When it comes to iPhone 3G skins, there is a veritable sea of choices. Pretty much every company that makes protective skins has thrown its hat into the ring, and it takes something special to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Some, like BestSkinsEver, compete on price. Others, like InvisibleShield, rely on market share and retail store availability. That brings us to the most recent skin I’ve tried, the NLU Bodyguardz.
The Bodyguardz name first came up in a discussion about another skin product, and I was surprised by the number of positive remarks. My curiosity piqued, I decided to see what the hubbub was about.
When the skin arrived, my first reaction was to the attention in the packaging. BestSkinsEver cuts costs by shipping in a plain letter envelope with no packaging or instructions whatsoever, but that is not the case here. Similar to the more elaborate InvisibleShield, the Bodyguardz comes in a full size box with application solution in a spray bottle and a small plastic square for squeegeeing excess spray from under the skin.
Application is fairly straightforward. It comes in two pieces, front and back, with 4 folds to cover the chrome edges, top and bottom. The application solution (spray bottle) appears to be the same or similar to the InvisibleShield equivalent and works well enough. One thing I noticed is that while the BestSkinsEver shield slid around easily, allowing for precise positioning, the BodyGuardz was very quick to grip and required a removal and re-spraying on my first attempt. Technique is everything, make sure it is well moistened and apply from bottom to top (or top to bottom, your choice), squeegeeing as you go to remove bubbles and liquid pockets.
When you’ve finished applying it, you’ll be disappointing. Lots of little imperfections, bubbles and such that you couldn’t remove. Don’t fret! This is the nature of these products. I’ve had the same experience with the rest of the shields. Be sure to allocate at least 12, preferably 24 hours or more before you start using the iPhone again. The quality of the application improves with time and after a few weeks, it should look perfect as long as you lined it up reasonably well.
(Right after application)
(24 hours later)
As you can see, just one day really improves the quality of the application. Don’t freak out and reapply if it doesn’t look great. Give it a day, if it still has huge bubbles then try the second one.
Like usual, I will try to keep my conclusion fairly straightforward. The Bodyguardz is a fine product and definitely high quality. While they can’t quite beat the price of the super-cheap and no frills BestSkinsEver, they are definitely a cut above in simplicity and ease of application (less tabs and folds, included application spray). The clarity also looks slightly better in a direct comparison. If you find a friend who needs a skin and is willing to split the cost, you’re looking at about $13 for the Bodyguardz full package. This is only $5 more than the BestSkinsEver, but the double pack’s $25 price tag is enough to make a difference if you aren’t splitting up.
The comparison most are probably looking for is Bodyguardz vs. InvisibleShield, as they are comparable in price and product, and competing for the same marketshare. I can say without hesitation that I recommend the Bodyguardz shield. Zagg has shown themselves as a very poor company in my, and the experiences of others, so I try to avoid them where possible. I removed my iPhone invisibleshield already so I couldn’t judge relative clarity, but I believe them to be negligible in difference. The application process is almost identical and I can’t give a nod in either direction. The clincher? Bodyguardz includes two skins in their $24.99 purchase price, so you’re getting twice the value for the same money.