A slightly different review from our usual device centric posts, this features the Crystalusion Liquid Glass product that Clove have been selling now for several months. We have recently become an approved reseller for Liquid Glass, having seen it sell far better with our customers than we had originally anticipated, in part we believe both to its unique nature and brilliant price point.
A full explanation of Crystalusion can be found at our product page and our original blog review, briefly put though the product applies an extremely thin and strong coating onto your chosen device that is scratch, water, dust and oil resistant. Crystalusion claims in some circles to be physically harder than Corning Gorilla Glass 3, bold stuff indeed, and that it can last up to 12 months. So has it stood up to some constant use? Read on to find out.
I applied the Liquid Glass to my Nexus 4 in December, almost straight after receiving the device from Google Play. The instructions were simple to follow and I made sure that I did so just before going to bed, to give the solution time to settle overnight when the device was not in use. When I woke in the morning the Nexus definitely had a more ‘slippery’ feel to it, with my fingers gliding over the screen more smoothly. If I had to say anything about this it would be that the oleophobic (oil repellent) nature of Crystalusion meant that the natural oils on my fingers and hands meant I had less grip on the unit. Of course I wasn’t dropping the phone every 5 minutes, you would have to have pretty poor grip for that, but it was a slightly odd sensation to begin with. It most definitely had an effect on smearing, smudging and fingerprints due to this – I’m a bit fussy about keeping my screen clean and only the softest of wipe downs was needed to get rid of grime.
I noticed the water-repellent feature as well, getting my phone out of my pocket to answer a call whilst enjoying the British Winter drizzle would generally result in plenty of wiping down to get rid of drops. Not so after Crystalusion, where I could actually watch the drops ‘balling up’ and rolling off the screen rather than settling.
From then on I went about without really thinking about protection. I eschewed buying a case for the Nexus and instead stuck to my guns in using the Nexus as a naked guinea pig for Liquid Glass. I was very impressed, and the few times i took to really inspecting the device glass (which is on both the front and back) I noticed barely any marks, even after the occasional drop or slide across a rough surface.
Now sceptics might say that I was buying into the idea that it was working rather than it having a real effect but the last month or so has made me realise that this wasn’t the case at all. I don’t consider myself a power-user however my phone is with me all the time and gets a heavy amount of use networking, gaming and browsing. I never expected the claim of up to 12 months to match my use and a few weeks ago I definitely started to see some damage occurring on both the front and rear glass of the Nexus 4.
As the phone has never had a case or other protection, the types of light scuffs and scratches that have appeared recently have done so through the same level of use as always. Considering I had not noticed any before, I can only assume that Crystalusion had been performing admirably under my heavy use and now it is time for another coating. Greasy fingers and dirt are leaving far more noticeable and stubborn marks then previously too, backing up my conclusions that the product had been working and has now simply run out.
It’s difficult to ‘score’ Crystalusion’s performance but I can highly recommend it. From my personal experience, the product not only works as advertised but offers clear advantages over traditional protection methods such as screen protectors. There are no bubbles, no feeling of something getting in between you and the device screen, and best of all there are no adverse environmental effects – traditional protectors are made of non-biodegradable plastics; Crystalusion is a 100% safe chemical solution of silica and ethanol. Combined with a case and used on the screen only (I covered my whole Nexus in one application) would probably be the best approach.
The only issue would be with timing a reapplication; clearly the more your device is handled or put into abrasive environments (in your pocket with keys for instance) is going to more quickly reduce the effectiveness. I reckon I got about 4-5 months of full use from one full application on the front and rear of a smartphone, and as a heavy user this is pretty good in my opinion. All I need do now is reapply and I’m good to go again. It is up to you to keep stock of what your device looks like though and make sure there is still an effect. It is probably worth purchasing more than one at a time and putting one away so you can have quick access to another application should you decide you need it.
Another great thing about Liquid Glass is how it can be applied to pretty much anything. You could easily wipe some over your HDTV or laptop screen, reading glasses and sunglasses or anything else that you fancy giving the Crystalusion treatment to. At just £6.99 including VAT the price is very competitive against traditional protection and the versatility is fantastic.