At the moment, I’m testing out a new Oppo R7, the super-slim successor to the world’s thinnest phone. It’s beautifully made, surprisingly so for a phone that only costs $450. It’s a white rectangle with a giant 5-inch screen, and a glass face that runs from edge to edge — very similar to any other phone out there at the moment, right? That’s a recipe for disaster.
As phones get thinner and thinner — the R7 is 6.3mm — that glass face becomes more prominent, more prone to smashing from accidental drops, and more prone to scratching from everyday use. It’s great that phone glass is getting tougher and tougher — Corning’s Gorilla Glass is getting better with each generation — but scratches are still a problem that plague every phone and haunt every new phone owner. Curved glass on edges, too, makes things more difficult again.
We all know the cycle — at the start, you’re paranoid about keeping your phone pretty, you put it in a different part of your bag to your keys, or put it in a different pocket to your spare change. Then, one day, you don’t even know how, it’s scratched. Then you give up all hope, and just resign yourself to more scratches happening in the future. This has happened to my LG G4, my Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, my Sony Xperia Z3, my Galaxy Note 4, and now finally the R7.
But it’s not a problem — because to that end, the Oppo R7 comes with a pre-applied screen protector on its front glass, and it’s not just the flimsy cellophane kind that you peel off as soon as you take the phone out of its retail box. This is one that’s meant to stay on the phone, keep its screen safe from harm, and protect it 24/7. This is such a good idea, because every time I’ve seriously damaged a phone’s glass it has been within a couple of weeks of unboxing it, before that cheapo eBay screen protector has arrived in the mail.
Huawei’s new P8 is the first phone in Australia to come with the “Huawei Screen Promise”, a warranty on accidentally smashed screens for the first year of your ownership (as long as you buy the phone before the end of this year). If you’re an especially clumsy person, this is huge news, and it’s the kind of thing that will genuinely save some people money. The 6.4mm-thick P8 also comes with a pre-applied screen protector.
So why don’t Samsung, Apple, Sony, Motorola do the same? Would you prefer if your new phone came with a pre-applied screen protector? How much of an extra upfront cost would you be willing to pay for a screen replacement warranty? Let us know in the comments below.