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Gear worth getting: The $20 phone lifesaver

Because your thumbs don't like the glass splinters from a broken screen.

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Two years ago they didn’t exist, now they’re the biggest thing in phone protection. Nic Merry has the stats to explain the rise of tempered glass screen protectors.

Merry, who started the local chain of geebo Device Repair shops, has been fixing phones for a decade, and cracked screens are the most common problem he sees: 85 percent of all geebo repairs are screens, more often than not on iPhones, with water damage a distant second at five percent. Nearly every crack is caused by the phone dropping, usually on its face. Ouch.

Enter tempered glass protectors. A major upgrade from plastic screen covers of yore, in a face-down fall the protector typically takes the brunt of damage, cracking so the phone’s screen doesn’t. At Apple they cost $40+, but geebo charges $20, or $15 if you’re also getting a screen repair, which removes a little insult from the injury.

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