Gorilla Glass 6 evolves to withstand more drops

Corning's Gorilla Glass probably sits between you and your smartphone's display panel, and it's evolving into its sixth iteration. The company claims Gorilla Glass 6 is made to withstand two potentially catastrophic events for today's increasingly glassy phones: higher drops and multiple drops. The improved endurance comes from “significantly higher levels of compression” than the old stuff.

To back up its focus on multiple-drop resistance, Corning cites research that showed phone owners drop their devices seven times a year on average, and half of those drops occurred from heights of one meter or less. In Corning's tests, the new Gorilla Glass composition held up to 15 drops on a rough surface before failing—up to twice as many times as the older formulation, apparently.

The company didn't put a specific ceiling on the height from which a Gorilla Glass 6-clad phone could probably survive, but it claimed Gorilla Glass 5 could endure spills from about five feet and three inches (1.6 meters) as much as 80% of the time. Any further improvement to that figure is welcome.

Corning says Gorilla Glass 6 is in the hands of “multiple customers” now, and it expects phones clad with the new composition to hit the market “in the next several months.” Bring on a stronger iPhone X, please.

Comments closed
    • liquidsquid
    • 1 year ago

    I’ve noticed it isn’t the multiple drops that breaks the glass, but the fact that the glass is under tremendous strain before the drop due to a slightly bent metal enclosure from being jammed in a pocket. The metal enclosures on some phones are constantly putting pressure on the glass, and then when dropped, adds to the overall stress and blows the display.

    These mostly glass phones are great as they avoid this problem entirely.

    From what I understand, this really isn’t glass as much as it is ceramic, but who cares, it is cool.

    Note that if you haven’t yet, travel to Corning Glass Museum. One of the best museums around. Amazing glass studio in there where artisans demonstrate glass art creations daily.

    • Acidicheartburn
    • 1 year ago

    So now they can make phone glass [i<]even[/i<] thinner for no overall increase in durability.

      • Waco
      • 1 year ago

      I immediately put a glass screen protector on my phones AND a damn case every time anyway. I’d much prefer a slightly thicker phone without bandaids on it.

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 1 year ago

        The first time that I have ever used one of these was on a new iPhone 8+ late last year. Last month, I dropped it on a gravel walk (Doh!). The laminated glass protector spider-webbed, but the phone itself was completely unharmed. The protector worked exactly as claimed.
        [url<]https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JBTPHJ4/[/url<] I use a simple bumper case that protects the edges and corners. [url<]https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XY3JVFZ/[/url<]

      • Chrispy_
      • 1 year ago

      The worst thing about your post is that you aren’t joking.

        • moose17145
        • 1 year ago

        I had the EXACT same thought that Acidicheartburn had when I read this article…

        Apple will look at this and go “Oh goody! Now we can make the phone another 0.1mm thinner!!!”, and will release a product somehow even less durable than what they currently are… and then everyone else will follow suit…

        • Acidicheartburn
        • 1 year ago

        Sadly, no.

      • MEATLOAF2
      • 1 year ago

      Reminds me of this sadly overlooked (perhaps for good reason) comic I did for the Damagebox contest a few years ago.

      [url<]https://i.imgur.com/YGt3FUW.png[/url<]

      • tipoo
      • 1 year ago

      This is beyond any doubt what will happen. When we can shave with the edges of our smartphones…Then, maybe then, they’ll slow down the thinness wars.

    • Kretschmer
    • 1 year ago

    These glass cases are beyond stupid. I actually miss my Moto G4+’s removable plastic back cover. If you dropped the phone, the back and battery would split off, absorbing the kinetic energy. Many drops; no cracks or failures. Short of dropping the screen on a sharp edge it was a tank. I’ve given the phone to my dad for use on an upcoming trip years later, and I fully expect the phone to survive anything he throws at it (or throws it at).

    Today’s flagship phones are either insanely flimsy or not appreciably thinner with the prerequisite case (or both, really).

    I feel like smartphones have been mostly downhill since my OnePlusOne (fast enough for me, durable, and cheap enough not to mourn), save for improved cameras. After buying a dedicated pocketable camera I regret buying the Pixel 2 over a durable mid-low-end phone that I can replace every few years.

      • designerfx
      • 1 year ago

      No, this is an iphone and/or shitty phone screen problem. Pixel phones never had this problem, LG’s have had this problem for years. My pixel has dropped onto cement face first with a spigen case and has been thrown at the wall probably 100 times by my toddler. No scratches or any other damage.

    • Chrispy_
    • 1 year ago

    Why are we still using glass in phones?

    I still think the Droid Turbo 2 was the best solution. Sure, it was easier to scratch but it was also easier to replace and once the alloy surround had lost its virginity, I used to throw it up to the ceiling and drop the full room height onto hard floors just to prove its robustness to people.

    I never needed to invoke the Motorola shatterproof guarantee of a free replacement if cracked, so I think I proved their point. Any single one of those demonstration throws would have killed an iPhone or a Galaxy even in your typical silicone protective case. That Droid Turbo 2 was a beast (sadly I drowned it during a thunderstorm)

      • DavidC1
      • 1 year ago

      What else can you use for the screen?

        • Chrispy_
        • 1 year ago

        Polycarbonate:

        [url<]https://www.news18.com/news/tech/explained-what-makes-the-moto-x-forces-screen-shatterproof-1197770.html[/url<]

          • DavidC1
          • 1 year ago

          Glass is more optically clear than any type of plastic.

            • Chrispy_
            • 1 year ago

            That may be true, but when polycarbonate is as thin as a phone screen I think that fact is completely irrelevant. When talking about half-inch thick aquarium tanks, I’m sure stuff like that matters, but the polycarbonate layers on a phone screen are so thin as to be negligible.

            If you’ve ever had a Droid Turbo 2 in your hand to compare against other phones of its age, you’ll know that the screen on the Droid was truly excellent – one of the first 1440p AMOLED options on the market and it put the glass iPhones and other IPS-equipped Androids to shame. The [i<]only[/i<] negative thing I have to say about it is that the unwanted reflections of things in the screen were slightly distorted - I guess because it wasn't as perfectly smooth as a glass sheet. In an ideal world, smartphones would be polycarbonate shatterproof screens with an AG coating on them that resisted wear, because they spend most of their battery life cranking up the brightness trying to fight bright outdoor light and reflections/glare. Sadly, AG coatings and touchscreens aren't compatible in a durable, aesthetically-pleasing way yet.

            • DavidC1
            • 1 year ago

            Ok, I do agree with you there.

            There’s probably way more with this than we think. It’s not just about technology. It’s also about supplier relationships, and that’s human interaction. You go with someone you trust and find reliable over others.

            Also, the increasing popularity of all-glass phones suggest all other metrics dwarf durability as priorities. All-glass doesn’t sound practical. But it sounds and feels fancy, and its a checkmark they can tick on the box of features used to market phones. Besides, glass does look better. Like jewellery.

      • DoomGuy64
      • 1 year ago

      Agreed, still using mine, but the turbo charge no longer works due to faulty usb, and I can only reliably charge it wirelessly now.

      • TheRazorsEdge
      • 1 year ago

      Because there is nothing better. Glass transmits light most readily, which allows manufacturers to reduce power used by the backlight.

      On modern phones, the display uses 50-70% of the active power draw. This makes display efficiency a significant factor in battery life and device size/weight.

      Stronger but less transmissive materials are a design tradeoff. So it’s a question of how much damage you can avoid compared to the loss of battery life (or switching to a larger/heavier battery).

      I have no problems taking care of my phone, so I’d prefer that they stick with glass.

        • Chrispy_
        • 1 year ago

        Better is subjective;

        I believe that the fragility of glass vastly outweighs its marginal (negligible) tramissivity advantage over polycarbonate.

        For a 10mm thick sample, glass permits 92% of the visible light through and polycarbonate transmits 90.5% of the light through. For a 0.3mm thick phone screen, glass permits 99.76% of the visible light through and polycarbonate transmits 99.72% of the light through. That means that glass is 1.00045x better than polycarbonate for a phone’s screen brightness.

        Lets say your glass phone has a 3000mAh battery. For a polycarbonate phone to have the same screen brightness it will need a 3001.5mAh battery.

        Can we stop using the fallacy of light transmission to defend glass as the best material for phone screens, please? Polycarbonate has advantages and disadvantages over glass, but light transmission is not one of them. Not unless you’re talking about ‘light’ outside the visible spectrum.

    • danny e.
    • 1 year ago

    But is it still scratch resistant?
    5 was less scratch resistant than 4, I believe.

      • sleeprae
      • 1 year ago

      This. It seems that they have been sacrificing scratch resistance to achieve improved impact handling for a few generations now. My own history with smartphones reveals that I’m far more likely to scratch my screen than drop my phone. Unfortunately, the phones I buy tend to have curved edges (not my preference), so a tempered glass screen protector isn’t an option.

        • Xergon
        • 1 year ago

        Indeed, there are tempered glass screen protectors for curved phones…

        [url<]https://www.gearbest.com/samsung-s-series/pp_1703376.html?wid=1433363&currency=EUR&vip=4515680&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9OCzidaw3AIVWqqaCh1Qjwp6EAQYAiABEgIA6_D_BwE[/url<]

          • sleeprae
          • 1 year ago

          I’ll take a look at that one, but all of the other ones I’ve looked at are filled with complaints about an imperfect fit, since there’s basically zero room for error with the curved edge phones. Some opt for a flat protector and eschew the curved edges, but that creates visual artifacts that I dislike.

          I’d rather GG prioritize shatter resistance as a secondary consideration only and focus again on scratch resistance. I think GG3 was about the best.

    • willmore
    • 1 year ago

    15 drops? That’s oddly specific. As an engineer, that makes me twig a bit. Is that the median value? What’s the shape of the curve?

      • Growler
      • 1 year ago

      I get what you’re saying. Real studies have curves.

        • tay
        • 1 year ago

        This site sometimes….

          • willmore
          • 1 year ago

          I read this thread to my wife and she said I had to +1 Growler’s comment. Well, it took her a while to say it because she was laughing so hard.

      • DPete27
      • 1 year ago

      From linked article:
      [quote<]On average, in lab tests, Gorilla Glass 6 survived 15 drops[/quote<]

      • Freon
      • 1 year ago

      It’s likely a statistical value. An average, or -1 STD or something.

    • DavidC1
    • 1 year ago

    I use a Motorola Moto E 3rd generation, and the phone is thick enough, and it has grips on it so I can use it without a case.

    Every new phone needs a case, because its instant death for your phone. It’s too thin to be easily gripped. With the required case, the brand new ones are just as thick as my phone. Don’t even mention the ones with 90%+ screen ratio or the glass-on-edge phones. Now you can easily break the phone even with the case.

    All that is made even more worse because the focus on thinness means cramming more components in the same space, and reducing the empty space between them. That increases weight density, which makes dropping it worse than if it was thicker, but with same components inside it.

    I said Intel’s Ultrabook initiative on making it thinner is pointless, without making it lighter. Same with modern phones. Make it LIGHTER.

      • not@home
      • 1 year ago

      I agree almost completely. I do not care about how light is is though. If it is heavier, it is either stronger or has longer battery life, and both of those qualities are at the top of my list of what I want in a smart phone. Besides, if the phone is heavy enough, I can use it to ward off a zombie or other assailant.

        • DavidC1
        • 1 year ago

        If its significantly lighter for the same size, then it’ll be much more drop resistant. If drop it, then you run the risk of damaging internal components more despite a stronger chassis.

        Of course that’s one of those things much easier said than done.

      • Growler
      • 1 year ago

      Only [i<]some[/i<] phones need cases. I've been using cell phones for over twenty years, and smartphones for a good part of that. The only screen I've ever had damaged from a drop was the smaller outer screen from a Samsung flip phone. None of my smartphones have had significant damage from drops, and I've never used cases for them. Of course, I don't buy phones that have glass on both sides. That's just dumb design for the real world.

        • DavidC1
        • 1 year ago

        I’m talking about Smartphones. I thought that was a given?

        The Galaxy and the iPhones are really really thin. You NEED a case.

          • Growler
          • 1 year ago

          I’ve dropped my smartphones. None of them have been damaged when they’ve been dropped. That was my point. Cases are only needed for poorly designed smartphones.

            • DavidC1
            • 1 year ago

            Poorly designed or not, the Galaxy S and the iPhones are the leading phones. And copycats are going to be based on them too.

      • Kretschmer
      • 1 year ago

      Ultrabooks being thinner and lighter increased their usability and use cases. The postiive difference between a 6lb laptop and a 3lb laptop is much more significant than the difference between an 8mm and 11mm phone.

        • DavidC1
        • 1 year ago

        “6lb laptop and a 3lb laptop is much more significant than the difference between an 8mm and 11mm phone.”

        Of course. I said the phone should be lighter too. Do you people just skim through the post before replying?

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