Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Every smartphone brand touts having some kind of protection for its phone displays, trying to convince you that you don’t need a screen protector. Samsung and Google use various versions of Corning Gorilla Glass, while Apple has its own Ceramic Shield glass. Durability-wise, these glass panels should be mostly resistant to scratches and scuffs and less likely to shatter if dropped.

But I’m here to tell you that if you’re anything like clumsy old me, then a simple screen protector can save you from a lot of unnecessary headaches.

My history of having butterfingers

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My first iPhone was the original iPhone back in 2008. I was given the iPhone as a birthday gift, and I used it without a case or screen protector, thinking I’d be fine without one.

Then, one day, as I was returning to my retail job from a lunch break, I somehow dropped it on the ground outside, and, well, the screen completely shattered. My heart sank — I had only had the phone for around four months, and I had already broken it. But the iPhone 3G was coming out very soon, so I decided to upgrade to that and replace my broken phone, thus starting my annual tradition of upgrading every year. At that point, I also decided it would be best for me to use a case at least to prevent damage if I dropped the phone.

I believe I did try a screen protector, too, but I had it “professionally” installed at some mall kiosk at the time. It was fine until I recall that I started to have some kind of orange peel effect around the edges. It bothered me so much that I eventually just peeled it off. I tried to apply one by myself at some point, but I hated the result — I always ended up not aligning it properly, or somehow, some dust got under the screen, or it just had air bubbles. For me, it was always a pain to get it right, so I just didn’t use screen protectors at all for a while after that.

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When Apple launched the iPhone 12 line, it introduced Ceramic Shield. It was marketed as more resistant to scratches than previous iPhones and should be harder to crack. Well, let me tell you my shock when I took my iPhone 12 Pro out of the box, placed it face down on a surface that I thought was free of debris so that I could take some photos of the Pacific Blue glass back, and then I saw a tiny scratch on the front glass.

I was so upset that it barely came out of the box and already had a scratch. Eventually, I had my husband help me apply a screen protector on my iPhone 12 Pro since he’s better at that process than I am. It helped cover up the scratch so that I would no longer notice it and prevent more scratches from getting to the actual screen.

Since the iPhone 12 Pro, I’ve installed a screen protector on all my iPhones: the iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro, and now the iPhone 15 Pro.

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Last week, I was walking back home with my husband and daughter from lunch, and I grabbed my phone to take a photo. In my rush to catch up to them, I tried to hastily stuff my phone into my legging pocket when I fumbled pretty badly and ended up dropping my iPhone 15 Pro on the concrete — screen down. I have an OtterBox case on it and a screen protector, so I wasn’t too worried. When I picked it up, I only took a quick glance and didn’t see a large crack, so I thought it was fine.

It wasn’t until that night that I noticed a smashed corner in the screen protector I was using. I took the screen protector off and breathed a sigh of relief, as the crack was only on the protector and not the screen itself. In other words, it did its job. I’m the kind of person who has OCD whenever there is even a tiny scratch on my screen, so I needed to replace the screen protector. But which one should I get this time around?

My new favorite screen protector

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

As I’ve said, I can be pretty clumsy, and sometimes it’s unavoidable that I will drop my phone — never on purpose, of course. When you’re a parent juggling multiple things in your hands, well, accidents can happen.

I browsed online to search for my next screen protector. I wanted one that would be easy to apply but still be of good quality, and I also wanted more than one in a pack just in case the application got messed up. As I was looking around, I stumbled upon

Anker’s new screen protector

. Anker is a brand that I trust for cables and battery packs, so I thought to give it a try. Plus, the price wasn’t too bad, and it came with two in a pack.

Let me tell you — this is the easiest damn screen protector to install that I’ve ever seen. Again, I typically have my husband do these things for me since I will always somehow mess it up. But this time, I decided to try doing it myself.

The steps for installing the Anker screen protector are simple. Use the alcohol wipe on the screen, then use the cleaning cloth to wipe to dry it. Then, put the phone screen-down into the tray inside the box, which is designed for the iPhone model you choose so it’s a perfect fit. The box it comes in is bulky for a reason — it’s actually used as part of the installation process. Then close the lid, press firmly, and then fully remove the pull tab. The last step is when the adhesive from the protector will stick to the screen for a hassle-free installation.

I was simply amazed at the results. When I pulled the tab out and then looked at my iPhone 15 Pro, I couldn’t even tell that there was a screen protector on it. I was like, “Oh my god, did it work? Did I do it properly?”

Then I looked closer at the edges and saw the protector layered on top. It was a perfect install — no dust, no bubbles, nothing. That was the easiest installation ever, and I was done in less than five minutes. I can’t even tell that there’s a screen protector on it when I’m using the phone, as it feels incredibly nice to touch. This is a screen protector for those who hate putting on screen protectors. It should also be compatible with any case, as I had no trouble with the OtterBox case I’m using.

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

I’ve been using this Anker screen protector for a little over a week now. Of course, I accidentally dropped my phone yet again while shopping in Disneyland. But with an OtterBox case and the Anker screen protector, there was zero damage this time around, even on the protector. Even if there was, I would just use the spare one that came in the two-pack, and it would be another quick process.

If you are like me and tend to drop your phone, then I’m here to tell you that a screen protector is a must, along with a good case. And if you also hate putting on screen protectors because it can be a pain in the butt to get it on without any mistakes, then try the Anker screen protector. It’s designed to be foolproof and incredibly hard to actually mess up at all.

Plus, it’s a whole lot cheaper than having to replace the screen.