Wrapsol. Ditch the phone and iPad cases and instead just apply this 0.33 mm film and you’ll be all set. Really? That’s what we set out to find out. In this t3chniq review, we’ll cover the application and day-to-day use of the new Wrapsol protective film for the (also new) Samsung Galaxy S II SGH-T989 or Hercules.
Wrapsol claims three very important things. The strongest protective film technology, anti-smudge technology, and finally privacy by darkening the view from the sides of the device.
Let’s start with the protection. Wrapsol uses 12 mil thick polyurethane. This polyurethane layer is made to absorb shock, resist puncture, be transparent, pliable, and stretchable. It’s noted on their website that F1 cars use this stuff to keep carbon fiber race shells from splintering all over the place when impacted, and also to protect sponsor logos year-round. That’s pretty impressive, so it should be fine day-to-day on a device (we hope). At least it’s protected by a lifetime replacement warranty (for those still not convinced).
As you can see, the fancy little box comes with so many presents inside. Front protection, back protection, a cleaning cloth for pre-application, side protection, instructions, and finally a squeegee. Speaking of the squeegee, let’s say it’s something we haven’t seen before. It’s made of carboard/paper like material unlike some of Zagg or Skinomi’s stuff. First impression was, wow that’s cheap considering how nice everything else is, but read on and you’ll find out why it’s our favorite squeegee yet, hands down. It’s also wider than the device itself. Turns out this makes for part of the easiest install we have ever seen on a full-body film protector.
Let’s start by saying this is a dry application film. Some of you may be thinking, oh great, I suck at putting on wet films, this is going to be EVEN worse! Quite the contrary. Wrapsol has designed their films with ingenious tabs that allow you to hold the film and align it, without ever leaving fingerprints on the inside of the film.
After cleaning the device, we removed the top layer of the film as instructed, and began to line up the screen protector with the front of the phone. Man did the tabs make this easy. Seriously, I’m not sure I will personally ever buy a screen protector without tabs like this ever again, that’s just how easy it made this process. One thing we would definitely recommend you do when applying the protection is to line it up and let it sit down (don’t worry about it sticking to the screen a bit). Then lift up one side to about half way and squeegee covering the entire width of the device slowly towards either the top or bottom as you lower the corresponding tab at a steady rate (synchronized with your squeegee motion). This provides for an incredibly easy, no-bubble stick.
Once applied, the only place you could really see that there was a screen protector was at the top, where the cutout had been made for the proximity sensor as well as the earpiece. Still, it’s not something to complain about because as you can see, there were almost zero bubbles in the application and that’s the only location that you can notice the Wrapsol protection.
Next, after cleaning the back of the device, the rear protective label was removed from the film, and we began to slowly apply the rear protector in the same fashion as the front. This is where things got interesting. Now, we’re no professionals at applying these screen protectors, keep that in mind. As the protector was squeegeed, the corners would not stick. We tried using our thumbs, pressing well and “massaging” to get it to stay, but no luck. This definitely had us worried. Was this thicker protection no good on curves and corners?
With the corners still out of whack, we proceeded to remove the top film and all of a sudden, the corners stuck perfectly! Even the SGSII’s “hump” near the bottom of the device was covered perfectly with the film. Very impressive. Now, it is important to note that because of the texture of the rear battery cover, it’s impossible to have a perfect finish with ANY film protector. We personally didn’t have any issues with the look, but some of you might not fancy the way it comes out. Just note, this will happen with every clear skin protector that we know of. Finally, we removed the convenient tabs (seriously, can we say again that those tabs rock?) and squeegeed out the rest of the air bubbles near where the tabs once were. You can see in the image gallery how well the skin lined up with the edges of the battery cover as well, excellent fit.
Finally, it was on to the side protection. Wrapsol unfortunately didn’t provide any nice tabs for these pieces, or little stickers that told you which side was the protective install film like they had on the other two pieces. This provided a little confusion, and was actually the most difficult part of an otherwise flawless and simple install. During the process, both of the strips had to be lifted and re-aligned to match the cutouts to the volume rocker, lock button, and micro-usb port. At a few points, we grabbed the adhesive side of the protector and could only imagine the finger prints or lack of adhesion that would result. However, after installing the strips we really couldn’t find any fingerprints under the clear stuff, and everything adhered impressively. To be honest, we’re not big fans of the side protection from any maker (Zagg, for example). But, for the sake of a fair and full review, we’re leaving it on for the day-to-day test.
Initial use of the device proved that there is definitely some merit behind Wrapsol’s claims of a “glass-like” friction factor. It’s not perfect glass smoothness, but very close. We really can’t complain after having used some of the alternatives out there and eventually ripping them off from frustration. There is, however, definitely more grip than the screen protectors T-Mobile offers in-store.
On the off-hand though you will get better anti-smudge protection than what the cellular giant offers. It’s not perfect, as you can see from our example shot (remember, it looks a lot worse because of the flash) but it still fares better than T-Mobile’s. Next, we tested the “privacy” factor of the screen protector. Now, one thing to note is that the SGSII houses a beastly super AMOLED screen. This means excellent viewing angles (practically up to 180 degrees). We didn’t think it would do anything, but as you can see from the pictures we snapped, there is definitely more darkening than stock. It won’t necessarily block out a T passenger’s view next to you, but it will make it more difficult for him to see the ridiculous things you’re texting your girlfriend on the way over to her place, or you know, normal stuff like passwords. Final things to note include the feel of the device. There is definitely more grip on the rear protection than the front (as it should be, a nice feature we didn’t expect). Wrapsol definitely provides a little more grip for your hold which should help keep you from dropping your previous smartphone. The edge protection does leave some sharper edges, and this could be due to our install, that you can feel handling the device. We’re going to see how this changes over the week and post it in the day-to-day update.
So there you have it, basically the easiest installation any of us have ever seen from a screen protector (and we’ve done quite a few here at t3chniq). This may sound like somewhat of a paid review, but honestly we didn’t receive any payments from Wrapsol, we just liked this stuff that much!
EDIT: We were notified by Wrapsol, and need to make a change to the verdict. This product line is the ULTRA protection. Clear full body protection from scratches, drops, and overall miss-use. This line of products is NOT intended for anti-smudge, or privacy protection. Those options are available in alternate screen-only protectors from Wrapsol.
Price: $29.95 at writing
+Tabs provide super easy, no bubble install
+Squeegee best that we have seen
+Instructions clear and concise, with detailed images
-Side protection lacks instructions
-Not 100% smudge free
-(Could just be the SGSII) Privacy protection could be better
t3chniq.com’s final verdict: Buy