So, a few weeks ago, I bumped into the corner of a wall while walking and doing some BlackBerry business at the same time. We all do it. Donâ€™t judge me. Scraped the olâ€™ 8700 against a wall, resulting in some unsightly surface damage. More importantly, it was pretty close to the screen proper, which got me pretty nervous about inflicting lasting damage to the device. No, I will NOT be more responsible and start looking where Iâ€™m walking.
Luckily, Proporta had dropped me a line the day before telling my about some new screen protectors they were carrying. Working my wiles, I managed to get them to ship me one of their Advanced Screen Protectors. Sage, you sly fox, you.
A short week later, I get a little package in the mail, which generated some interest amid the inner-sanctum of BBCool HQ. Whispers abound of, â€œHey, New Guyâ€™s getting stuff in the mail. Since when does New Guy get mail?â€ Of course, when I crack it open to reveal a catalogue of accessories and a couple of flimsy pieces of plastic, the crowds immediately dispersed. One thing that dropped out of the envelope was a pack of English Breakfast tea. Maybe a mistake? Apparently not! Proporta ships out a bag of tea with every purchace, which is a nice touch.
At first glance, I thought, â€œHell, Iâ€™m glad I didnâ€™t have to pay ten bucks for this.â€ It was, after all, pretty underwhelming â€“ a flimsy little screen in a flimsly little bag, and a few doohickeys. After doing a quick size check, I noticed the cover was too small for the screen on my 8700. With a quick packaging check, it looked like the cover was for an 8800. So, I had to talk to Proporta about getting a fresh screen for the 8700. Or did I?
With my shiny new toy, I got crackinâ€™. The second I got the protector remotely close to the screen, it was suctioned on immediately. At that point, I saw where that ten bucks would have gone if I wasnâ€™t such cheap bastard. Lining it up perfectly to the screen was tricky, since it latched on so quickly â€“ even now, itâ€™s a bit off, which may irritate the consummate perfectionist. I had to pull the screen off once after the first application, and the adhesive didnâ€™t seem to work any less, or leave any residue, nor was the protector damaged. Included was an application card to squeeze out any air bubbles, but there werenâ€™t any problems on that front at all, really. At worst, there are some extremely tiny bubbles at the corners, and even then theyâ€™re hardly worth mentioning. The sad little orange wipe-cloth it came with felt as useless as the application card. Regardless, getting the protector on was surprisingly easy.
In terms of how well the screen physically fits with the 8800, there arenâ€™t any complaints whatsoever. The whole screen is covered, even with a bit of misalignment, and it sits very low to the surface, as you can see. As for feel, it was initially kind of dusty, but after absorbing my delicious facial oils over the last few days, itâ€™s now only slightly less slick than the BlackBerry casing. You can feel the edge of the screen pretty distinctly, so if youâ€™re a fan of seamless transition from case to screen, that might ruin the aesthetic for you. I ainâ€™t picky though.
With something that covers the screen, youâ€™re obviously going to be concerned about changes in visual quality. As you can see, thereâ€™s really not much difference between the covered device on the left and the naked one on the right. The colour on the other one was a bit darker, but I also know itâ€™s seen a bit more use than mine, possibly effecting any visual differences.
Now, I wasnâ€™t going to go running into walls just to see if this protector works. So, I did some second-degree testing.
First up: fingernails. Funny noises, but no damage.
Letâ€™s kick it up a notch: spoon handle. More funny noises.
This, my friends abroad, is a Canadian twoonie, and a likely neighbour to the BlackBerry in my pocket. Resulted in a few minor marks, but nothing immediately noticable.
Ah, the keys. Also something that a BlackBerry might come into contact with, and what would be the bane of Proportaâ€™s Advanced Screen Protector. A metallic, serrated object is going to put a dent into a thin plastic sheet. Go figure. The grooves from the keys sufficiently distorted the screen image to be distracting, so I peeled the sucker off. In the process, I did notice the colours clear up ever so slightly. The screen was totally unharmed by my ruthless key-scratching â€“ better a disposable sheet take the damage than the case itself, no?
Proportaâ€™s Advanced Screen Protector is a light, easy-to-install accessory for anyone who knows what itâ€™s like to have some damaged casing. While I may have been harping on the â€œWTF, ten bucks for a plastic sheetâ€ bit earlier, for what the screen protector does, it does well. On top of that, ten bucks to your average 8800 user really isnâ€™t that much for a little bit of extra screen insurance. It should do well for standard wear and tear and I could see it providing a lot of protection over the long-term. If you’ve got a device you know that you’re going to have for a long time and will be carrying around plenty, this may be the thing for you. I give this product 3.5 Wobbly Bits of Plastic out of 5. Must-have? No. Nice-have? Yes.