I have always had gadgets. They go in and out of my pocket, they hit the ground, they slide along desks and they invariably end up looking like 'Will it blend?TM' participants by the time I retire them in favor of a new model. After purchasing my iPod Touch I just could not bear to let that happen, so I did some research and found 3 or 4 main competitors in the transparent scratch-proof cover market. After doing my homework I settled on NLU BodyGuardz. It is not the cheapest but it seemed to have the best overall support. Let's take a look.
About the Product
"BodyGuardz are a clear film that covers the body and screen of an Apple iPod touch 2G providing scratch protection from outside elements. Designed to custom fit each particular device, these protectors are made from the same material that is used to protect the front of automobiles from stones and other abrasive elements."1 Their product description sums up the purpose of the product pretty well, but let's hold this company up to some scrutiny and make sure that they really deliver on these steep promises.
Overall, the goal is to make your device scratch-proof. I have put mine through what I consider to be tough daily use and the product has exceeded my expectations. It still looks perfect. NLU's installation videos also generally end with the host taking a key to the newly protected device. See 8:55 in this video for an example.
This leads into the reason why I recommend this brand so highly over some of the cheaper ones. It's the secondary stuff that really makes BodyGuardz stand out. I'm pretty sure that the material itself is industry standard, but the packaging (which includes misting bottle of application solution and a plastic 'squeegee', giving you everything you need), the support (very useful print directions, easily accessible on the box itself combined with product-specific installation videos), the fact that each package contains two full sets of BodyGuardz protective films, and the great fit and finish make this product not only well worth the extra cash, but also one of the best purchasing experiences I have had recently.
So, how clear is 'clear'? Good question. You can see the photos below, but they don't even do it justice. I have had tens of people ask me if they could play with my touch since I covered it, and not a single one has noticed the protector at all (front or back!) until prompted. It actually took about 2 minutes to convince my best friend that there was something on the back, even after I showed him the front protection. What it comes down to is that you can (if only barely) tell it's on if you are looking, but when you are using the device, you would never even notice it.
I was concerned that the screen would feel different since they advertise that you get a better grip once it's covered. Again, that turned out to be a non-issue. In fact, the only thing I notice during normal use, is that the BodyGuardz doesn't hold smudges from my fingers as well as the glass screen.
Now, nothing is perfect and most of you are probably waiting for the downside of all this. I'll admit it was pretty difficult to apply. Not nearly as bad as I had feared though. I must have peeled it back off 10 times, re-sprayed and re-set it before I was happy, and I still missed by about a millimeter, as I'm sure the other perfectionists like me will notice in the images. But again, it comes down to use. When I am using the device, this never bothers me at all.
Overall, I think that the company's claims stand up well to examination.
You can see the misting bottle and squeegee along with the micro fiber cloth that Apple includes with their products. Use this to clean the device very very well before applying the protector.
Three Weeks Later
It is difficult to see here, but if you click the images, you can see that immediately after application there is a little white film between the protector and screen. NLU says it goes away after 42 hours. About 10 hours after application 5 medium-sized bubbles appeared. NLU said that was normal, they'll be gone after 42. NLU was right again. I left it alone and the film disappeared along with the bubbles. Where they went is anyone's guess, but I don't care, they're gone, and my iPod Touch looks great the way God... or rather Jobs... intended it!
I have put this through daily usage testing for almost a month, but have not gone through excessive wear and tear tests with it. NLU
I would recommend this line of products to anyone. NLU actually doesn't give you just the two guardz in the box, they offer an as-many-as-you-can-wreck buffet. If you manage to scratch up your protector somehow (did you blend it?) then you can take it off, put on the second one from the box, and send the scratched one in for a free replacement!2
It is practically undetectable, but still works perfectly. And top marks for a great customer experience which is rare these days. In my view, this is well worth the mildly difficult application and the slight cosmetic effects.
Some pros we found:
Keeps you scratch-free
No functional interference whatsoever, I was still able to dock and perform all other functions unimpeded
Near full coverage of device surfaces
Fantastic instructions get you through the first con
Insurance that even if the product does scratch, the best warranty is the backup protector that comes in the box... and they will also replace the protector for you.
Really does feel custom fit to the device
Some Cons we found:
Application is more difficult than toasting a bagel, but less difficult than installing linux on a dead badger.
There is a dimpling effect if you look at the face of the device, while the screen is off, from a low angle.
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