more like holding a normal pencil or pen, and it doesn’t cause my hand to get tired or crampy nearly as quickly.
Like with all styluses I’ve tried, I have to press harder with the stylus tip than I do with my finger tip. Some styluses require you to hold the barrel almost perpendicular to the screen, but that’s not the case with the Kuel H10. I could hold it at the same angle I hold pens, and it worked great. I could tap, swipe, and slide with the Kuel.
The Kuel H10 Stylus would be a great accessory for people who wear gloves in the winter or for people who just don’t like to get smears on their screens. The snap plug will fit into any 3.5mm headphone jack to keep the stylus handy for those people who aren’t always using their headphones. It’s cheaper than a lot of styluses I’ve seen, too.
I debated whether I should review the Steinheil Ultra Mirror Half Mirror Screen Protector. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it or think it would work. The package says it’s only for the black phone, and I have a white phone. I decided I would try it, because I wanted a screen protector.
The package contains two front screen protectors, a microfiber cloth to clean your iPhone before application, and a squeegee to remove air bubbles. The directions are found on the back of the package.
Both the back and the front of the screen protector are covered with a protective film. You can see from this photo that these screen protectors are those seemingly opaque sliver films. The package calls it a “half mirror,” and that apparently means there’s a layer of silvering that’s dense enough to increase reflectivity but not enough to make it look like a regular mirror.
Application was easy. I was very happy that no water was involved in the application. Those wet-apply films always tell you to remove the battery and not use the device for a couple of days, but you can’t remove the battery from an iPhone. I cleaned the screen of my iPhone with the included microfiber cloth, removed the film from the top of the backside of the protector, lined up the holes at the top of the protector with my phone, and began.
I only ended up with a couple of air bubbles, and they were quickly removed with the squeegee. After I was happy with the appearance, I removed the top protective film.
You can see I was just the tiniest bit off lining it up with the home button. You can also see that the screen definitely doesn’t appear like an opaque silver mirror. On the white areas, the protector almost has a pearlescent look. If you had a black phone, it would all look like the black screen area on my iPhone. I understand that SGP Case was going for a uniform look, but I don’t mind the appearance of the white bezel at all. The bezel area doesn’t work as part of the mirror, but the black touchscreen area is big enough to check your appearance.
You’ll also notice that the Ultra Mirror Screen Protector has cutouts for the front-facing camera and the phone’s speaker, but the ambient light/proximity sensors are covered by the film. The sensors still seem to work. I have found that the screen protector does make my display appear a bit dimmer. That’s not because of the ambient light sensor; I don’t use the auto-brightness feature with my phone. I increased the brightness of my phone a little, and it looks great.
The screen protector is just a bit smaller than the screen itself. I was able to put my Bumper Case back on without peeling up the edges of the protector. SGP Case says the “Steinheil Ultra Mirror does not peel after extended use due to the optical nanotechnology that offers higher abrasion resistance than regular films.”
You can see the screen protector is reflective enough that my camera focused on it’s own reflection instead of the icons. It doesn’t appear reflective like that to my naked eye, though. Once I brightened up the screen a bit, it’s easy to see my screen. The Ultra Mirror screen protector is as slick and slippery as the naked Gorilla Glass itself, so it doesn’t interfere with using the touchscreen at all.
SGP Case says the “oleophobic coating on the Ultra Mirror enhances your phone’s picture quality, prevents fingerprints, and protects your LCD from scratches and dust.” I haven’t seen as many fingerprints on my iPhone using the Steinheil, but I still do see some smears when I put the phone against my face, and I do see dust sometimes. The screen cleans up easily using the little gray microfiber cloth, though.
SGP also says that the reflective coating should protect your screen from prying eyes, but I haven’t found that to be true. It’s much shinier than the naked screen itself, but I can still read the screen from other angles.
To test the claims that it can be removed without leaving behind residue, I sacrificed the first screen protector I had applied. It lifted right off without undue tension on the screen, and it did leave the screen perfectly clean.
I like the Steinheil Ultra Mirror Half Mirror Screen Protectors well enough that I installed the second one on my iPhone 4. Now I don’t have to worry so much about scratches to my iPhone’s screen. I only wish they had included a protector for the back of my phone, too.