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Article: Tempered Glass vs. Plastic Screen Protector: Pros and Cons

Tempered Glass vs. Plastic Screen Protector: Pros and Cons | Sahara Case LLC

Tempered Glass vs. Plastic Screen Protector: Pros and Cons

Let’s begin by saying that a screen protector is a must-have item if you want to get the best out of your smartphone or tablet. It is all too easy to scratch a phone screen. Even putting it in a pocket or purse with sharp objects can result in damage. And if you drop it, well, we all know that means almost certain cracks, and perhaps a shattered screen.

To help you find the best choice for you, we put together a tempered glass vs plastic screen protector comparison so you can see the pros and cons of each.

What is the Difference Between Tempered Glass vs Plastic Screen Protectors?

The main difference between the two is obvious in that one is glass and the other plastic, but we want to know what the advantages – and otherwise – are for each one. Here’s our selection of areas to look at:

Which One is More Durable?

There are clear differences between the two types of screen protectors when it comes to durability and lifespan. The best glass screen protectors will be 9H hardness. This is the industry indicator that provides excellent scratch resistance. A plastic screen protector will naturally not provide as much protection, as plastic is easier to scratch than glass. For thorough protection, and longer usage time, we recommend that you look at the glass option for the best results.

How Does It Feel?

This may not seem an immediate consideration, but you use your phone a lot, and you want to be comfortable using it.

Both plastic and glass screen protectors will feel different to the touch than your original screen. The general consensus in customer reviews is that when it comes to tempered glass vs plastic screen protector comparisons, glass has better sensitivity and feels more natural, so that may be the way to go. Bear in mind, also, that while plastic may prevent against cracking or shattering when the phone is dropped, it is very easy to scratch – even a fingernail can do it!

How does it Look?

One major difference between the glass and plastic screen protector will be the thickness, and this can have an effect on how your phone looks. Now, to be honest, neither will change it a lot – the plastic screen protector will be around 0.1mm thick, the glass one between 0.3mm and 0.5mm thick – but there will be a difference.

We think the glass screen protectors look better, but if you want to keep your phone as slim as it is, you may prefer the look of the thinner plastic model.

Which One is Easier to Apply?

We’ve all had screen protectors where those air bubbles simply would not go away. That’s with plastic screen protectors, but we should say it generally applies to the very flimsy versions that tend to come as part of your package.

However, even a 0.1mm thick plastic screen protector can be susceptible to bubbles, if not applied correctly. Glass protectors, though, are rigid and therefore do not trap bubbles. They are also usually easier to apply, and many of the best come with beveled edges for a better fit, so we prefer the glass version here.

What Will it Cost?

The simple answer here is that a plastic screen protector will cost less than a tempered glass version, but when all is said and done, there is not much in it. You will also find cost differences between the different models in each range.

You may want to consider getting a tempered glass screen that has a coating applied to protect against fingerprints and other smudges. This will cost a little more – as will those that come with curved edges for added comfort – but they are worth considering. It has to be said, however, that if the budget really is the driving factor in your decision, the plastic screen protector will cost you less.

Those are the main factors to consider when you are deciding whether to buy glass or plastic, and we will reiterate that whatever you choose, ensure that the protector you choose is specific to your phone.


The main point to consider here is whether or not you need a screen protector. The simple fact is you most certainly do. Even with the very best toughened glass screen, it is easy to cause damage. And if you have a protector in place then the damage should be limited to the outer protective coating.

If you want to see more examples of tempered glass vs plastic screen protector options, you might want to check out the range on offer at SaharaCase, where you will find examples for all the most popular makes and models, plus a full range of phone cases and more, all at great prices.

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