Review: Artwizz MirrorFilm for Apple iPhone
With the exception of full-body films, which we've come to really appreciate over the past year or so, sticker-like add-ons for iPods and iPhones don't generally excite us much. Something's different about Artwizz's MirrorFilm for Apple iPhone (approx. $10), which rather than merely covering the iPhone's face with a layer of clear or semi-clear material actually adds a layer of reflective mirrored coverage to the glass. We've actually enjoyed using MirrorFilm, enough that, but for a few small caveats, it would have earned our high recommendation.
Artwizz has designed MirrorFilm to cover the iPhone’s entire face, except for its ear speaker, Home button, and proximity sensor, which are left open. Aesthetically, MirrorFilm looks great save for the off-center cutout for the proximity sensor, which is designed to cover as much as possible but looks a little odd, and its lack of coverage immediately below the Home button, which some companies remedy with a bridge of film and others leave open. These two small gaps in MirrorFilm make the product look a hint awkward when you’re not using an iPhone case, but with most cases on, you’ll never notice them.
The effect of adding MirrorFilm to your iPhone is a lot like using an Illusion case from Power Support or a Reflect case from Griffin. When the iPhone’s display is turned off, the entire surface appears to be a mirror, with the black top and bottom parts of the iPhone’s face only a hint darker than the dark gray screen on certain angles. With the display turned on, you can still see and use iPhone’s screen, albeit slightly dimmed, and with a little extra glare; you can mitigate the modest difference in brightness with iPhone’s screen brightness adjustment.
In our view, what makes MirrorFilm cool is that it’s so visually consistent with the iPhone’s chrome bezel and Apple logo, as well as Apple’s past use of mirrored rear surfaces. Unlike Griffin’s Reflect for iPod touch, which unfortunately used mirroring only for that device’s edges, there’s something that just feels right and interesting about adding a mirrored surface to iPhone’s whole face; it’s very similar to the look of Sony’s iPod shuffle-like low-end OLED Walkmen, and though Apple wouldn’t be likely to use such a display-inhibiting coating itself, having this as an add-on for those who like the added gloss makes a lot of sense.
There are only two other issues with MirrorFilm. During installation, we found that it wasn’t as easy to remove bubbles as we would have hoped, and consequently, our initial installation had a few unsightly dots in its otherwise flat surface, even after we tried hard to work them out with the included application card, credit cards and fingertips. Thankfully, you can remove and re-apply the film to improve its appearance; peeling it off doesn’t preclude it from re-attaching to the iPhone’s face, and doesn’t leave adhesive residue, either. Less easy to mitigate is the fact that finger and other smudges show even more easily on the mirrored surface than on the iPhone’s glass; you’ll need to remove them with the iPhone’s microfiber cloth, as we found that tissues weren’t sufficient.
Overall, we’ve enjoyed using MirrorFilm a lot more than we’d expected, and would consider it a great add-on to any iPhone case that doesn’t include its own screen protector. Small tweaks to the film, including coverage enhancement and a less smudge-attractive coating, could make it even better.