I was finally fed up enough with the hard case I originally purchased from Verizon (see my gripes here) and made the move to buy a full-coverage Invisible Shield and a pretty Decal Girl skin to use instead. Of course, these are just stick-on skins and don’t protect it from big drops, but I keep my phone in my outer purse pocket and probably dropped it more often with the slippery hard case on it, anyway!
First, I’ll review the Motorola Droid 3 Maximum Coverage Invisible Shield. I got this during the ZAGG Cyber Monday sale for half off (I think their full price of $24.99 is a bit expensive) and it offers great scratch protection just like the one I had on my original Droid.
The “maximum coverage” version has a panel for every facet of the phone, and let me tell you, it was a pain in the butt to install. I ran out of the spray liquid they send when I was about 80% through the installation, because I had to re-adjust the panels often and tried to keep my fingers damp throughout. There are LOTS of little panels for maximum coverage on the Droid 3. I’d say it took an hour to put on. It has cut-outs for all of the microphones, camera lenses, and speakers on the phone. These are tiny, and I missed punching one out before installing, but was able to pick it out with tweezers after the install.
A disappointing part of putting the Invisible Shield on this phone was that it just wouldn’t stick to the large curve on the back of the Droid 3. I tried the “palming” method that worked on my Droid, but that was for a flat piece curving around an edge that had a mostly-flat surface, like wrapping tape around a pen. This corner on the Droid 3 has more of a spherical curve, so it’s like trying to get a flat piece of tape to lay flush on the surface of a small ball.
Once it was installed, I felt I had great protection from scratches (such as from my keys when I accidentally put them in the same purse pocket), but the one place on my phone that had actually been dented in a fall before wasn’t covered by the Shield (I had taken off the front piece of the hard case a while back). I realize it would be near-impossible to create one that covers this area, but it goes to show that the Droid 3 design has some vulnerabilities, like this raised edge, that can only be protected by a snap-on or silicon case.
One benefit of the Invisible Shield over the screen protector that came with the phone from Verizon, is the texture. I am getting much better responsiveness from the touchscreen and like the way it feels better with this one.
A couple weeks later, that edge that wouldn’t quite lay down is now filled with dust, and I’ll probably have to clip it off so it won’t lead to peeling of the whole back panel.
So, in summary, though I love and recommend the ZAGG Invisible Shields, it’s difficult to apply to spherical curves like the back panel corners of the Droid 3, and doesn’t cover the vulnerable-to-dings raised edges, so a silicon sleeve would offer more protection in this case. I would recommend getting the screen-only Invisible Shield for the Droid 3 and finding another way to protect the edges.
Now, on to the Decal Girl skin. I spent some time looking through the Decal Girl website, and they have some beautiful designs! If they offer a pattern from an artist and it isn’t officially listed for your device, you can still order it by clicking “Shop by Design”, choosing the design you want, then selecting your device from there. That’s how I ended up getting this “Violet Worlds” design for the Droid 3.
I chose the Matte finish, and I like it a lot. It’s smooth, but not shiny or slippery, and has a papery feel. The decorative skin offers less coverage than the maximum-coverage Invisible Shield (which is why I applied it over the Shield), but has two front panels and two back panels to cover all but the side-edges of the Droid 3.
My favorite part ended up being something I hadn’t even thought about before buying the Sheild: now I can feel the “buttons”, which are not actually buttons, but touch-sensitive spots below the screen. The thickness of the skin leaves an edge around each icon, so I can feel when I’m touching one and don’t need to look. It’s a great bonus feature!
Decal Girl also offers a wallpaper that matches the design of each skin so you can get a “full coverage” feel, but the Violet Worlds design was a little too busy for the screen, so I opted for a solid color that matched the design background (using the “Colors” app to select a solid wallpaper color).
I haven’t had any trouble with the decal peeling up or any other issues in the weeks since I applied it, and I recommend Decal Girl skins for personalizing any device.
So, now on to the part you’ve probably been waiting for – the giveaway!
In the past, Decal Girl sent me skins for our readers and we didn’t have enough entries to give the Galaxy Tab skin away. I also bought an extra Droid 3 skin since there was a sale on Cyber Monday, and I’m offering that up as a giveaway as well. So if you want one of these skins I already have, just comment below saying which of these skins you want to win!
Giveaway #2 – Android Phone Decal of Your Choice!
For this giveaway, I’ll buy the winner any Android phone Decal Girl skin you want! You pick the design and tell me which phone you have, and I’ll send it your way. You have to work a little harder for this one, though! There are two ways to enter:
Don’t forget to come back here and tell us how you entered. You can enter up to 3 times. So, find 3 new Twitter followers, or make 2 comments on our series and bring 1 Google+ follower, etc.
On January 10, 2012, or once we receive at least 20 entries for Giveaway #2 (whichever comes later), I’ll draw one entry randomly and notify the winner here and using the email you comment with (please don’t include the email address in your comment text, I can see it from the WordPress admin page).
To be eligible for the giveaway, you must follow the entry rules above and must not have won a WomenWithDroids.com giveaway in the last year. Anyone in the world may enter, but if you live outside of the United States, we may ask you to help with the extra shipping costs to mail the skin to your location.