The Wrapsol protection system is a family of products that strive to wrap your various devices in a sheath of protecting film. They sent me a pile of systems, and I tried the Android G1, iPod Touch, and Sony PSP systems for this review. Essentially the system is the same for any supported device, but I figured doing it three times was sufficient to get a feel for the repeatability of my results.
The company uses eco-friendly packaging – a claim they repeat often all over the packaging as they urge you to recycle/reuse everything – that varies depending on if you buy it retail or order it from them. The photo above is the Web packaging opened up to reveal the goodies, the photo below is the retail version stacked on top of the Web box.
For the Web version they apply a shipping label right to the package and send it – a nice change from the usual “box inside a shipping box” experience.
No matter what you’re wrapping up, the contents of your kit will be similar to the photo below, which shows the stuff for a G1 phone:
All the kits include a squirt bottle of water, a microfiber cloth, a squeegee, the same generic instruction page, and the all important baggie of film bits to apply. As you can see in that photo the film bag contains the template sheet for the bits, which helps a little in figuring out which bit goes where.
The generic instructions say to begin with the screen protector, and after that’s done move on to the bits for the body. But first, you have to power off the device, pull the battery if possible, and plug holes that might be exposed to water during the install. Yep, you read that right, you’ll be using water. Turns out its not a lot of water, and seems mostly safe to do what they tell you to do, but it is a little disconcerting Here is my G1 ready for surgery:
Since I lack three or four hands I wasn’t able to take photos of the process itself. Here is the basic steps:
Clean everything (device, your hands) and find as dust free a setting as possible. Then
- Wet hand with little spritzer
- Gently start one corner up, to begin removing film from backing. As soon as you can, spritz the sticky side with some water. Continue peeling and for luck, spritz it one more time. Mostly this is to keep your fingers from sticking to the sticky side if you happen to touch it.
- The film now off the backing, laying on its non-stick side on your wet palm, you spray it a few more times to get it damp, but not running/dripping wet.
- Do whatever you do to find your happy place…
- Place wet/sticky side DOWN onto your several hundred dollar device. The water now acts as, well, a slippery agent giving you some attempts at getting things lined up Just So…
- When its lined up, begin squeezing out the water. I found it helpful to use the microfiber cloth to mop up the water as I squeegeed it out.
- When one bit is done, repeat for the remaining pieces. You use your hands to press/set/mush down odd shaped bits and to get it to conform to curves.
Sounds complicated? It is. But here’s the thing… it actually worked. Three times. For the G1, the PSP, and the iPod Touch I was able to get a perfectly bubble free application. Getting the body elements on is a bit twitchy, but I was able to get it all done in less then an hour.
Proof in the Pudding
Bottom line so far, you can get the stuff onto your device, and the resulting film actually goes on bubble-free without too much difficulty. Here are some before and after shots.
First, the G1 back:
It’s a bit textured so you get more grip. Next, the front before & after:
Unlike the back, the front is glossy, and the screen cover is a bit thicker then the body coverings. Here is a detailed shot of the screen right after application. The wavy pattern is an artifact of the digital camera, but you can see a slight distortion in it:
Notice that “blurry” bit on the left side? That’s the moisture left under the sheet after the application. It went away completely after a couple hours on the charger – Wrapsol’s instructions say it will go away in 24 hours, and it did on the iPod Touch and PSP. Here’s some shots of the Touch.
Front after application – note the slightly reduced glare vs the glass screen. Like the G1, the Touch back gives the device more grip, but you lose the mirror effect:
As I told Julie as I updated her on the progress of the review… “Finally, a John-proof installation system for screen protectors!” I’m pretty sure it’s just me, but I’ve never had much luck with any “dry” system. I end up with bubbles, finger prints on the underside, alignment issues, and generally unusable results. This wet system works really well, at least in my case.
I’m not a fan of adding an additional layer onto these tiny LCD screens, but this system actually produces results for me that match the photos on the web site, and that’s saying something. The body coating bits seem to stay put after they set up, and the whole thing produces an effect that is visually pleasing. Clarity of the screen is excellent on the three devices I tested, and for the touch screen ones the Wrapsol screen seems to show fewer finger smudges then the naked screens.