Zagg responds to JerryRigEverything scratch test of its Galaxy S8 screen protector [UPDATE]

One of Zagg’s most recently launched products is also its least popular. The InvisibleShield Glass Curve screen protector for the Galaxy S8 was reamed with one-star reviews for being an overpriced piece of glass that didn’t stick well to the device it was supposed to protect and didn’t properly contact the glass, making touch input difficult.

But the target of Zack Nelson’s itchy fury in a scratch test video on his JerryRigEverything YouTube channel was not the Glass Curve. It was the Sapphire Defense Curve product for the Galaxy S8 and it went up against the sapphire-covered version of the HTC U Ultra and a sapphire-covered Tissot watch. It was highly criticized for being only a flimsy piece of plastic that had trace amounts of sapphire and glass and scratched early in the testing process.

Well, Zagg has responded to the test through public relations and has taken some objection to the material analysis of its product:

Sapphire Defense is a new, patent-pending composite polymer glass similar to the properties of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), often used as a shatter-resistant alternative to glass. The best composition we found is not 100 percent glass, nor is it 100 percent film, but a hybrid of the two. We chose the material components of Sapphire Defense carefully, trying to strike a delicate balance between scratch resistance and impact resistance. The properties that prevent both aren’t one in the same.

And indeed, the company stated that its customers are more concerned with screen breakage than scratches. While market research has found sentiment to be of a similar vein, Zagg commissioned a study and found that:

a.      59 percent of smartphone owners damaged their phone in 2016

b.      50 percent of smartphone users break their screen with the first 12 months of ownership

c.       The average cost to repair/replace a device is $163

Zagg does not claim that the Sapphire Defense Curve isn’t proofed from “scratches of all kinds,” even though it does have a very generic claim of being “scratch resistant”. It does claim, though, that you should have 7 times more protection from impact breakage than if you were to drop an unprotected phone.

The company also offers a limited lifetime warranty that allows users to “easily and inexpensively replace” the product for the life of the phone.

We’re reaching out to Zack Nelson for a response and are attempting to get more data and further comment from Zagg on the critical performance of its Curve Shield protector for the S8.

Update: In light of Zagg’s statement, Zack Nelson has written Pocketnow in an email:

Ill just say that the video speaks for itself. If it looks like plastic, feels like plastic, burns like plastic, and scratches like plastic, then its not worth 50 dollars. You can buy the same thing elsewhere for a fraction of the price.
Zagg says that the primary goal of the screen protector is impact and break resistance. But yet, they call the product sapphire, and talk about scratch resistance about 15 different times on the box itself.
It is clearly a marketing campaign designed to pair itself with the reputation of pure sapphire without delivering the actual qualities of sapphire.
From the product page, Zagg’s blurb about scratch resistance for the Sapphire Defense Shield is as follows:
A proprietary process infuses sapphire crystals, one of the hardest minerals in the world, into the screen protector for unmatched scratch protection with a super smooth finish.
Is “unmatched scratch protection” a fair marketing term, given what Nelson’s video exhibited? If not, does it leave the product as unfit for purpose? We’ll try and keep the discourse going on this.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.