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I am spectacularly bad at applying skins to my phone. No matter what I do or how long I squeegee the bubbles out, I still wind up with nasty air pockets and lint stuck in between the film and my device. Enter Wrapsol Ultra.



At $29.95, the Wrapsol Ultra needs to be really awesome — and it is. This skin doesn’t just protect well, but it also offers the easiest application I’ve ever had. There are a few reasons for this: The films are thick — even thicker and more durable than the military-grade InvisibleSHIELD skins by Zagg. Not only does this provide great protection, but it also means it doesn’t flop around as you try to carefully place it on the handset.



Wrapsol skins also use a dry adhesive, so there’s no fussing with sprays. (Other market-leading clear skins, like InvisibleSHIELD and BodyGuardz, have to be applied with a spray-on solution that needs to dry overnight.) Out of the box, the films cling perfectly to the phone — not so much that it’s tough to pull off and re-position (which I did often), and not so little that it was flapping up over time either. 

And there’s no flimsy, hard-plastic card in the box for pushing out air bubbles, but rather, Wrapsol includes a rubber squeegee that was, frankly, like magic. It’s a thick, but malleable piece — almost like an old-school eraser — which bends nicely to force bubbles out without exerting a lot of physical force or taking a lot of time. Some bubbles still remained, but most of them disappeared overnight on their own, as promised. (I still have a couple little ones, but it’s my own fault for doing this near an air conditioner. The dust flew around and wound up in the film.)

As far as performance goes, I put the Ultra on what may be the most fragile smartphone on the market — the glass-tastic iPhone 4. (Note: Wrapsol also makes skins for various mobile gadgets, as well as other phones like  HTC, Motorola, and Samsung, among others. It also just came out with a BlackBerry Torch version.)

I’ve had this on my phone for a few weeks now, and at this point, skins usually start looking pretty rough. They get shabby or start peeling away at the corners. But my Ultra is still performing like a champ. On rare occasions, I do something goofy, like try to cram my phone into a case for some added protection when I’m hiking or something. The edges do come up a little, but I just press down, and the problem’s gone.

Now this may seem like a hefty review for something as simple as a clear phone skin, but let me tell you — I consider the protection of an expensive smartphone an important matter. So I’m going to cover some of the main features below.


The Wrapsol Ultra comes with a microfiber towel, wet nap, rubber squeegee and the custom die-cut films.


Shock absorption
The company claims that the Ultra is so strong, it can actually offer some shock absorption — even from a 6-foot fall onto concrete. I’ll be honest; I didn’t test this claim — at least not intentionally. I may not be 6-feet tall (actually, I'm 5'4"), but I did drop my phone in a parking lot. After a minor freak out, I took careful stock of my device.

Unfortunately, the skin was just a hair shy of my phone’s edge, and that’s where it got dinged.

On a positive note, everywhere the skin covered the phone, it was totally fine. Clearly, the damage would've been worse if I hadn't had this on. In normal use, I noticed that I’m slightly less precious about my fragile iPhone now. I used to pause and carefully, gingerly lay it down on a desk or surface, as though it were my only child. Now, I’m not as concerned.

The company performed its own impact test. If you want to see how this protected an iPhone 3GS (or just enjoy watching one get dropped onto concrete), check out this vid.




Design

The edges are kind of noticeable in the hand. I think part of that is due to the depth of the film, but I also think that the iPhone’s inherent boxiness and sharp edges may have something to do with it as well, so this could differ on another handset. What I love about the feel, however, is that it adds some welcome grippyness, making the phone feel much more secure to hold.

Aside from these factors, I noticed that dust and grime has a tendency to collect at the edges. So if you’re dirt-phobic, you may find yourself cleaning the gunk out pretty often.



Device functionality

So does all that thickness get in the way of the touchscreen? It actually doesn’t. Every once in a while, I have to press slightly harder to register an input, but overall, it works well without impeding functionality.

Considering I tested this on an iPhone 4, I have one more very cool aspect to note: I find that the Ultra’s thickness, applied all over my device — including the sides — is actually helping with the “antenna death grip” issues. Nowhere on the box does it say it might do this, so that was a really, really pleasant bonus.


Conclusion
Not only is the product easy to apply, but it also offers very good protection as well as a lifetime warranty, which makes it a winner in my book. Plus, the fact that it comes from an eco-conscious company — which donates to Cool Earth and boxes items in recyclable packaging — is even better. This is among my must-have accessories for any smartphone owner who cares about safeguarding their device (without the bulk of a case). 

The company offers two versions of its skins: The Ultra (thicker, clear protective films, $29.95) and a standard version (see-through, with matte finish, $24.95).

I definitely recommend this item — so much so, in fact, we’re going to offer some giveaways!

The fine folks at Wrapsol have agreed to supply us with a few freebies, so we’ll be giving away a variety of skins (Ultras for the HTC EVO 4G and the Droid X, plus a standard skin for the iPhone 4) right here on PhoneDog. And we’ve also got another set of three iPhone 4 Ultras to giveaway on Today’s iPhone, so consider this your heads up — we’ll announce some details on this next week!

For more info, hit up Wrapsol online here. To see more pics of what this looks like on my phone, scroll down for more images.


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