Jul 20, 2023

Is a Sapphire Screen Protector Worth It? Sapphire vs. Tempered Glass Explained

Is a regular tempered glass protector all you need? Or should you upgrade to a sapphire screen protector?

If you're looking for a way to protect your smartphone screen from scratches and cracks, you might have encountered sapphire screen protectors. These are touted as the ultimate in durability and clarity, but are they worth the extra cost?Here, we'll compare sapphire screen protectors with tempered glass ones and help you decide which is best for your needs.

One of the first things to consider when choosing a screen protector is how easy it is to install. You don't want to end up with bubbles, dust, or misalignment that can ruin the look and feel of your device. Both sapphire and tempered glass screen protectors are relatively easy to install if you know how to install screen protectors.

However, sapphire screen protectors are thinner and more flexible than tempered glass, which means they can conform better to curved edges and corners. Tempered glass screen protectors are more rigid and may not fit well on some devices with curved screens. Therefore, sapphire screen protectors have a slight edge over tempered glass in terms of ease of installation.

The main reason people use screen protectors is to prevent their screens from getting damaged by scratches, drops, or impacts. Sapphire is one of the hardest materials in the world, second only to diamond. It has a Mohs hardness rating of 9, which means it can resist scratches from most materials.

Tempered glass, on the other hand, has a Mohs hardness rating of around 6 to 7, which means it can be scratched by harder materials like sand or metal. Thus, sapphire screen protectors offer superior scratch resistance than tempered glass.

Display quality is another important aspect that you may want to consider when choosing between sapphire and tempered glass screen protectors. You want a protector that can preserve your screen's brightness, color, and sharpness without affecting its visibility or readability.

Both sapphire and tempered glass screen protectors have high transparency and clarity that do not affect your smartphone's display quality.

However, there are some minor display differences between the two. Sapphire screen protectors reflect more light than tempered glass ones and can cause images to look less crisp in certain conditions. This effect is less pronounced on smaller screens like watches and when used in medium-lit places.

If you know the factors to consider when buying a tempered glass protector, you could get one that rivals (or even has a better display than) a sapphire one.

Another factor to consider when choosing a screen protector is how it feels when you touch it. You want a smooth and responsive surface that doesn't interfere with your finger movements or gestures. Sapphire screen protectors are very smooth and have a low coefficient of friction, which means they reduce drag and friction when you swipe or tap on your screen.

Tempered glass screen protectors are also smooth but have a higher friction coefficient than sapphire. Therefore, sapphire screen protectors offer a better tactile sensation than tempered glass.

If your smartphone has an in-display fingerprint reader, you may wonder how a screen protector affects its performance. You want a screen protector that doesn't interfere with your fingerprint sensor's recognition speed or accuracy.

Tempered glass screen protectors are compatible with most in-display fingerprint readers, largely due to the material it's made of. Glass allows the sensor to scan your fingerprint with ease.

Sapphire screen protectors are not as compatible with in-display fingerprint readers. If you use a sapphire screen protector, you may need to use other methods of unlocking your phone, such as face recognition or PIN code.

Both sapphire and tempered glass screen protectors have high heat resistance that can withstand normal usage and exposure to sunlight. However, if you live in a hot climate or use your smartphone for intensive tasks that generate a lot of heat, you may also want to consider the heat resistance of your screen protector.

Sapphire has a higher melting point than glass (2030°C vs. 1400°C), which means it can endure higher temperatures without deforming or melting. However, this is unlikely to be an issue for most users, as both materials can handle temperatures well above what your smartphone can produce.

Sapphire screen protectors are more expensive than tempered glass screen protectors, as they are made from a rare and costly material that requires a complex and precise manufacturing process. Depending on the brand and quality, sapphire screen protectors can cost anywhere from $30 to $100.

Tempered glass screen protectors are much cheaper than sapphire protectors, thanks to their simpler manufacturing process. Tempered glass screen protectors can cost about $5 to $30, depending on the brand, phone model, and quality.

So, is a sapphire screen protector worth it? The answer depends on your personal preferences and needs. Sapphire screen protectors offer superior scratch resistance, better ease of installation, and a smoother tactile sensation than tempered glass ones. However, they also have some drawbacks, such as higher light reflection, possible fingerprint interference, and higher cost than tempered glass ones.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. If you value its pros above its cons, then a sapphire screen protector may be worth it for you.

Sapphire screen protectors offer superior scratch resistance and durability than tempered glass ones but at a much higher price. They are ideal for people who want the best protection for their smartphone screens and don't mind paying extra. However, for most people, tempered glass screen protectors are a more practical and affordable option that offers adequate protection and display quality for their smartphone screens.

John is a consumer technology writer at MUO. He leans on his decade-long experience using various social media platforms to create guides and share tips social media users find helpful. When experience doesn't do the trick, John relies on his research skills to deliver the final-say article for readers.