April 29, 2010 | by Ed Clark
The folks at Wrapsol recently sent Androinica an evaluation package of their newly launched “Wrapsol ultra” flexible protective covering for the Nexus One. After a week of usage, I have done enough testing to offer some opinions about Wrapsol’s newest Android product.
Wrapsol’s ultra line is marketed as a “remountable drop and scratch protection system.” What you get out of the box are three pieces of thin plastic film that are cut to fit the countours of your Nexus One, including the screen. It is important to note that this product is not just a screen protector, but is intended to cover the entire device, with cut-outs for the various buttons, ports, and contact points.
Wrapsol claims that the thin veneer is “durable, transparent and astonishingly thin,” provides “damage- and wear and tear-protection for off-the-counter and out-of-pocket falls,” and even protects your device from “keys, sand, and dirt, and other daily wear and tear.” All this “without adding bulk or changing the looks of your device.” Wow. Does it really work? Read on.
Ease of application
First a confession. In all of my years of using mobile devices, I have never been able to apply screen protectors without leaving at least some of those dreaded air bubbles on the screen. Unfortunately, my experience wasn’t much different this time around with the Wrapsol product, at least when it came to the screen. I had two or three small bubbles left behind afterward. (I am completely willing to blame this on my own incompetence, as I have seen other folks put these things on perfectly in the past.) Wrapsol includes a small instruction sheet, and even provides an application video on their website, so you may have (or probably will have) better luck than I did.
On the other parts of the phone, application was a breeze, and the thin material adhered well to the non-glassy portions of the phone (no bubbles). I had a little difficulty with the tabs in the corners, but a bit of hard pressing fixed the issue.
Looks and performance
The final effect is a thin plastic sheen that covers your phone. I found it to be visually pleasant, although some people thought it cheapened the look of the backside of my Nexus. (Keep your eyes off my phone’s backside, people.) On the front side, the awesome OLED screen shone right through, no problem, and the ultra covering was only noticeable when the screen was off. Touch sensitivity was not compromised, and I had no problem using my apps, swiping the screen, or using multitouch gestures. I was also able to use the trackball, camera, screen power and volume switches, and USB and 3/4-inch ports without any issues.
Only one problem arose that caused me a bit of trouble. Inserting the phone into my Nexus One dock was much more difficult afterward, and I had to force the device down in a way that I hadn’t before, primarily because of the slight increase in thickness. The dock is very picky, and it doesn’t have a lot of tolerance built in for different dimensions than the designers anticipated. If you don’t have a dock, no worries. If you do, be aware that you may have issues.
The coating itself seems to work as advertised. My mild attempts to scratch the surface were rebuffed, and having the phone in my pocket with my keys left no marks. Sorry to all, but I am not doing a drop test of my Nexus One. If you decide to take one for the team, let us all know how it worked out for you.
Thanks to my lack of skill during application, I had plenty of occasions to test the “remountability” of the material. It works, better than any other protector I have used. I think there is a limit, but I was able to reapply the ultra coating at least three times. The parts that start losing adhesion seem to be the tabs in the corners.
Wrapsol’s ultra line is indeed remountable, looks good, and offers valuable scratch and chip protection for your phone. It doesn’t compromise the performance of the phone (with the possible exception of docking capabilities) and at a price of $29.95, it’s not a bad investment in protection for a device that probably cost you many times more. I don’t see how the product would offer much in the way of drop protection, but I could be wrong (I’m not willing to find out). Finally, it may be helpful to get someone that is good at applying screen protectors to put this on for you.