The N97 Does Need A Screen Protector After All

by Mike Macias on July 22, 2009

If anyone tells you that the Nokia N97 doesn’t need a screen protector they are crazy. Including myself. If you follow this blog you’d remember this post I made about a month ago showing off a video in which the N97 is tortured with keys, coins, and other sharp objects and yet no scratches appear on the screen. While I don’t think that video is fake in any way, my personal experience is that a screen protector is still needed on your N97.

Little Scratches On My N97


Update: The above photo was taken by N97 Fanatic author Timi who luckily has a Clarivue screen protector on his N97. When you view the full size image the scratches are very noticeable.

Over the past month my N97 has developed a few little scratches that are hardly noticeable when the screen is on, but make the phone look cheap when the screen is off.  Some people call these “spider scratches” since they look like tiny little spider webs on your screen.

One Deep And Nasty Scratch On My N97

I don’t even know if you call this a scratch. I would say it’s more of a puncture. It’s like large particle of sand was put on my screen then someone pushed down hard on it with their thumb, leaving a small and deep hole on the screen. It’s noticeable with the screen on and off, and looks especially bad when viewing something with a white background like many websites. How did the scratch get there? I have no clue. Before I left to work my screen looked fine. I got in the car and headed off. Then I arrived at work and pulled the N97 out of my pocket only to reveal the nasty scratch. There was nothing at all in my pocket besides my N97 and some lint. I don’t have any pictures of this right now but I’ll add them to this article as soon as my N97 gets back to me. I sent it to Nokia Care for repairs on a different issue.

Which N97 Screen Protector To Buy?

I personally don’t have much experience with screen protectors since I’ve never used them on other phones. But I have found a few links around the web for you to check out yourself.

  • invisibleShield For N97 by Zagg – $14.99

Nokia N97 (Full Body)

Zagg offers full body or screen only protection.
Nokia N97 InvisibleShield

  • Nokia N97 ClearTouch Anti-Glare Screen Protectors – $12.95 and up

N97 Boxwave ClearTouch Screen Protector

“The super clear screen protector. ClearTouch Anti-Glare’s numerous features enhance your Nokia N97′s display and provides you with more than protection from scratches!”

The 3 pack is $27.95 which will save you some money in the long run.

Nokia N97 ClearTouch Screen Protector (Single Pack)
Nokia N97 ClearTouch Anti-Glare Screen Protectors (3-Pack)

  • N97 Screen Protector by DC Mugan – $3 and up

N97 Screen Protector by DC Mugen

Link To DC Mugen N97 Screen Protectors

Is your N97 protected? Let us know what screen protector you are using and how you like it.

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  • Timi

    Id highly recommend the Clarivue brand. I was checking out my N97 and it has a ton of scratches, Im just glad I have the protector!

  • skywatcher77

    I still have the screen protector on that came with my N97 and im rather glad i kept it on, i took my N97 to a music festival and over the weekend it took some wear and tear on the screen due to other things being in my pockets along with the phone. I now require a new protector to be honest, its not too bad that its annoying, but id rather have something you can easily replace than to have a screen that needs replaced.

  • Jorge

    yeah I agree, I always put protectors exactly for that reason to be free to use the device without having to worry, I've used in all my devices except the E71 but I'm now considering leaving the case behind and going solo, it looks so cool by itself :)

  • Pingback: Is The Nokia N97 Screen Scratch Resistant? This Stress Test Says Yes | Nokia N97 Fanatics

  • slipurson

    I have ordered that Invisible shield from its a liiiiitle bit cheaper then Zagg plus i got a 20% pricecut at that, and it was not more then $3 to ship to sweden.

    I have had the plastic that came with the phone until a few days ago, when it had become so scratched that i could not see the screen in bright daylight :)

  • Timi

    Well luckily the N97 ships with a decent protector from the factory.

  • glenn

    :( not if you're in Australia (at least in my case), the provided plastic film that it shipped with had a big OVI advert/logo in the middle. I guess the plastic was just for protection during packaging/shipping.

  • dani2xll

    I also am still using the original screen protector that it arrived with. @glenn have you tried wiping off the logo with a babywipe? It has worked for me on other screen protectors that had logo's on them aka the n96.

  • Timi

    Whoa thats strange. :(

  • cyfawcett

    I bought the clairvue and I highly recommend it. I took off the original screen protector and immediately put my clairvue protector on my N97 and am glad that I have no scratches on my screen. Gawd I love this phone! Just wish the messaging service was better…

  • Karri Ojanen

    I left the original screen protector that my N97 came with until I got the InvisibleShield from Zagg. I got the full body protection instead of just a screen protector. It was a little bit harder to put on the phone than I had hoped, and the result isn't perfect (on the back of the phone, there's one small air bubble under the shield that I couldn't get out and the screen protector part isn't on 100% perfect either) but I'm still happy with it. The good thing about InvisibleShield is that you can remove it, so if I ever become 'bored' of it or just don't like how it looks/feels like, and I can get something else to protect the phone instead.

  • psx2sg

    Hi Glenn, mine comes with that big ugly sticker in the middle too, but it's only a extra ad sticker on top of the screen protector. you can actually peel it off (like what i did)

  • blorzoga

    For Nokia to make a “flagship” phone that has a touchscreen and not provide it with a scratch resistent screen is a disgrace. Over the course of 3 weeks, i received and returned 3 N97s. The phone is an utter piece of crap. It has two things going for it: a nice camera and a cool keyboard. That's it. The rest of the phone is garbage. Kinetic scrolling here, scroll bar there. Single tap here, double tap there. They should really change the name to Jokia. I've had nokias for the past 15 years and they've all been well designed logically operating units. This N97 is HORRIBLE. I finally broke down and got an iphone. It ended up costing me an extra $15 a month, but the phone itself was half what the N97 was. The only thing I don't love about the iphone are the keyboard and the camera. Everything else BLOWS AWAY the N97. Anyone out there still on the fence about N97 vs iPhone, there's no contest. Get the iphone. you won't regret it. I hope Nokia has learned its lesson and puts out a touchscreen that lives up to the Nokia name next time. Not this lame, outdated piece of crap.

  • Timi

    Ah thats good to hear.

  • alonsov

    I'm very happy with N97. Have a good protector for screen from factory. (I buy a protector from Amazon). The configuration for use LEAP is complicate (until this moment don't work with the WiFi in my company. Home wireless and Public access point works excelent. Some times using the games block the phone.

  • alonsov

    This is was I buy Skinomi TechSkin – Invisible Cell Phone Protector Shield Full Body Skin for Nokia N97 – Plus LIFETIME REPLACEMENTS.
    Next week the evaluation.

  • Timi

    Nice lifetime huh? Thats crazy.

  • Justinhcohen

    I am very happy with the N97. I've been using the phone for a little over a month without a screen protector and I have no scratches.

  • Mike Macias

    Glad to hear you're happy with the N97? No screen protector huh? You must take very good care of your phone. I just updated the article with an image.

  • Mike Macias

    For the people who bought Clarivue screen protectors… I'm wondering what you think of the Zagg brand. I have an invisibleShield on my E71 and the actual screen protector is scratch proof, so that you don't see any scratches at all.

  • Pingback: Scratches On The N97 Screen | Nokia N97 Fanatics

  • blorzoga2

    One thing to keep in mind when selecting a screen protector. The s reen itself is slightly recessed. I bought a screen protector from the apple store that was designed to fit an iPod. I knew it had to be cut down to fit but unless it actually fits the screen exactly or a little bit inside the outline of the screen, it will not lie flat. I think this type of protector is best because it is very tough and resistant to scratches but it has to fit exactly.

  • Pingback: N97 OEM Housing Replacement For Scratched Screens | Nokia N97 Fanatics

  • nokialovern97

    I ordered the clairvue screen protector… it cost me 10.99$. They send it to you through ordinary mail for free to any part of the world.
    The great thing is, it fits real well, with the cuts for the logo, earpice menue button etc.
    The package includes 2 screen protectors + a screen cleaning towel (you use it to remove dust, oil etc before putting on the screen protector…)
    Not a single bubble….
    And feels great… you dont need to press much harder….
    I live in Serbia & got it in 8 days!

  • xplicit

    I just got the N97 in Oz for my missus and I managed to peel off the Ovi plastic advert/logo bit which was on top of the screen protector!

  • glenn


    :) ok, after reading replies and other posts, I'm not sure about my initial post.

    maybe the ovi plastic logo/advert wasn't the screen protector at all.
    I had figured the plastic layer over the full face of the phone was actually a fixed (non-removable) part. It seems very secure and well fitted, so I'm very reluctant to try peeling it back to check.

    can anyone tell me if that's a removable protector (perfect fit with holes for just the speaker slit and apps button)?

    if it is removable I guess I don't need another protector, if not, I guess another protector gets fitted over the top.


  • Nick

    Hello – while installing the Zagg Invisible Shield protector – i think i might have pushed too hard with the rubber squeegee tool thing. My n97 touchscreen is slightly recessed from the rest of the front of the phone – did i cause that with the pressure of the rubber tool or are all n97 touchscreen a little bit recessed?

    by the way – i hate the way the invisible shield looks on the screen – looks good on the back though.

  • Johan A

    If there is a little silvery thing in the corner (left or right bottom i think), its the protector that comes with the phone, also you can see if it is on there if you look at where the speaker is, if like half the opening is covered with plastic, the protector is still there.

  • Mike Macias

    On my N97, the metal edge around the front is slightly higher than the screen. Over time the Zagg will be the best because the screen protector itself is scratch resistant. I've found that other screen protectors develop scratches that look really bad.

  • Azim

    my nokia n97 phone screen is scratched badly most can only be seen with certain backgrounds and sunlight but u can still see some and its really annoying , is there anythig to get rid of them ! nokia sed it was scratch proof, and now there saying oem housing costs 140 or something ! no way i want a much cheaper option, im not telling my parents that ive scratched a phone after 2weeks of using it :| its now another 2 weeeks scince it happened , please some1 help me ! i heard something about displex scratch remover, do u think that would work, or would it damage my screen or something ?!!!! plzz help im begging

  • Mike Macias

    I've read that stuff is NOT for touchscreens. Just get a screen protector so no more scratches show up.

  • Azim

    kk KOOL, im sure the invincable screen protector would hide it? i think so their not that bad theres just lots and they iritate me, i like the phone, sometimes i find the charger wont charge up unless i like fiddle with it and if i move my phone it disconnects? any1 else experience this problem, maybe its just sensitive , but it sometimes seems abit to sensitive, but there aare times when it works fine (Y), also in a year or so my dad will take my phone, and then i can get a new phone, maybe the iphone 4g mite be out

  • Azim


  • Nick

    Thanks Mike. I see that the metal edge around the front is slightly higher, but I was trying to refer to actual screen itself (the part that lights up) and the housing around it – is the screen itself (lit part) supposed to slightly recessed from the housing (white part for my phone, black for others) around it? If I run my thumb from the housing to the screen, there is a slight difference in height…

  • dani2xll

    @nick Dont worry that is how it is supposed to be. If you run your finger from the middle of the screen in landscape from the middle to the left and from the middle to the right, you will find a slight raise in the screen where it meeets the black in my case, or white in your case. Its not something I can see just from looking at the screen, but you can feel that the screen is slightly recessed.

  • karr

    i wanted to buy the N97 but wen i read blorzoga comment, i got realy scared… why wud u call the N97 crap, i taught it was the best out there… i also read that the phone is slow, when trying to run apps, and some other blogs says that is freezes and dies all the time and you have to reboot for it to work……is all this true….someone help

  • Nick

    Great – i feel better. Thank you!

  • middleda

    Mike's right. That's not for touchscreens!

  • robammerlaan

    I think i also will order the Clairvue Screen protector. Nut there are 2 choices. Anti-Glare and Ultra Clear. Which one did you bought?

  • wolverine2031

    I tried clarivue and swapped it for invisishield by Zagg, must admit it took me three attempts to fit, but now the screen is crystal clear and protected. The 24hr maturing period it takes to set can be annoying but worth while so following the procedures patiently.

    One tip, I found the squeegee applicator supplied annoying so used a bank card to apply the shield protector to the screen, just dont press too hard and ensure you apply pressure evenly and any excess applicator liquid dab up with a soft kitchen towel or paper cloth.

    By the way I had the iphone invisishield because my n97 shield got damaged in the post. So can assure you if you cant find a local supplier for the N97 then other shields can be modified :) )

    Regards Lj

  • Mike Macias

    The slowness and crashing has been fixed with the latest firmware, and the next firmware will make it even more stable. My screen looks great still, and the build quality is great.

  • MajorDouble7

    Just discovered a case for my new sweet-a$$ N97 that looks fantastic. I've seen a few other cases out there, and none of them really caught my eye like this one did. I felt the need to share it because I found this case on Amazon for the UK (I'm a North Americaner), and not anywhere else. In any event, the link is below…in all my browsing for cases/protectors and such before I received my N97, I hadn't come across one like this (doesn't mean they don't exist, I could just be real terrible at web browsing). :)

    The minute I saw it I decided to order it. comes about to 12 or 13 USD (or 168 Mexican Pesos in my case).

    MD 7

  • Herbert

    Is there anybody who talks about
    The famous LENS SLIDER

  • Mike Macias

    They already fixed that issue. Its covered under the warranty.

  • Kevin

    Has anyone tried the Zagg screen protector yet? It offers front and back protection, so I was thinking that might be a better product than the Clarivue one. Also, is there a coupon code? I saw that there was an option to enter a coupon code, so if someone knows of a code that would be awesome. Please email me if you can help me out. Thanks!

  • Kevin

    Has anyone tried the Zagg screen protector yet? It offers front and back protection, so I was thinking that might be a better product than the Clarivue one. Also, is there a coupon code? I saw that there was an option to enter a coupon code, so if someone knows of a code that would be awesome. Please email me if you can help me out. Thanks!

  • jimbojones

    Ah geez, I wish I'd seen this before. Just got my N97 yesterday in Oz and ripped off the protector as I thought it was just an ad for Ovi :(

  • wolverine2031

    I used the invisishield for 8months and have now taken it off, though it was brill at protection its rubbery finish and feel meant it was lots less responsive and often caused typos and freezing. It also kept finger prints on the underside when touched which can be a real pain.

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