By Daniel Rasmus on Thu, 07/10/2014
I had some fun this weekend. I broke the screen on an iPhone.
Well, it wasn’t my iPhone, and it wasn’t attached to the iPhone itself, it was actually part of a kit that arrived from Taiwan from Evolutive Labs, the makers of Rhinoshield (iPhone 5 $24.99, iPad Air $39.99).
Many manufacturers of iPhone and iPad cases show videos of various stunts. They even stage stunts at shows like CES. I’ve seen screens pecked at, scratched at, dropped from airplanes, hit with rocks, and submerged in water. But in all of those demonstrations, I was never the one doing the whacking. Until now.
When the package arrived, I found it a little heavy for one iPhone 5 front/back protector and one iPad Air screen protector. After opening the plastic FedEx envelope from Rhinoshield, I found both screen protectors in their flat, cardboard covers, but I also found a box. In the box were a couple of screen protectors, a couple of pieces of glass, a slab of granite, and an iron ball. That’s right, Rhinoshield was so convinced of their ability to protect my iOS devices that they offered me an iPhone screen destructo kit.
Well, needless to say, I started to play. Not only was the box a container, the inner lining popped up to reveal a measuring stick of sorts in order to see how far up the ball dropped without causing damage. To the credit of the engineering team at Rhinoshield, I had to go several inches above the safety mark before my steel ball made a mark. This kit was not a cheap way to make a point, but a point it did make.
So what about the screen protectors? Well, my iPad Air is now sporting one. It is the first one that didn’t end up with any bubbles in the screen area, and the first one I’ve actually used for more than a few days. A couple of the edges aren’t perfect, but part of that is my fault for not reading instructions. I didn’t realize the screen protector was itself protected, so I ripped off the “front” sticker that was supposed to pull up the protector’s protector. I thought it was odd that the glue was so sticky, but I whipped it away. Only after the experiment with the iron ball did I realize my iPad’s Rhinoshield was still wearing its own coat. So out of the BookBook comes the iPad, and with a couple flicks of my finger I separated the covers. With iPad covers there seems to be at least one corner that is an issue.
As the picture below illustrates, the RhinoShield not only protects the screen from the impact of impacts, but deploys multiple layers to include scratch resistance and oil repealing features.
I mention the Twelve South BookBook because with this kind of cover, it is the kind of case you want to have: one that doesn’t depend on tight edge tolerances. I put the iPad inside the Twelve South Hoover Bar attachment and found the Rhinoshield immediately bubbled up at the contact point, so I quickly removed it. No harm, no foul; but with sustained pressure the cover would have distorted permanently or let dust in, ruining that edge. It is very hard to get an iPad screen protector aligned well. It always seems one screen protector edge is closer to the device edge than the other, which causes issues with tight-fitting cases. NewerTech makes the NuGuard KXs Screen Armor for iPad Air, which comes in a version that is “case friendly,” meaning it runs slightly smaller than the screen, leaving room around the edge for cases to attach without pushing on the screen cover.
Overall I found the RhinoShield to be a well-made, well-packaged product. The packaging included screen cleaners, dust removers, and bubble smoother. As I’ve said, this is the first cover to every really work on my iPad Air. I didn’t try the cover on my iPhone as it is already happily wearing a Qmadix Tempered Tech-Armor glass cover, but if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t hesitate to use the RhinoShield.
Do read the manuals for installation, even though I didn't. And if someone sends you a destructo kit in the mail to test their product, have some fun. We all need to take a little time in our day for some creative destruction.
iPhone Life rating: 4 out of 5 stars