Do you want to protect your iPhone 5's screen? We think there's only one viable means of doing that. And that is with a proper glass screen protector. These tempered glass screen protectors offer unprecedented protection while retaining the same natural smooth feeling of the iPhone's glass surface and pixel-sharp Retina display qualities. We took a look at two different types of brands made by two different companies - Spigen's GLAS and Colorant's USG ITG - and since our reviews, many new glass screen protector offerings were quickly tossed into the accessory market to answer the growing demand for glass-made protection.
Glass screen protectors are improving quickly and there's already a new type of protector that'll transform the sharp, abrupt edges of your iPhone 5 into that of a tapered one found on HTC, Samsung smartphones, and the like. Colorant's new USG Impossible Tempered Glass Plus (or ITG+ for short), is a new glass screen protector for the iPhone 5 that'll blow your socks off. We've got the full details after the jump!
As we've mentioned in our earlier review of Colorant's USG ITG tempered glass screen protector, this one is practically the same exact protector that is the equivalent of Spigen's $35 Glas.tR. That also means Colorant's USG Impossible Tempered Glass Plus screen protector offers the same incredible glass feeling you'd get when using your iPhone 5 naked at a 0.4mm thickness, only that it's much better as it offers a more refined experience compared to past iterations. It's got oleophobic coating which resists fingerprints, smudges and cleans very easily too.
Afraid your touchscreen won't be as responsive or that the Retina resolution won't be as sharp? Please. The only noticeable difference when putting on the ITG+ is the minimal added thickness that comes with it being that it's a 0.4mm thick pane of tempered glass atop of your iPhone 5's display. With that said, you'll still be able to use most protective cases and bumpers. Not that you would really want to after experiencing the ultra-polished tapered edge design that the ITG+ has to offer.
What's more is that the ITG+ features a tougher, more durable tempered glass that is rated at 9H surface hardness - which just so happens to be an equivalent to the Glas.tR. A surface hardness of 9H makes the ITG+ near-impossible to scratch accidentally or deliberately. Of course sand and grit that rub against the glass will eventually scratch it. That and sharp diamonds. To put things into prospective, these tempered glass protectors are no different than Gorilla Glass 2 in terms of toughness. And yes, the iPhone 5 does utilize Gorilla Glass 2, but you can never be more safe when you drop your iPhone and its display is presumably saved by the tempered glass protector which will itself crack in a safe manner without shattering.
But perhaps the best thing about Colorant's USG ITG+ is that the glass edges are now beveled and rounded for that amazing tapered feeling when you slide your finger off the edge. It's exactly the same type of feeling you get when using a rounded glass display of say an HTC One X or an HTC 8X. You'll notice that the edges taper near the edges, adding a really great experience that isn't so when using the iPhone 5 bare naked. It's almost as if the UTG ITG+ glass screen protector enhances the user experience when interacting with the touchscreen display.
Colorant's USG ITG tempered glass screen protector (left), compared to the USG ITG+ with polished tapered edges.
Unlike the edgy corners and edges on the regular USG ITG, the rounded edges of this particular glass protector makes it so that you could go about using the home button without having to apply the included jelly bean home button inlay, which were once used to avoid the sharp and unpleasant recessed cutout made by the regular USG ITG glass protector. You might not be able to discern the new home button cutout from the previous glass screen protector variant, but you can definitely feel the difference in the rounded beveled polish that's made to the cutout. So although the thickness of the glass makes for a slightly recessed home button, reaching it isn't a nuisance anymore.
The only real issue with these glass screen protectors is that their special silicone adhesive works perfectly the first time. Meaning you've got one shot to perfectly align it, while making sure no dust or tiny particles get trapped underneath the glass which will result in frustration and sadness. Deep, awful sadness. Just plain misery that'll eventually end in you wasting more money on a second chance. But enough of that, once you apply this baby on your iPhone 5 (between 98% to 100% correctly) you'll be the happiest person ever in the world. On the upside, the USG ITG+ literally applies itself without trapping any air bubbles underneath as the silicone adhesive suctions out the air and spreads across the iPhone's glass display. One of the many excellent features that come with glass screen protectors such as this.
In addition, Colorant also makes the Slim Impossible Tempered Glass - which is a tempered glass compressed screen protector that's thinner than the ITG series at just 0.26mm, yet combines PET film with an ultra-thin laminated sheet of tempered glass. This makes the screen protector even more durable as it can bend farther without cracking, yet retain the same level of 9H surface hardness . Unfortunately, this type of screen protector isn't as smooth feeling as Colorant's true glass screen protectors and is less superior in terms of providing a true glass experience.
$35 for a single piece of next-generation protection is a costly and arguable risk, but a damn good one if all goes well. If you're looking for a screen protector, a tempered glass screen protector to be precise, then Colorant's USG ITG+ is without a shadow of a doubt one of the ultimate glass screen protectors you can get for the iPhone 5. It's an unmatched accessory that'll protect your screen from damage while also enhancing the experience of swiping across the display thanks to the polished beveled edge design. If you want the best near-naked experience using the iPhone 5, a tempered glass screen protector like Colorant's USG ITG+ is a worthwhile investment you'll never want to remove. We can definitely highly recommend the ITG+ to anyone looking for the best screen protector possible. And because we love using it, we've also awarded the ITG+ with our Editors' Choice Award.