Review: Spigen SGP Steinheil Screen Protectors For The iPhone 5

You might hate having a case on your iPhone, but one thing we can probably all agree on is screen protectors. These were a necessity with the iPhone 4/4S to ensure the glass stayed intact and scratch-less. With the rear of the iPhone 5 sometimes shipping with scratches and scuffs, we shouldn’t have to worry about the glass on the front of the iPhone. We’ve already reviewed the GLAS.t for the iPhone 5, but there is another line of screen protectors shipping from Spigen SGP that we haven’t covered. The Steinheil line has been around for past devices, but we decided the iPhone 5 was as good of time as any to help keep your iPhone 5 protected without having to spend as much money.

We were sent 2 versions of the new family of Steinheil films, the Ultra Crystal and Ultra Oleophobic screen protectors. Priced at only $13.99, you would almost thing the level of clarity or even protection would be sacrificed. This is definitely not the case with the Steinheil line.

Packaging is simple, of course. The contents of each case comes packed with 2 films, a microfiber cloth, squeegee as well as 4 little dust removal stickers. These little stickers are actually nice once you’ve cleaned the device and are about to place the film on, you can remove any new fuzz balls or particles that may have blown onto the device, without getting your nasty fingerprints on the screen.

Application is a breeze, as is with all Spigen products. The dry application process is so quick and easy, it feels like it takes longer to get the product out of it’s packaging than it takes to apply. Now, with some dry applications, you will lose clarity and brithness, something no one wants when using an Apple Retina device. I was actually thoroughly impressed with the finished product. You barely notice the film has been applied, this is also comparing my familiarity with the GLAS.t on the iPhone 4S and iPad 3.

With the no spray dry apply Steinheils, you will also not have any sensitivity issues. I tested swiping before and after application, and noticed no one hiccup in gestures or touch.

After using both the Ultra Crystal and the Ultra Oleophobic, I did notice smudges and fingerprints would gather more on the Crystal version. The Oleophobic is made of being oil resistant and will prevent smudges from oil, cosmetics and other contaminants. But the Crystal line which is meant for clarity, I did notice the smudges and overall ugliness of the applied film build up quickly. I found myself cleaning the screen more than I have with any other film that’s been applied to my device. But when the screen is clean, the clarity from the Ultra Crystal is absolutely incredible. There isn’t a huge jump between it and the Oleophobic model, but you can tell the difference between the two.

The Oleophobic boasts having the ability to wipe away any marks or fingerprints easily, but honestly, I never found myself having to do this. The film just repels them and doesn’t leave you with a gunky screen.

During my usage of both version, I noticed zero rainbow effect. Something both Mike and I got on our iPhone 4S devices when using the GLAS.t film So Spigen’s boasts about no rainbow effects has been proven correct - at least during my usage. The build is exceptional on both of these films, they are very strong and resilient to scratches and scuffs. A nice win over the GLAS.t film would be that these are thin enough to use with most cases. I am currently reviewing a plethora of different cases and I had no issues whatsoever with them and these screen protectors.

An issue I have had with some other brands of iPhone/iPad screen protectors has been the cut-outs have been slightly off. I was pleased with the positioning of each cut-out on these films. There was no annoying slant or uneven cut-out. This isn’t an enormous win for Spigen, but for someone as anal as myself, it was nice to not be annoyed by these.

I found the first application I had applied was somewhat tricky to remove. I’ve never had an issue with taking any films off, and even with the 2nd and 3rd application I tried of these, they weren’t difficult. It was just the first one I tried took using two pieces of tape to lift it off the iPhone. I guess this isn’t a bad thing at all, it was just somewhat frustrating when I wanted to apply the other version I had to test out.

The Steinheil iPhone 5 screen protectors come in 4 different versions: The Ultra Crystal, Ultra Fine, Ultra Olephobic and the Ultra Optics. Each with their own specialty. The Ultra Fine and Ultra Optics will set you back an extra $2, but I can assure you the Ultra Crystal and Ultra Oleophobic are oustanding.

Also, a quick note, an issue I had with the GLAS.t on my iPhone 4S is still present with these iPhone 5 models of screen protectors from Spigen. The double sided film has a tab that says 1 and the other says 2. You would think that 1 is the first side you remove, this is false. 2 is the side that sticks to the iPhone, and you peal 1 off second after the squeegee process.

The Good

  • Comes with 2 screen protectors
  • Easy application
  • No rainbow effect or blurriness
  • No interference with touch-screen responsiveness
  • Price
  • Comes with Dust removal stickers
  • 4 versions to choose from

The Bad

  • Ultra Crystal model seemed to collect smudges quickly and look ugly after short use
  • I had to take them off to test out a different brand :(
  • The application process still confusing

The Conclusion

For only $13.99, you can pick a Spigen Steinheil screen protector package that comes with 2 films and will protect the hell out of your iPhone. I am simply blown away with the quality of these films. You get superior protection with out sacrificing clarity, touch sensitiveness, or screen brightness. A quick and simple application, and different models to choose from that will be great for anyone. There is no reason you shouldn’t dip your feet into the waters of protecting that gorgeous and expensive device that’s in your pocket. This Steinheil line comes highly recommended!

Buy Now!

Gadgetsteria’s Rating: 9.5/10

Thanks to Spigen SGP for the review samples!


  • Vytas Barauskas

    screen protectors are utterly, utterly unnecessary. I stopped using mine 2 years ago and have never experienced a scratch, and I have my iphone in very rough places. All protectors do is blur the display and catch grunge around the edges.

    • Jordan Carpenter

      I’m gonna have to disagree with you. These don’t really comprise anything with a device. Years ago, on my 3G, I would hate using them. But since the iPhone 4 and Retina, the game has changed. Much good can be said about almost any manufacturer. You might be one of the lucky ones, or naive that thinking you really put your iPhone into “rough places.” A lot can damage your screen, and easily at that.

    • Mike Norris

      They’re not unnecessary - they protect your screen from getting scratched. Considering the screen is 95% of what you interact with on a modern smartphone, it makes plenty of sense to want to protect it.

      While I don’t question luck, I seriously doubt the majority of people could go 2+ years with no screen protector in “very rough places”. Hell. One of my HTC One Xs got a tiny hairline scratch simply going in and out of my pocket - an empty pocket no less.

      As for the claim that “all protectors blur the display and catch grunge”… no. they don’t. If you have a screen protector that makes a noticeable, negative impact on screen clarity you either got the wrong type (those stupid anti-glare or “privacy” protectors) or installed it wrong. I’ve always had a screen protector on my phones and never had clarity issues. You couldn’t tell they were even installed. After a couple of months, they did get a bit dirty around the edge. So I swapped it out with a new one. The peace of mind and added layer against scratches is worth it IMO.