In general, I have mixed opinions about using screen protectors with the iPhone X and iPhone XS. The phones are absolutely beautiful without any sort of protection, but with the ever-increasing cost of the devices themselves, as well as repairs, some added peace of mind can go a long way. In comes Whitestone, who has an interesting take on how a screen protector should work for the new age of curved screen devices.

The Whitestone Dome Glass screen protector for the iPhone XS Max is a unique product for several reasons. It adheres to your iPhone in an incredibly secure manner, but its installation process is complex in many ways, yet incredibly easy in others.

The iPhone XS Max’s curved edges and notch cutout have made screen protector installations even harder than they used to be. It can be nearly impossible to line up a cheap screen protector with the curved edges and notch, but Whitestone has a nifty solution to handle that. Here’s how it all works.

The Whitestone Dome Glass for iPhone XS Max install

Right out the box, it’s easy to be intimidated by the install process of the Whitestone Dome Glass for iPhone XS Max. In the box, you’ll get the tempered glass protector itself, a top and bottom tray for holding the iPhone in place, a slide bar, a positioning bridge, two tubes of adhesive, some cleaning supplies, and tape to cover your speaker during the install process.

How do all of those pieces come together? It’s a pretty unique process, to say the least.

The first thing you’ll have to do is use the included alcohol swabs and cloths, as well as the dust remover stickers, to clean every corner of your iPhone’s display. This ensures there aren’t pieces of dust and debris on the display that will get caught beneath the screen protector.

From there, you’ll have to secure your iPhone XS Max into the top and bottom trays. This holds your iPhone in place during the install, ensuring the tempered glass is applied perfectly. Then, you’ll take the “position bridge” and one of the adhesive tubes, placing the tube within the position bridge and unscrewing the colored cap. This release a puddle of adhesive onto your iPhone’s display.

One thing to note here is to ensure you’re installing the Whitestone Dome on a perfectly level surface. If your table or desk has a slight slope, the adhesive will run off instead of staying near the center of your phone’s display.

Next, you take the tempered glass itself and place it above the blue tab at the bottom of the tray. Then, using the “slide bar,” you slowly adhere the glass to the display. Watch the video below for a closer look at this process. Last but not least, you use the included UV light to cure the adhesive underneath the tempered glass.

Whitestone has refined its install process over the years. The iPhone XS Max uses a new “slide type” installation that does a better job at avoiding air bubbles and other imperfections. The install process is hard to explain via text, but thankfully Whitestone has a pretty useful install video, which you can watch below:

The Whitestone Dome Glass install is somewhat forgiving; as long as you don’t do the final curing step, you can remove the tempered glass and re-apply it using the second tube of adhesive Whitestone gives you. I had to do this once due to an air bubble that appeared.

The installation process seems daunting, but it’s actually one of the best in-home screen protector installation kits I’ve ever seen. Follow the video instructions and take your time, and you’ll have a pretty impressive end result…

After install

Once installed, the Whitestone Dome Glass is a very nice screen protector for the iPhone XS Max. It aligns perfectly with the notch and rounded corners, and because of the tray-based install process, it’s perfectly centered and air bubbles are nowhere to be found.

In terms of touch responsiveness and features like 3D Touch, I don’t notice any differences with the Whitestone Dome Glass installed. The iPhone XS Max’s display is still very responsive and 3D Touch works as it always has.

Once qualm I do have is that when swiping up from the bottom to return to the Home screen or access multitasking, the ridge between the display and the screen protector can sometimes get in the way. This hasn’t been a huge issue for me, but it’s definitely an annoyance that takes some getting used to and is a unique problem presented by the iPhone’s bezel-less design.

Further, the tempered glass does seem to scratch a bit easier than the iPhone’s glass, but I’d rather it be the screen protector scratching than my phone’s display.

As far as cases go, the Whitestone Dome Glass fits perfectly with the official Apple Leather case as well as an OtterBox case that I tried. In general, I don’t see any reason why a case wouldn’t work with the Dome Glass installed.

If for some reason you need to remove the screen protector, whether it be because of a failed installation or a crack, you have a couple of options. Your first option is to try to get underneath the corner of the display and use a playing card or credit card to gradually remove the protector. If this doesn’t work, you can use something like a hairdryer to heat the adhesive, which slightly loosens it and makes it easier to remove.

Wrap up

As someone who has never enjoyed using an iPhone screen protector, the Whitestone Dome Glass for iPhone XS Max is an incredible product. It fits in a way that makes it seem as if it’s a first-party solution and the installation process is almost foolproof, as long as you take your time.

Like with all screen protectors, you do lose a bit of the overall ‘sleekness’ of your iPhone with the Whitestone Dome, but the experience is far better than alternatives on the market.