Since I got my iPhone, I've had in safely ensconced in a Speck case that provides a protective rubber bumper around the device. It's a great bit of gear and it's saved my iPhone from potential disaster recently when I've been at a concert and had the phone inadvertently knocked of my belt and onto the ground (concrete). There's one big problem with this case – it's really difficult to get in and out of my pocket because the rubber material tends to grab at the cloth.
I've been using touch screen devices for a long time and have always valued the protection a high quality screen protector can provide to protect the sensitive display from developing scratches that inevitably come from regular use. If you've used a Palm or Windows Mobile device for any length of time, you know exactly what I'm talking about. The menu area of the screen, for example, tends to be accessed a lot with the stylus and eventually a foggy patch of tiny scratches starts to develop. Solitaire and poker players tend to develop these patches where the deck is drawn from.
Given that the iPhone is essentially a big display on its front face, the idea of protecting it, hardy though the glass surface might be, had a lot of appeal.
So when I was offered a chance to try out the BodyGuardz device wrap made by NLU Products, I jumped at the chance to see whether a thin, clear plastic film could provide the protection I wanted while allowing the iPhone to be seen and used in all its unwrapped glory. Having used the company's ScreenGuardz products in the past, I was pretty confident that this would be a good experience.
There's a lot more involved in wrapping and entire device than there is in simply overlaying a screen and I admit I was a little nervous about getting the full body wrap onto the iPhone without picking up a lot of dust or fingerprints in the process. The BodyGuardz product includes a small spray bottle of application fluid (water and a bit of baby shampoo) designed to make the application and positioning of the film an easy process. The directions said that you cannot use too much fluid so I was very liberal in its application to my hands prior to peeling the film off its backing and on the film itself when I applied it to the phone.
I'm happy to report that the film was die-cut very precisely and fit around the various ports and buttons on the iPhone perfectly. The entire process took about 20 minutes (I was trying really hard to be slow and deliberate) and the results are simply extraordinary. The iPhone is now encased in a virtually scratch-proof plastic skin that is crystal clear. As an added bonus, the BodyGuardz material offers better surface adhesion that makes holding the iPhone feel a lot more secure than the slippery finish of the device itself. It slides in and out my pocket with ease and I can still use the Speck case when I'm venturing into hostile territory.
BodyGuardz are available for a number of phones, PDAs, and MP3 players and the iPhone model costs $24.95 for a kit that contains two sets of skins, a squeegee, and an ample supply of the application fluid. I'm seriously thinking about getting a BodyGuardz for my Nokia N95 as well.