Review: BodyGuardZ protector for the Nokia N97
The first thing I do with most all of my mobile phones is cover them some kind of plastic casing, primarily because I need to keep them in pristine condition for resell value. My plastic case of choice over the last couple of years has been the BodyGuardz skins. A new set was just recently made available for the Nokia N97 so I immediately ordered the full body set for my device. One great thing about the BodyGuardz skins is that you get 2 sets with each order (priced about the same as others charge for one set) so if you have multiple devices or want to share one you can. I have only had to remove them in the past when a device goes back to the store for repair or replacement so you shouldn’t really have to remove them once you install them on your device.
BodyGuardz are clear film durable plastic skins that come in either a full body option ($24.95) or screen only option ($14.95). I think you could probably easily go with a screen only solution for the N97, but if I would have had the full body set on my device when I dropped it the first week I owned it then I wouldn’t have that one scratch on the silver frame. The plastic material used on these protectors is used to protect the front of automobiles from stones and other abrasive elements. Since I rarely ever use cases now I went with the full body one to be able to carry the N97 in any pocket without worry.
In the box
The BodyGuardz package is about the size of a rather thin paperback book and contains the BodyGuardz application solution, squeegee card, application instructions, and 2 sets of cases that you ordered. You should also know that there is a 30-day money back guarantee on the case and lifetime replacement policy in case you need a new set for a newly purchased device.
Installing the BodyGuardz skin
I took a look at the pieces for the Nokia N97 and was surprised to see there were 5 pieces of plastic for the front and 8 pieces of plastic for the back. BodyGuardz gives you enough pieces to cover just about every millimeter of your device so there are small pieces for all those tiny spaces between openings around the top, bottom, and sides of the N97. There is no plastic cover for the keyboard.
I decided to start with the back and wondered how the plastic case would fit on the back where it curves up towards the bottom. These cases take a bit of practice to install properly, but I have installed quite a few now so I was used to the effort to make it work. I took my time and made sure to spray both my fingertips and plastic skin prior to applying to the back cover carefully. BTW, I took the back cover off and installed the skin on the cover without having it attached to the N97. It then did take some work to get the case to stick in place in way of the curved up back, but I am happy to report it now fits perfectly and you can’t hardly tell there is a plastic skin in place. It was a matter of pressing the skin down on the back and holding it in place for a couple of minutes before moving to another area, combined with rolling out air bubbles.
I then applied all the rest of the small pieces around the back/lower portion of the N97 that were all quite easy to apply after installing the large main piece on the back.
The screen piece installed easier than the back piece since it was being placed on a flat surface. The key is to align the skin around the upper openings and other cutouts that are easily identifiable on the front. There did appear to be a few minor bubbles that I used the squeegee to force out to the sides. Keep in mind that it can also take about 24 hours for the case to dry out completely and many of these minor bubbles and other areas may cure themselves just fine.
After installing the front screen piece, I then finished up all the small pieces around the upper/front portion of the N97. Again, these were quite easy to wet and then install. The directions say you should let your device dry out for 24 hours before turning it on and using it so that is what I did.
Experiences using the BodyGuardz
The BodyGuardz skin does add a glossy finish skin to the entire device and it does have a slightly different feel to it when complete. It is not a slippery finish though so you still get a grippable surface on the N97. After a couple of days of drying the front was quite clear and I noticed no real impact on the display. I also found the touch aspects of the display to be about the same as before the application. I never use the stylus on the N97 and only use my finger for navigation and the keyboard for text input.
The back of the N97 already has a durable scratch resistant back and I am not sure you really need the BodyGuardz for the back, but it does add a layer of protection and I am keeping it on for now. I do like all the side protection and can see if I had it on for my previous drop my N97 would look even newer.
If you are looking for a skin case for your N97 then I recommend the BodyGuardz. They are fairly easy to apply and do a good job at protecting your device without having to carry a large case.