It's refreshing to finally have an amazing smartwatch from Samsung running an operating system that opens up the world of third-party applications. The new Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is a winner in large part due to its Google Wear OS powered by Samsung operating system.
Now that the watch is running Wear OS, we can also look closer at the fantastic hardware. I purchased the Watch 4 Classic with the lovely spinning hardware bezel and the display that is inset from the front of the bezel. This offers some protection of the display, but if you wear your watch daily you may want even better protection. For the past couple of weeks, I've tested out a couple of screen protectors from ZAGG, the InvisibleShield GlassFusion and Ultra Clear.
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Neither of the two InvisibleShield options from ZAGG are made of glass. The GlassFusion protector is a hybrid polymer material with a glass-like feel. Glass breaks so while we have seen many glass screen protectors in the past act as a sacrificial anode for the watch or phone glass display underneath, using other materials allows the screen protector the ability to offer different protection.
The GlassFusion protector absorbs impact and disperses the shock while also preventing chipping and shattering of the screen protector. In addition to display protection, the GlassFusion protector has anti-microbial treatment to protect from the growth of bacteria and degradation of the screen protector.
Installation was quick and simple, especially given the round form factor of the protector. ZAGG actually has two tabs on either side of the protector that you line up with the watch band to help you center the protector. Clean the display, peel off the appropriate cover sheets, and apply the protector. I was able to install the GlassFusion protector properly the first time with no bubbles or flaws in the installation.
I wear a watch 24/7, except during a shower, and I don't pay particular attention to protecting it. This means I end up knocking my watch against walls, equipment, and other objects present in my daily life. The display on my Galaxy Watch 4 Classic remains flawless thanks to the GlassFusion protector. There is no impact at all on the ability for me to swipe, tap, and hold on the display either and I honestly forget there is even a protector in place.
You can purchase the GlassFusion protector for $29.99. ZAGG also makes a version of this protector for the Galaxy Watch 4 for $24.99. This watch face is slighly smaller and there is no raised rotating bezel so having a flush glass display is even more susceptible to damage.
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ZAGG also offers a protector for the Galaxy Watch 4 Class priced at half the cost of the GlassFusion protector. The Ultra Clear protector is available for just $14.99. A version for the Galaxy Watch 4 is also available for the same $14.99 price.
The installation process is the same for this protector as we followed for the GlassFusion protector. The material used is not as hard and rigid as the GlassFusion protector that uses polymer material to mimic glass. The Ultra Clear uses the traditional ZAGG material that is used on military helicopter.
This material is softer, but it also offers self-healing technology so that minor scratches evolve to maintain a smooth surface. The protector still has anti-microbial treatment so you get the benefits of that. There is no impact on the visibilty or clarity of the watch face. The bottom line is that the GlassFusion protector offers better impact protection and honestly feels more glass-like to me than the Ultra Clear. For $15 though, if nothing else you should at least pick up an Ultra Clear protector to keep your display safe from damage.