Santa Cruz SNAP™
Crystal Palace SNAP™
Invisible Shield Glass XTR
Invisible Shield Glass Elite VisionGuard
Zagg’s Gear4 offers protection for a wide range of phones. In this review set, we look at the Santa Cruz SNAP™, the Brooklyn SNAP™, and the Crystal Palace SNAP™ for the iPhone 13 Pro. For many of its products, Zagg employs D30, a modern smart material designed as a software flexible material that turns rigid shock absorber upon impact.
D30: Why Zagg’s Gear4 Cases and Invisible Shield Screen Protectors Offer Superior Protection
The foundation of the Gear4 protective systems is D30®, a material designed for protection not only of devices but of people and other types of equipment. Gear4’s logo sits adjacent to the United States Department of Defense on the D30 website.
D30 uses proprietary, patented technologies that adjust to a case’s conditions. The soft, flexible materials, include ones that are completely transparent. Accelerate the material and end that acceleration with an impact and the material converts into a shock absorber, locking molecules together and stunting the impact of collisions by dissipating the impact’s energy.
D30 is used in many applications, including sports, vehicles, defense, and industrial applications. Gear4 leverages the material for its cases and its screen protectors.
Case and Screen Protector Design
All three Zagg Gear4 cases offer 13-foot drop protection, Apple MagSafe compatibility, and slim designs. The Santa Cruz and Crystal Palace also include antimicrobial protection. The Santa Cruz is made of recycled plastic, while the Brooklyn case uses Vegan leather for a softer, more tactical surface.
The cases all accommodate the iPhone 13 Pro’s large camera array and have ridges that lift the devices above surfaces when placed facedown, or when on their back.
The Crystal Palace and Santa Cruz share designs, with the Crystal Palace case mostly clear with a white MagSafe accent, while the Santa Cruz is rimmed in black and sports a black MagSafe ring.
I have watched a Brooklyn Snap enclosed iPhone 13 drop from a retail counter to a concrete floor, twice. The phone sustained no damage in either incident.
I prefer clear cases as I like to personalize my phones. The Santa Cruz and Crystal Palace both allow decals and other decorations to shine through. The MagSafe ring does obscure some of the iPhone’s surface area, but Zagg can’t do much about that, as transparent magnets don’t exist.
Some of Zagg’s Invisible Shield screen protectors also use D30. The D3O enhanced Glass XTR delivers seamless, edge-to-edge protections and Eyesafe® blue light filtration. Gamers will want to adopt the Glass XTR with its optimized nano-coating that was designed for fast gameplay and optimal touch sensitivity.
The Glass Elite Visionguard does not use D30, opting for antimicrobial-treated tempered glass as an alternative. The Glass Elite Visionguard comes with a complete set of tools for applying the screen saver, including a tray that holds the phone elevated above a surface so the protruding cameras don’t create a wobbly application experience. The tray provides prongs aimed at fast, accurate screen protector alignment.
I don’t really read instructions. While the system I’m sure is well-conceived for those who do read instructions, I managed to install the screen saver upside down—so for me, a few more indicators on the tray and the screen saver’s protective covers would be useful.
I am told that eventually Zagg aims to include this system with most future Invisible Shield products.
As for performance, the screen protectors claim 5x safety engagement over the raw iPhone 13 Pro’s shatter and scratch performance..
Zagg is making strides in environmental packaging, with most of the material coming in the form of cardboard. As noted above, some of the cases now also use recycled plastic. I would like to see the single-use plastic tray be made out of either recycled materials or out of something like plant-based plastics that will biodegrade if placed with compost.
Zagg Gear4 and Invisible Shield for iPhone 13 Pro: The Bottom Line
Zagg consistently innovates for top-of-the-line device protection. The attention to details like grip zones, raised rims around the screen and the cameras, and the adoption of D30 as the core material, all make their products superior to similarly priced cases, and far superior to budget cases. If you care about your phone, a Zagg case along with an Invisible Shield screen saver will provide strong protection against impacts on the edge and the front of the device.
Zagg provided the Santa Cruz SNAP™, the Brooklyn SNAP™, the Crystal Palace SNAP™, and Invisible Shield screen savers for review. Images courtesy of Zagg.
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