In the same way that scotch tape makes frosted glass look more transparent by filling in the “imperfections” in the surface that make it frosted, a tempered glass screen protector fills in the microscratches, and makes the larger scratches/chips less visible. Another added bonus is if the protector has a fingerprint resistant coating, it will make the screen feel smooth to swipe again, since the original coating would’ve worn away along with the scratches/constant slipping in the pocket and everyday use.
Another relevant tip: DON’T do the “apply screen protector in steamy bathroom after a shower to minimize dust presence in air” trick. It can possibly trip the liquid damage indicators inside of the phone (voiding your warranty) or actually damage the phone, because high humidity can do that, even to a water/dust resistant phone. Humidity is water vapor in air, and liquid damage indicators are usually placed close to ingress points like SIM card trays or ports. Air can still get into an ingress protected phone — not worth the risk.
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