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Tech21 Impact Shield

With Apple iPhone prices starting at over NZ$1000, you can be forgiven for wanting to keep the device wrapped safely in cotton wool.

Metaphorically speaking that’s what the Tech21 Impact Shield does. It’s an invisible impact protection layer that covers the iPhone screen. There are versions for iPhone 5, the iPad Mini, and the Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 Mini, Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3.

Going by the demonstration video on the product’s web page, it stops ball bearings from shattering the screen when you drop them on your iPhone. If it can fend off deliberate vandalism, the shield will keep the iPhone safe from the everyday knocks these devices get when they aren’t kept wrapped in cotton wool.

Tech21 Impact Shield stops bullets

Tech21 says it made the Impact Shield from material used in military grade bullet-proof glass. So it’s tough. There’s a softer layer underneath. The company says it will protect the iPhone if you drop it by spreading the force of impact over a wider area. It also guards against scratches.

It takes a minute or so to install the shield. There’s a weird application tool to help with the job. The only hard part was smoothing out the air bubbles — not  a big deal.

Once installed, it’s hard to know the shield is in place. It doesn’t glare and is clear. I haven’t noticed that it makes the screen harder to see. That might be different in full sunlight, but given this is winter, I won’t test that in the next few days.

At €30 — about NZ$47 — a pop, the Tech21 Impact Shield is not cheap. Unless you compare the price with buying a new iPhone or repairing the screen. It’s a reasonable investment if you’re clumsy.