With Or Without Screen Protector?

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 on a stack of Starbucks napkins.

A few days back, I tore off the screen protector of my 4-year-old Note 3.

Ok, I skipped a few details. Perhaps some background would be good.

I’ve used my current phone, a Samsung Note 3 for nearly 4 years now, and along the way, I’ve changed its casing multiple times and I’d changed 2 screen protectors (complete with privacy capability) on it.

Now that I’ve decided to change to a new phone and waiting for it to arrive, I began to find my old phone, well, old.

Other than the chipped edges and unwholesome back casing, the only other thing I found lousy of the phone was the screen. Or rather, the screen protector. I’ve used the current one for about 2 years and my thumbs had left scratches/patches on the screen. Near where the home button is, the screen protector was already peeling off by the layers.

And so, while caught in a boring meeting, I decided to peel that layer of protection off.

The outcome was amazing.

Hidden protected was the screen that had been in direct contact with the air for a cumulative period of… 5 minutes at most.

So, despite the chips and physical defects all around the phone (no thanks to all the butter-finger incidents), the screen was in a pristine condition.

So pristine, the colours jumped at me and made my eyes hurt for the past few days.

I must say I quite enjoyed the screen, and the experience felt like I was using a new phone all over again! I thought the phone lagged less (though I believe this was a placebo effect) and I liked the feel of the glass sliding under my finger.

Now, a few weeks back, I had blogged about the paradox of unwrapping a new gadget; some people would use their products with the protective film that came with the new product, so as to maintain it in its original, pristine condition… Even if it meant the beauty of the product was hidden under the covering.

Mine was a slightly different scenario.

I had not left the original protective film on, but in its place I covered it with customised casing and screen protector. The casings I had used through the 4 years made my phone felt like a personal one, because they were different from the OEM. However, I eventually reverted to the original casing, as all the others made the phone feel bulkier than it was designed for.

As for the screen, I hid it under the privacy screen, which obscured the colours of the intended design. Samsung’s smartphones are known for their bright screens, and I must say I have let down the designers!

Nonetheless, I was still stuck in the paradox.

If I had left the phone as it was, it would be subject to the elements, and all the drops and knocks. In fact, had I not used a screen protector, the screen would have cracked before it reached its first anniversary!

Such is the paradox!

If only there is a design for smartphone that allows us to use it as it is designed, without the need to add on peripherals to protect it from daily usage!


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