Matte vs. Glossy Screen Protector: Pros and Cons

One factor many people don’t think about when choosing a screen protector is the finish. Do you want a matte screen protector or a glossy screen protector? What are the differences between a matte screen protector and a glossy screen protector?

Let’s go through some of the details of each so you can go into your next purchase fully informed.

Think of a matte finish as something like a frosted window. Likewise, a glossy finish closely resembles a crystal-clear window. A frosted window combats glare and resists smudges much more than a clear window, but diffuses — and even blocks — some light.

Both styles of screen protectors have their own set of properties, positives, and negatives. Let’s take a closer look at matte screen protectors vs. glossy screen protectors.

5 Key Differences Between a Matte Screen Protector vs. a Glossy Screen Protector 

1. Clarity

Although the difference is relatively slight, a matte screen protector does transmit less light than a glossy screen protector. This added diffusion of light is the very thing that reduces glare on the screen from bright lights — read: the sun — but it does also affect the screen image.

If you’re a big media consumer or do photo editing on your phone, you may want to forgo a matte screen protector, as brightness could be slightly affected. Pixels could also take on a slightly fuzzy quality as well. If you want the highest clarity, a glossy screen protector is the best bet. Since a glossy screen protector doesn’t diffuse light, these problems aren’t present. 

The winner: Glossy Screen Protector

2. Color Saturation

The anti-glare properties of a matte screen protector may affect the way colors appear on a device screen. Because light is diffused through the protector from both directions (both going into the screen from an external light source, and emanating from the LCD itself), you may notice a slight desaturation of colors. Videos may take on a slightly more muted tone. Keep in mind that this change is slight, so only the eagle-eyed need to concern themselves.

So again, if you edit photos frequently, a matte screen protector may hinder you slightly from seeing the true colors. For the everyday user, a matte screen protector shouldn’t present much of a difference in color. 

The winner: Glossy Screen Protector

3. Outdoor Use

This category is where matte screen protectors shine — or not, as the case may be. If you’ve ever tried to make a call or watch a video in bright outdoor sunlight, you know that it’s near impossible.

The backlighting of an LCD, paired with the reflective glass screen, is no match for the power of the sun. It can be super difficult to see your screen when outside whether you have a glass screen protector or a bare glass screen. The sun reflects strongly in bright environments making reading messages unbearable. A matte screen protector largely fixes many of these issues. By diffusing (rather than reflecting) a large portion of the sun’s fun-destroying rays, it’s much easier to see the screen outdoors with a matte screen protector on board.

The winner: Matte Screen Protector

4. Smudge-Resistance

Here’s another area where a matte screen protector comes in handy. We’re all aware of the fingerprint-prone nature of our device screens. If you’re the type that goes mad over smears and smudges, a matte screen protector is just the thing for you. The slightly rougher surface is naturally fingerprint resistant, leading to a much cleaner overall look. Glossy screen protectors are typically just as prone to fingerprints and smudges as a bare device screen. Phew! Pick up a matte screen protector to avoid the annoyance of smudges blocking your view.

The winner: Matte Screen Protector

Pro Tip: Clean your tablet screen like a professional! Use a screen microfiber cloth and specially formulated screen cleaner — or make a homemade screen cleaner.

5. Durability

The great thing about choosing between a matte vs. glossy screen protector is that durability isn’t much of a factor at all. The durability of a well-placed screen protector has much more to do with the specific maker or manufacturer.

Our ZeroDamage screen protectors are premium quality products made from scratch-resistant 9H tempered glass and have laser-cut bevels and an oleophobic coating. We even include an installation kit to ensure a smooth, bubble-free installation!

The winner: Both! (As long as you go with SaharaCase).

Matte vs. Glossy: Which Screen Protector Is Better? 

Let’s tally up the totals: Looks like — it’s a tie! It turns out that choosing a matte vs. glossy screen protector has much more to do with personal tastes and habits. Both matte screen protectors and glossy screen protectors offer ample protection from damage.

If you do a lot of outdoor device viewing, a matte screen protector is the way to go. However, if you’re mostly indoors and value the most accurate color and brightness rendering, stick with a glossy protector, as it will most closely replicate what your screen looks like without a covering.

And, if you’re looking for the highest-quality scratch protection, fingerprint resistance, and precision engineering, go with a SaharaCase ZeroDamage Tempered Glass Screen Protector. Your device will thank you!

Don’t forget to USE CODE: SCREEN15 to save 15% on any screen protectors from SaharaCase!

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