In the world of smartphone accessories, screen protectors come in a few flavors. Arguably the most expensive comes from Korean accessory maker Whitestone, and its Dome Glass is now available for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.
After skipping the Google smartphone series since the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, it’s great to see even more accessory makers provide “premium” products for the latest and greatest Pixel series.
Expensive protection: What’s the deal?
Priced at approximately $50 for a two-pack, that’s around $25 per screen protector. Upon first glance, that seems extortionate, but when you consider that a Pixel 6 or 6 Pro screen replacement starts at double or triple that cost, it’s easy to say that the prevention is cheaper than the cure. The key selling point for the Whitestone Dome Glass for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro is the supposed high-quality glass that mimics the feel of your display sans covering.
And each screen protector does feel smooth and “premium,” in that it is as close to the “real” glass your phone display could possibly get. The adhesion process is also very different here thanks to Whitestone’s UV bonding process. If you want simplicity and low costs, this is not the screen accessory to consider.
Undoubtedly another reason that Whitestone jacks up the price is the lifetime warranty offered with each screen protector. With exception of a few other brands, there are very few screen protector manufacturers that offer a lifetime guarantee on any product, let alone something that is right in the firing line like a screen protector.
As mentioned above, slapping a screen protector on your smartphone display is often very easy. Some manufacturers provide guides for the perfect alignment, but the Whitestone Dome Glass uses an adhesive liquid that will bond with your Pixel 6 or 6 Pro screen under UV light. Following the instructions requires a little patience and, in some parts, a steady hand, but the end result is worth the extra effort. We’re not going to dive too deep into the intricacies as Whitestone has a full in-depth guide which you can (and follow) find below:
Here’s everything that comes in the box:
- UV curing light
- Whitestone Dome Glass screen protector
- Adhesive absorption pads
- Mounting frame
- Position bridge for adhesive
- Pin loaders
- Speaker masking film
- Connector masking film
- Alcohol wipes
- Cleaning cloth
- Dust removal stickers
- Screen protector removal card
- Camera module protector film
Something we should note is that if you do require a replacement, a UV curing light will not be included. With that in mind, we’d suggest holding on to this just in case you ever need to claim against that lifetime warranty.
The fit and finish
If you’ve ever purchased a Whitestone Dome Glass before, then you will have some sort of idea of what to expect. The tempered glass reaches almost all the way to the edges but with enough room so that a case will fit safely and securely. This isn’t too much of a problem with the Pixel 6, but it is worth noting that the sharp curves at the side of the Pixel 6 Pro are ever so slightly exposed. Hopefully, this means complete protection from a substantial drop, within reason, but you can feel the very edges of your display underneath. A direct corner drop could still prove fatal for the Pixel 6 Pro display because of that, but the bulk of your screen is covered and protected.
It’s also really hard to argue that provided you closely follow the in-depth installation process – and don’t deviate too much as we managed to do in our own installation by forgetting one step – the fit and finish you’ll attain on your smartphone is almost second to none. The glass itself also has its own oleophobic coating which should deflect dirt, grime, and fingerprints almost as well as the original display. At first, your phone may feel a little sticky and smudges will be quite visible, just use a microfiber cleaning cloth and any leftover alcohol pads to wipe away any residue and grease.
When fitted the glass feels smooth and like real glass rather than a muted, matte, rough, or tacky texture that some cheap alternatives tend to edge towards. By using high-quality glass, the Whitestone Dome Glass should play nicely with your Pixel 6 and 6 Pro in-screen fingerprint readers. Even without re-registering digits, it appears to work just fine in our experience, but we would recommend unregistering and re-enrolling your fingerprints for seamless unlocking.
The Pixel 6 Pro selfie camera cutout is U-shaped, while the Pixel 6 Whitestone has a hole-punch. Personally, I prefer the cutout protection even if it’s very minor, but the U-shaped cut-out is quite distracting compared to a full coverage style screen protector.
Something that needs to be mentioned here is that unlike regular screen protectors with pre-applied adhesive, the bond here is much harder. There’s the added bonus that if your screen already has micro-abrasions or scratches, these will be less visible as the liquid adhesive will fill gaps and make smaller scuff less noticeable once the Whitestone Dome Glass is on there.
I have found the rear camera protection film to be fairly poor quality and not worth the effort unless you simply must have full device protection. The guide tabs were more frustrating than helpful and they would snag during the installation process – which is not ideal. My biggest gripe is that this plastic film cover attracts dust and dirt, which in turn means murky photos and videos for little real-world protection which is easily mitigated with a smartphone case.
Whitestone Dome Glass for Pixel 6: Is it worth $50?
At $50 for two screen protectors and an installation kit, plus a finicky process that sometimes feels like performing surgery on your smartphone, for most people the Whitestone Dome Glass is not worth it for the flat screen Pixel 6. It’s a different answer entirely for the Pixel 6 Pro and that curved display. Finding good quality screen protectors that accurately fit the curve and still work with cases and other protection is a hard task for Google Pixel smartphones.
Google’s own certified list of screen protectors for the duo start to encroach upon the $50 mark – and only include one screen protector as part of the package. It’s something to think about, as with any curved screen smartphone, the quality of screen protector diminishes quickly the cheaper the entry price. In my own experience, if you don’t mind the tacky feel of a TPU screen protector then you can pick up a multi-pack for under $15.
The Whitestone Dome Glass is just so much harder to recommend for the standard Pixel 6. Because it has a flat-screen, there is a real wealth of cheap screen protector options already available that work just fine and we’ll likely see more emerge over time. I found that while the glass feels great, it didn’t improve much upon the Spigen Glast.r which costs just $13.99 for a two-pack with an installation alignment guide and takes a few seconds to apply – plus they play nicely with every case we’ve tried.
However, when you start to factor in the extra bonus of a lifetime warranty that relatively high asking price really does start to make a little more sense. Especially if you have a drop and the screen protector does take the brunt and then becomes unusable. There aren’t many brands that offer that level of confidence in their product.
Buy the Whitestone Dome Glass for Pixel 6/6 Pro
What are some good cheaper alternatives?
Forking over around $50 for an optional accessory for your brand new Pixel 6 or 6 Pro might be a painful potential cost. So we fully understand that you might want something a little more wallet-friendly. Luckily we have some alternatives for you to consider.
The downside here is that because the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro differ in both size and screen type, it’s easy to recommend more affordable alternatives for the flat-screen device but a little harder to find good quality curved glass screen protectors. In our opinion, a soft TPU protector is the only way to obtain great screen coverage on the Pixel 6 Pro’s curves. Until using the Whitestone, I’ve been quite happy with the Spigen Neoflex, the protection is fairly good but the tacky under-the-thumb feel is not the best.
More on Google Pixel 6:
- Pixel 6 owners can expect a fix for external DAC compatibility in the coming months
- Here’s how many 9to5Google readers said the January update fixed their Pixel 6 issues
- Google Pixel 6a tipped to move back to a May release date this year
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