Many of us purchase some kind of protection, be it a case or a screen protector, to keep our smartphones safe. Considering the cost of most flagship smartphones, it makes sense to protect your investment. The OnePlus is an awesome bargain, but it’s such a rarity that it also deserves some insurance. I set out to try some Nillkin protection products.
There are two that I’ll be reviewing in this post: the Frosted Matte Hard Case Shell and the 9H Anti-Burst Tempered Glass Protective Film Screen Protector.
It was the tempered glass screen protector that got me started looking at Nillkin’s products. I’ve used several screen protectors, including more expensive ones, and branded ones too, but never had any of them been of a tempered glass variety. Real glass feels so much nicer to glide your fingers on. It’s like how Apple’s Retina MacBook Pros (among other of the MacBooks) use a glass trackpad. Oh yes, that silvery surface might not look like glass, but it is glass. That’s perhaps why Apple’s trackpads are so nice to use.
Let’s leave the tempered glass to later, and start off with the hard case first.
The Nillkin Frosted Matte Hard Case Shell is made of plastic coated with a soft touch material. It covers the back, the sides, and just a little of the top and bottom. It also wraps around the sides so that the OnePlus One’s display will be lifted off the surface if you place the phone face flat down.
The are appropriate cutouts for the power button and volume rocker on the sides, as well as the camera and microphone on the back. Both the top and bottom are unobstructed, so the ports, microphones and speakers are all exposed.
The back of the case is textured, which should give it a nice grip in your hands. However, if you were to compare with the OnePlus One’s sandstone black’s back (i.e. the 64GB model), the Nillkin’s case would count as somewhat more slippery. Nevertheless, given the size of the phone, it’s not easy for the OnePlus One to slip out of your hands so easily, so I wouldn’t worry too much.
Here’s a look at the OnePlus One inside the Nillkin case. In the photo below, you can see how the case lip wraps around slightly above the height of the display glass.
I often dislike phone cases because they tend to make the phone more bulky than it is. This Nillkin case surely ought to have the same effect. However, in the case of this OnePlus One, the phone is already so big that the added bulk from the case is not significant. It’s not like you won’t notice the case is there, but you’ll not be bothered by the added bulk.
The Nillkin case does come with a screen protector too, although just an ordinary plastic one. It also includes a dust cloth and an electrostatic dust film. I did not try any of them.
Moving on to the Nillkin 9H Anti-Burst Tempered Glass Protective Film Screen Protector, this is one screen protector that has gotten me impressed right from the beginning. Not the packaging itself, but what’s inside the packaging.
Nillkin has included an Auxiliary Installation Kit, which comprises a bunch of items that will help you install the tempered glass screen protector. These items are:
- Dust cloth
- Wet wipe
- Dry wipe
- Electrostatic dust film
- Sticker for lifting electrostatic dust film
- Sticker for lifting screen protector
The installation method is as follows:
- Wipe screen surface with wet wipe.
- Dry screen off with the dry wipe.
- Apply the electrostatic dust film on the screen. Use the sticker to lift it off. Repeat over entire screen surface.
- Remove the protective film covering the tempered glass screen protector, position the tempered glass screen protector (with the side that had the protective film facing the screen surface) over the phone’s display screen, then slowly let it drop and fix itself onto the screen surface.
Step 4 is probably the trickiest part, and you may have your favourite installation method. My method is as follows:
- Leaving the protective film on the tempered glass screen protector, position the screen protector over the phone’s screen, the side with the protective film facing the phone’s screen.
- Adjust the screen protector as needed, and while holding it in place, use some scotch tape to tape the right edge of the screen protector over onto the right edge of the phone.
- Lift the left side of the screen protector off the phone surface, like turning the pages of a book (remember the right side is taped to the phone).
- Remove the protective film.
- Check and remove any dust off the screen.
- Put the screen protector back onto the phone’s screen, like turning back the page.
The tempered glass screen protector is rigid, not like plastic screen protectors. You cannot use the method of first removing a little of one end of the protective film, fixing the protector from one end of the phone, then slowly removing the rest of the protective film while pushing the protector onto the phone’s screen.
The results are magical.
There’s just one cutout for the group of camera, sensors and speaker grill at the top. You can clearly see the thickness of the tempered glass. It’s glass after all, it has to have some thickness to have strength and give protection to the phone’s screen.
As implied by its name, this tempered glass has 9H hardness. It’s real glass, so it feels as good as the phone’s display glass, and in particular has super high-transmittance as compared with plastic screen protectors. It’s also described to be anti-scratch and anti-fingerprint. I don’t plan on testing the anti-scratch capabilities, but as far as the anti-fingerprint characteristics are concerned, it works as claimed.
Here’s the OnePlus One with both the case and the tempered glass screen protector applied. The lip from the case is just a tiny fraction above the tempered glass screen protector.
From Amazon, the case and tempered glass screen protector cost about US$8 and US$13 respectively. The latter could be less, depending on which seller you buy from.
The Nillkin Frosted Matte Hard Case Shell Pack and 9H Anti-Burst Tempered Glass Protective Film Screen Protector offer some great protection for the phone.
- Form fitting
- Minimalist design
Tempered Glass Screen Protector:
- Real glass, finger glides easily
- Super clear