Anti-scratch spray for device screens apparently works

Red Ferret reviewed Liquid Armor, a "nanotech" spray that you apply to your mobile device screen in order to prevent it from scratching. They found it very effective and easy to use:

All in all we were very surprised (really!) to find that the coating does seem to actually work. It’s hard to believe that a spray on coating can have that much effect, but unless we’re missing something, it does appear to protect the screen very well indeed under stress. It works with glass of course, so don’t expect the same results if you have a cheaper plastic screen, and it pays to remember that the spray needs to be re-applied every 3 to 6 months to maintain protection.

Overall, we’re going to give it a 5 out of 5. Easy to apply, effective, low impact on screen functionality and not too expensive. We’d like to hear from more real world experiences, but for now it’s a thumbs up recommendation from us.

Liquid Armor – hardcore phone screen protection from a simple nano spray [Review]


  1. The flaw is that although they couldn’t scratch the coated screen with a house key, they didn’t try scratching the uncoated screen. My guess is that it wouldn’t scratch either. House keys are lousy at scratching anything, since they’re made of soft brass and are softer than glass (brass is about a 2.5 on the Mohs scale, while ordinary window glass is around 5.5-6.5).

    If glass screens are scratched by having keys in your pocket, it’s probably the steel key rings (harder steels can be in the 5.5-7.5 hardness range). Most screen scratches are caused by sand or other grit rubbing against them (sand is essentially silica, the same as window glass, and has the same hardness range).

    The motorcycle test was unconvincing, as they used two different models of phones with different screen sizes and potentially materials, and to my eye the control screen actually looks like it fared better.

    1.  Until he used his thumbnail to remove the outer coating on the other phone, I would have agreed with you. The video (contrary to what the camera man said to the tester) doesn’t actually show the scratches very well, they needed better light and a different angle.

  2. Cory, I don’t know what it was but seems recently nanotech coatings are actually working. I was at KES 2012 in Seoul and found several companies who make nano hydrophobic and hydrophilic coatings that you can apply at room temperature (my youtube coverage here: )

    Apparently, for really effective coatings, they have to be done by the manufacturers at baking temperatures then set to cool so that the electron valence thingy (insert smart person here) happens.

    — @journik:twitter 

    1. We have one of those “ceramic” nonstick pans which actually has a nano-diamond coating, and we’ve been surprised at how well it works. Definitely superior to teflon.

      1. I think the best thing to do is just use a lot of it and see how it impacts us in 10-20 years and then develop an entire industry around remediation. Hey it worked for lead paint and asbestos! 

  3. Back in ’10-’11 Nanopool GmBH (… …) presented the possibility of producing ‘spray-on glass’ (ultrathin layering of SiO2) for protecting industrial surfaces (eg bridges, instead of paint), and allowing for the easy cleaning of food-industry surfaces. I kind of forgot about the nano-glass thing until now. I don’t know if nanomaterials are bad for my species, but the crap in cleaning products generally are. Personally I’ll risk nanomaterials over bleach, chlorine, naptha, etc. Granted, nanomaterials may be at least as xenobiotic as the chemicals we’re already exposed to, but I think it may be reasonable to assess a new potential solution to the problem of high-frequency exposure we put ourselves through.

    1. I think I ingested enough sand as a child that I should have developed some type of immunity to SiO2.

      My only real concern would be the small particle size compared to what we encounter in nature.

      1. Particle size matters quite a bit even within the nano regime. A certain size of silver nanoparticle is great at killing bacteria, but make it *bigger* (but still on the order of several nanometers) and it becomes toxic.

        It’s a mistake to say that nanoparticles aren’t found in nature, though. A good portion of soot from any kind of combustion is composed of carbon nanoparticles. Not particularly healthy, but not quite the “zomg intant cancer!!” response that it tends to be portrayed as.

  4. That seems to me to be a huge pain in the butt for little gain.  I can put a normal screen protector on in 2 minutes.  That stuff I have to leave my device sitting for 24 hours to cure.  Normal screen protectors work great for me and are pretty easy to put on, and the 5 for $3 ebay ones work just fine.

  5. Hmmmm…Neat idea. Though the curing time and the 3-6 month reapplication requirement seem to be obstacles to wide-spread adoption. Consumers (at least in the US) are famously negligent at following regular maintenance schedules.

    I’m wondering, too, how many people will end-up voiding their phone warranty by over-spraying and somehow getting the internal “water-damage” indicators wet?

  6. More crap to buy. I like my 3-1/2 year old naked smart phone. No case, no protective shield. My very own easy-to-identify scratch patterns. Nano-phooey

    1. I’m not alone!  

      Sometimes I’ve felt like I’m the only one who doesn’t treat their phone like a kickball. I also refrain from using it near open toilets, recently filled bathtubs and the beach. While other people are struggling to retrieve, and then reinsert, their rubber armored phones from a jean pocket mine retains its intended thin form factor and is easily fished out.

      1. I was going to say “I’m not alone!” but for the oposite reason than you.

        Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one that doesn’t treat my phone like it’s a work of art that must be protected from dings and scratches at all time. Like noahmckinnon above, I’ve kept my smart phone totally nekkid for a year and a half, and don’t mind at all the (surprisingly few) scratches its developed in that time.

        Buying a beautiful, skinny phone and then wrapping it up in an ugly plastic clamshell and crappy plastic screen cover is exactly like buying a nice couch and keeping the plastic on the cushions for years.

        What the hell’s the point of buying something nice if you’re going to cover it up? What are you saving it for, you planning on reselling it or something?

        1. Yep. It’s just a tool to me (albeit a delicate one) but I don’t have the desire to maintain the finish any more than I want to keep that new car stink in my vehicle or wash and wax it every weekend.

          It won’t be long before I upgrade anyway. Should the glass get so dinged up or broken that I need to replace it, ifixit shows me the way.

          I’ll admit that when I first bought it, I was reverential. It was my first smartphone, and a brand new iPhone 3GS at that. I bought a protective stick-on screen and a case. In short order, the protective screen just got dirty and started peeling up at one edge. The plastic case cracked, then broke off in bits then finally fell off altogether. The phone just looked worse and was bulkier. So I stripped it and let it age like everything else I own.

    1. Seriously, would it kill them to edit out the 15 seconds of running that isn’t needed. Also: next time use a bike, or maybe your feet to drag phones on the ground. What a waste of gas and noise pollution using a motorcycle for that. Also, tired of amateur videographers giving me a closeup that’s blurry when it actually matters. If I have to choose between nothing and blurry, ill take nothing.

  7. I’m far more worried about cracking my screen than scratching it. I lost a Palm Tungsten E to a cracked screen because a fountain pen fell on the screen from all of twelve inches…

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