I have considered ZAGG invisibleSHIELDs one of the Cadillac protective films on the market for sometime. A majority of my tech-gear has ZAGG‘s military grade films protecting them from what life’s hard knocks throw at them. As their products have evolved and improved, I have reviewed many of them, so much so I thought I was done – that is, until ZAGG recently released their invisibleSHIELD EXTREME for the iPhone 5.
The invisibleSHIELD EXTREME is engineered to not only protect your device from scratches and scuffs, but impacts and beyond. Instead of being a thin film like previous invisibleSHIELDs, the EXTREME is a thick piece of relatively rigid plastic. This video by ZAGG is to illustrate just how much punishment the EXTREME can protect your iPhone against.
The Full Body iPhone 5 invisibleSHIELD EXTREME includes protectors for both the front and back of the device, installation fluid, cleaning cloth, squeegee, and installation instructions. The ZAGG invisibleSHIELDs also includes a lifetime warranty.
As with all ZAGG invisibleSHIELDs I have previously applied, the EXTREME uses the same liquid installation process as the rest. To begin the process, you must clean the surface of the iPhone 5 to remove any dust or oils that might interfere with placing the protector on the surface of your device.
Next you spray your hands with the solution to reduce the chance of oils and fingerprints getting on the sticky face of the screen protector.
The EXTREME is MUCH thicker than the other invisibleSHIELDs I have used, making it easier to manipulate and apply.
Once removed from the plastic backing, you spritz the face that will be pressed onto the front (or back) of the iPhone.
As I said, placing the thicker film is easier to set and maneuver compared to its much thinner counterparts.
Once situated, you use the squeegee to force the extra liquid from between the phone and screen protector.
I typically remove the solution as I go so to not impact whatever device I am working with.
As you can see, the invisibleSHIELD is many times thicker and stiffer than than any liquid-installed film I have ever seen/used.
Even though I did my best to remove all the liquid between my iPhone 5 and the invisibleSHIELD EXTREME, this is what it looked like 48 hours after applying it. It really did make the Retina display screen look bad.
This is how my iPhone 5 screen looked at day 9; there are still a few small bubbles. The bubbles looked so bad day 4 or 5, I was ready to take it off and go with a different protector. According to the ZAGG website, ‘Cloudiness may appear under the invisibleSHIELD EXTREME for up to 4 days after installation.‘ So, it is apparent that this is a known issue and will eventually completely go away. Where the screen does lay properly, its clarity is very good.
The top and bottom edges of the EXTREME have not setup (cured) to the iPhone very well at all, with nearly zero improvement since the first few days. This is a picture from day 9, and I have little hope that it will eventually get better. Other than looking bad, dust and other gunk can get under the plastic, causing the film to potentially come up over time.
It has been a long time since I have been this unimpressed and dissatisfied with a screen protector. The brown dots in the middle of the screen will eventually go away and are a function of the thickness of the film. But its failure to adhere along the top and bottom edges is unacceptable. I consider ZAGG to be one of the top protective film manufacturers, but in the case of the invisibleSHIELD EXTREME, they have missed the mark. In theory, the EXTREME has the potential to raise the bar in the world of screen protection, but unless it looks as good as a naked screen, it fails in one of its primary functions.