Review: Pacific Rim Technologies Mirrored Film for iPod touch
Late last year, we reviewed Artwizz's MirrorFilm for Apple iPhone, a $10 piece of reflective film that transformed the iPhone's glossy glass face into a reflective surface. Rating MirrorFilm a B+, we noted that we really liked the way it added to the chrome bezel of the iPhone, though we found air bubbles hard to remove from the film's surface, and also found that smudges and fingerprints became much more visible once it had been applied.
Pacific Rim Technologies has its own takes on MirrorFilm called Mirrored Film for iPhone and Mirrored Film for iPod touch, each sold for $15. These stickers are nearly identical to the Artwizz offering, save for a few tiny tweaks listed below. Their lower ratings are based on two facts: their higher prices and their failure to meet a promise on both their packaging and the Pacific Rim web site.
On a positive note, Mirrored Film for iPhone fixes one of Artwizz’s only design oddities—an off-center notch that was cut to allow the iPhone’s proximity and brightness sensors to operate. Pacific Rim’s version makes the notch a little bigger and nearly centered with the ear speaker underneath, which doesn’t bother us at all as it’s visually more appealing.
By comparison, the iPod touch version of Mirrored Film has an off-center hole for that device’s brightness sensor, a visual oddity that can’t be avoided unless you opt to cover it rather than expose it. We can’t blame Pacific Rim for exposing it, though in truth, you’ll probably want to put the iPod touch or iPhone on a higher fixed brightness level anyway, because the mirror finish—like Artwizz’s—dims the screen a little and makes video content and other things harder to see if not compensated for.
What’s unimpressive about both of the Mirrored Films is Pacific Rim Technologies’ bundling. Unlike the Artwizz package, which sells for $10 and comes with a plastic card that is useful at removing the air bubbles that these films naturally seem to trap, Pacific Rim sells its package for $15 and claims that you’ll get two film covers inside. Having now opened three packages of the Mirrored Film, every one came with a cleaning cloth and only one piece of film. It’s not clear whether the company isn’t checking what’s in its packages, or screwed up on both its web site and its labels, but in any case, the price here is higher and you don’t get anything more for the price—you’ll need to provide your own plastic credit card to try and work the air bubbles out.
A couple of other points on these films should be made up front, as well. Whereas the iPhone version’s mirrored surface matches the chrome bezel, the iPod touch’s matte charcoal-colored bezel isn’t quite as sharp looking with the film, but doesn’t look bad if reflectivity is your aim. Additionally, the reflection in both of these films is—apart from the air bubbles—flatter, more consistent, and better overall than what we saw in Pacific Rim’s iShield Mirror and iShield Reflection wavy-faced cases for these devices. Film appears to be the best way to go if you want to give your iPhone a reflective face.
All in all, our rating of both versions of the Mirrored Film is based partially on merit and partially on the company’s failure to deliver what was supposed to be in each package. Judged solely on the merit of a $15 single piece of mirrored film versus the less expensive, nearly identical Artwizz solution, these pieces of film would have rated flat Bs overall, as their higher prices aren’t offset by huge benefits. If there were actually two per package, they’d rate a B+, but as consumers have a right to expect what’s advertised to actually be in their package without disappointment or frustration, these films rate flat Cs, missing our recommendation level entirely. They’re fine, but purchase at your own risk.