Fingers On Review: DLO 3G Surface Shields Anti-Glare vs Power Support

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by mcdj, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    DLO introduced their Anti Glare Surface Shields for the 3G iPhone recently. A 5 pack retails for the same price as a 2 pack of Power Support shields...$14.95. I picked up a pack of 5, to see what I could see. And feel.

    I've been using the anti glare Power Support protectors since last year on the 1st gen iPhone. I've been pretty happy with them, as many people are. They're durable, relatively clear, and almost smudge free.

    One of the reasons I picked up the DLO was because the PS shields seem to have changed formulas since the 1st gen iPhone. The 3G model seems a bit more prone to rainbow halo effects. This is especially apparent when wearing polarized sunglasses.

    The other reason I wanted to try the DLO was the price. 5 for the price of 2 is nothing to scoff at, especially when we're talking about something that costs ounce-for-ounce as much as platinum.

    Alas, the old adage that you get what you pay for holds true even for something as seemingly simple as a screen protector. A 5 pack of screen protectors for the same price as a 2 pack sounds like a better deal. Ultimately it is not.

    Here's the rundown.

    At the outset, the DLOs look pretty much identical to the Power Support. They are both full screen protectors (no gap below the home button like some), and both work via static messy liquids to apply.

    For 2 things that look the same and attempt to serve the same purpose, these shields are very different.

    Granted, a 5 pack of ANY screen protector is very nice to have. You get 3 more shots at putting it on straight with no dust. Despite what these companies say, these things are not easily washable, unless you are blind and can't see the dust that covers them when you attempt to dry them. My feeling (and I am admittedly anal about this kind of thing), once you touch it, or get a moderate amount of dust on it, you may as well toss it and try again.

    Power Support could sell a 5 pack for $20, still sell a ton, and still make 3000% profit. We are all in the wrong business.

    The DLO is a different material than the PS. It's slightly less rigid, thinner perhaps. One of my shields came with a dent already in it...maybe too thin? The thinness does seem to help in applying it a little more quickly, which is key to keeping dust out of the equation.

    The texture is somewhat smoother; not good. Because it's smoother, it doesn't hide streaks, AT ALL. Finger streaks cover the screen in minutes. And unlike the PS, they do NOT come off with a cursory wipe. It takes several deliberate wipes. Streak wise, it's nearly as bad as having no screen protector. Even after wiping it clean, there is visible finger oil, in the form of a hazy smear. The PS by comparison wipes pretty clean in 1 or 2 quick passes.

    The DLO does not exhibit the rainbow moire in preliminary testing. However, it does appear "grainier". The effect is an overall more pixelated look to the screen. Again, not good, and perhaps worse than a slight rainbow.

    It's odd that it would look grainier but feel smoother to the touch. My theory is that they inverted the rougher side, or coated the sheet.

    Fit wise, the 2 protectors are a tiny bit different, but in a big way. The Power Support is cut with a slightly wider opening around the home button and earpiece. This is nice because not only does it allow for a bit of room for error when installing it, the edges of the circular cutout don't rub against your finger on the home button.

    The DLO is the exact opposite. They've tried to cover every nanometer of the glass, to the very edge of the home button and earpiece. Sounds good on paper, but in practice, I found myself quickly annoyed by feeling the edge of the protector every time I touched the home button.

    I also think DLO's finish/precision is a bit off. When installing the shield, I carefully aligned the top of the protector, using the oval shape of the earpiece as my guide, as I have done with all the Power Support screen protectors I've installed...but no matter how many times I tried, there was a slight overlap over the home button. This goes to show why a millimeter of forgiveness is very useful. Finally, I gave up, on aligning to the earpiece, and aimed for the home button instead. The corners lined up, the button cutout lined up, but this time the earpiece was slightly overlapped. A miscut shield, or user error? Hmm. Never had a problem with the PS.

    Once I layed down the shield as close as possible to perfectly centered as I could, I noticed a slightly jagged edge around the earpiece. Definitely not user error.

    All told, it took me 3 shields to get 1 placed close to perfect. Minus the one that came pre-dented, and I'm down to one shield. Maybe that's why they come in a 5 pack. So much for saving money.

    Unless you like difficult to install screen protectors that look fairly grainy and become covered in oily streaks almost immediately, stay away from the DLO Surface Shields.
  2. Ferris23 macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2007
    Interesting observations, mine were the complete opposite. I ditched the Power Support due to the gap it left (kind of collected lint at times) and switched to the DLO which I found not only easier to install, but also a perfect fit as opposed to the PS which was cut too small.

    Nice write up though.

  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I find this review to be completely helpful and beneficial to my buying experience. The problem I am having is the lack of pictures. Were there copyright issues at hand that prevented pictures?

    In all seriousness, it is a great review and thank you for being very detailed.
  4. Ntombi macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2008
    Bostonian exiled in SoCal
    Very nice. Thanks for taking the time--that helps as I'm still trying to decide.
  5. MxChino macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2008
    I'll agree with the fact that the power support shields do prevent finger prints much, much better. However, i found the dlo shields much easier to install and i had 0 problems getting them lined up. For the money, I'll stick with the dlo's.
  6. CD3660 macrumors 68040


    Jun 6, 2007
    Cheshire, United Kingdom.
    Excellent review. Thanks.

    I swear by the Power Support Crystal Film. Expensive, but does the job better than anything else I've come across.

    What is more, with a Best Skins Ever skin on the back it is a killer combination for the iPhone 3G. :)
  7. splogue macrumors 6502


    Aug 1, 2008
    RTP, NC
    Excellent review. Thank you!

    It is a shame the companies don't just start selling these ten to a pack. They don't cost anything to make, and it would reduce installation anxiety.

  8. dauerhippo macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2008
    I think they don't sell 10/pack, because they WANT you to screw it up and then buy another pack!

    Be honest, Sean, have you ever bought a second pack b/c you weren't completely satisfied with the install job you did? I know I have! Damn companies!
  9. d7sdavid macrumors newbie


    Aug 24, 2008
    Dartmouth N.S.
    Picture of installed product

    I am interested in trying the PS antiglare shields. The idea of not having fingerprints is appealing but I am concerned about the comments about a grainy screen. Can someone post some good pics of a iphone with the shield installed?

  10. splogue macrumors 6502


    Aug 1, 2008
    RTP, NC
    Yep, sure have! I'm currently trying to convince myself that I want the non-glare instead of the crystal I already have for precisely that reason. :D

  11. ajohnson253 macrumors 68000


    Jun 16, 2008
    Appreciate the review.
    At best buy right now as I type this looking at it and I needed to know how this was.
    Thank goodness for this website
  12. Dr. Cabrera macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
    it sucks, period

    I would rather have to wipe off smudges and fingerprints than have a grainy screen

    the best example I can give you is ... compare the difference between an LCD that has a matte finish, and one that has a glossy finish

    The colors, sharpness and contrast are way higher on the glossy screen
  13. mcmanus7 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2008
    PS anti-glares are the way to go.. you get used to them after a short period... I will take the little bit of distortion over the smudges/finger prints any day...
  14. danieldelgado29 macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Pleasant Hill
    I have the DLO pack and they are great....way better than the 2 from power support....Do yourself a favor and the 5 pack..
  15. Rayfire macrumors 68030


    Aug 25, 2008
    I think it depends on your personal preferences.

    Cause on my side PS Anti-Glare is the best, I'd rather keep my screen clean without smudges or fingerprints, and the clarity didn't really bothered me ;)
  16. Pared macrumors 65816

    Oct 19, 2007
    The SGP is actually better than both of these.

    And yes I've tried them all. Damn me and my OCD. :p
  17. Bobioden macrumors 68000


    Sep 23, 2007
    I completely agree, I thought the PS Anti Glare was the one, until I tried the SGP Anti-Fingerprint. There is no comparison. The SGP is hands down the better film. No glare, no fingerprints and no blurry, smudgy look. And, it's cheaper than the PS.
  18. Dr. Cabrera macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
    i guess the choice boils down to

    a) a clean grainy screen, where you cannot wipe away the graininess

    b) a clear smudy screen, where you can wipe away the fingerprints

    the choice is yours
  19. Pared macrumors 65816

    Oct 19, 2007
    Yeah, obviously no slant to your comments there. Once could also see it as:

    a) a clear screen that attracts fingerprints and requires constant "maintenance" and lots of light bounceback

    b) a clear, ever so slightly grainy screen that is worry free and ALWAYS the same. No maintenance required. Not to mention the better screen when viewed in sunlight because of the anti-glare

    As you said, the choice is yours.
  20. Dr. Cabrera macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Hey its my opinion. I was ok with your opinion ( hey you are allowed to have a slant)

    until you said

    "Not to mention the better screen when viewed in sunlight because of the anti-glare"

    actually the iphone has a transreflective LCD screen.

    "iPhone has a transflective display and is completely readable in direct sunlight,"

    In other words, that anti glare screen protector will cause a) a grainer, and b) dimmer image when you are in direct sunlight

    sorry but those are not my opinions, those are FACTS based on the technology used in the iPhone
  21. Pared macrumors 65816

    Oct 19, 2007
    Facts and real world use are two different things. ;)
  22. larapumkin macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2008
    i can't really stand on anti-glare one, but + 1 on SGP.
    they sure were better with the crystal film
  23. JAQ macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2008
    Purgatory MI
    Oh, get over yourself. This little rant of yours is based on your opinion of what "better" means. For some people, the ability (for example) to watch a dark scene in a movie and not see a reflection of themselves staring back is "better". Not all of us are automatically impressed by brighter and shinier, and I simply found it less annoying to watch videos on my iPhone with an anti-glare screen than without. I recognize that there's some loss of image quality, but I don't mind, because my opinion of what's important... isn't the same as yours. :eek:
  24. ki2594 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2008
    Carmel, IN.
    Hmm i've never tried to DLO's but i actually just installed an anti glare from PS on my 3G, i had one previously but i swapped my phone a month ago and i had to buy a new anti glare set. (ive also used the PS crystal which is okay and case mates **** sheilds lol)

    Anyways, like i said i haven't ever installed a DLO, but lining up the PS Anti Glare is a walk in the park. I lined it up PERFECT in one try, i thought it was easy?

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