Review: FullBodyFilms Protection Pack for iPhone
When friends ask us to recommend our favorite iPhone protective solutions, we always point to two different products that work perfectly together: front film from Power Support -- the highest-quality front protectors we've seen for the iPhone -- and rear film from a company such as NLU Products, InvisibleShield, or Best Skins Ever, which provides side and back coverage that Power Support's film doesn't offer. The problem, and the reason we haven't recommended this broadly to our readers, is the price: this pairing typically costs $35-40, which is too much to pay for film. It's been easier to just buy one company's imperfect solution and live with it than going through the time and expense of assembling both parts.
That has changed. A company called FullBodyFilms is now offering the Protective Pack for iPhone ($16), which is exactly what we’ve been wanting for years: a single package with Power Support-style static cling front film and NLU’s adhesive, body-protecting rear film. You actually get two types of front film in the Pack: one piece of glossy clear film, and another with anti-glare properties, shown left and right in our photo below.
It’s important at this stage to explain why what FullBodyFilms has done properly is important to iPhone owners. Power Support’s front films are, without question, the very best we’ve seen, and FullBodyFilms’ versions are just the same: apply the clear film and you won’t be able to tell that anything’s covering your iPhone’s screen. Use the anti-glare film and you’ll add just a tiny amount of frosting to the display, dispersing harsh reflecting lights. Both films feel great to the touch, don’t inhibit your use of the iPhone’s controls, and offer legitimate protection: one of our iPhones has a tiny scratch in its screen from going uncovered, and film like this prevents that from happening. And surprisingly, though the front films are applied with static cling rather than adhesive, they don’t fall off.
FullBodyFilms also picked a great rear body film—NLU’s is the best we’ve yet reviewed, and the winner of our 2007 Accessory of the Year award. Unlike the cheaper BestSkinsEver iPhone film and more expensive InvisibleShields we’ve tested, NLU’s film has relatively little texture, and looks the best after application on your iPhone. All three brands of film give your iPhone’s rear a glossy finish, but this one is the smoothest.
Once applied, the film parts do an excellent if imperfect job of covering the iPhone’s body. Everything is protected except for the buttons, ports, and camera, as well as small parts of the rear at the corners, and the thin flat portion of the chrome bezel on front. Everything else, including the rest of the chrome bezel, is protected. In addition to the protection, you benefit from literally complete accessory compatibility, the thinnest possible layer of coverage—a big difference from the typical case—and the ability to see your iPhone as it was intended to be seen.
There are two small caveats to note here. First, the Protection Pack for iPhone could have included a Home button cover, which we’ve seen in other iPhone film, and its corner coverage could be a little better. It could arguably even have covered the side and top buttons, though we haven’t yet seen film that pulls that off. Second, though we found the film exceptionally easy to apply properly—you only have to align one piece for the front, and one for the back, rather than the overcomplicated several-piece back film solutions we’ve seen—we’ve had a lot of experience doing so, and FullBodyFilms did not as of the time of our review provide either the slightly soapy water back solution or plastic card parts that aid in installation. Instructions on the company’s web site walk you through the process with self-supplied, easy to find items, though.
All in all, thanks to its superb pricing, nearly complete body coverage, high degree of accessory compatibility, and high-quality parts, the Protection Pack for iPhone is unquestionably the very first protective option we would recommend to new iPhone buyers. For $16, it’s a “no-lose” way to inexpensively keep your iPhone safe in a pocket or bag, and if you’re comfortable with the scope of its coverage, it has only one practical limitation: thanks to its thinness, it doesn’t offer much shock or drop protection. Consequently, if you’re concerned about dropping your iPhone, you might want something considerably thicker, with all the compromises that entails. Having tested the many compromise options, we’d go with film instead, and for our needs, FullBodyFilms’ offering is as smart of a purchase as they come.