Gadget Review: Moshi's iVisor Glass for the Samsung GALAXY Note 4

If you don't want your expensive smartphone screen to be in the buff, this high-priced protector is worth every penny.

By , Columnist

Image courtesy of Moshi

Even though smartphone manufacturers are continually improving the scratch resistance of the glass on their mobile products, there is still a market for screen protectors. Whether consumers are unconvinced by manufacturer's claims or just want the added protection of another layer on top of the touch screen, there are protective films for every major model of smartphone and tablet.

These products range in price from essentially nothing (some come bundled with cases) to around $50. Moshi's iVisor Glass range for smartphones is at the latter end of the spectrum. If you are looking for a screen protector that is long-lasting, reliable and easy to apply, though, the iVisor Glass is hard to beat.

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Moshi sent us an iVisor Glass for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 for this review but all of their smartphone models are designed along the same lines. The obvious difference between the iVisor and generic screen protectors is the method of attachment. Most screen protectors are designed to adhere to the touch screen itself. Hence, they are entirely transparent and shaped to extend more-or-less to the edges of the glass. An iVisor Glass adheres to the much smaller surface area of the border around the glass rather than the glass itself and is designed to entirely cover the front of the device.

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Attaching generic screen protectors can be a dissatisfying experience because almost always the challenge of trying to get the film evenly spread across the glass is met by bubbles. Once the protector is attached, it is impossible to get rid of these or any pieces of dust that got stuck on the screen or the film's sticky underside during the slow process of laying the film down.

Sticking an iVisor Glass to the screen is much less likely to result in unsightly blemishes because the film doesn't have to be stuck across the entire width of the glass. Moreover, if you do find dust under the iVisor after you have attached it, you can easily peel the film off again, remove the offending object and stick the protector back down without risk of creating more bubbles or blips.

Even though the iVisor doesn't directly attach to the glass, it also doesn't compromise the screen's touch sensitivity. In my tests I found no noticeable difference in the responsiveness of the device before and after applying the iVisor. I also saw no obvious effect on the sharpness of the screen and only a slight reduction in the vividness of the colours.

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Moshi claims that the iVisor Glass is scratch, shock, and bubble proof because it's made with what the company calls IonGlass™, an "atomically-strengthened structure that is stronger than glass found in typical glass screen protectors." I was not prepared to take a blade or a hammer to my Galaxy Note 4 to test these claims. However, I had an iVisor AG (AntiGlare) on an iPad 2 for around 4 years. Although it got marked over time through normal wear and tear, it was probably largely responsible for holding together the cracked screen the device had in the last six months of its useful life.

If there is one thing that might be off-putting about the iVisor Glass for smartphones, it is the price. At $44.95 it isn't cheap. However, if you're paying $600 or more for a top smartphone, a reliable protective product that keeps your device looking as good as it did the day you bought it is a worthwhile investment. Where screen protectors are concerned, they don't make them better than Moshi's iVisor Glass.

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Michael Simpson is a freelance writer, editor, presenter, researcher, instructor, gadget freak and sci-tech consultant based in British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley. Formerly from the UK, he’s converted from tea to coffee and written and presented on film, TV, science, nature, technology,…

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