Monday, July 27, 2020

Corning's New Gorilla Glass Victus Is What You Want On Your Next Mobile Device But It'll Probably Scratch Just As Easily

Source:  CNET, Corning.

We all drop our phones or, worse, tablets.  You've seen laptops fly off your desk somehow.  Well, at least on the phones, there seems to be more protection by way of a reinforced and engineered glass, typically the Gorilla Glass from Corning.  And every few years, Corning comes out with an upgrade.  Coming to your next smartphone, the CORNING® GORILLA® GLASS VICTUS™is going offers more protection. Well, we'll see, won't be?

Every year, whenever there is a flagship phone device, whether it's Samsung's Galaxy luxury phones or Apple's fall iPhone update, someone will inevitably film themselves dropping and try to destroy the phones by dropping them onto the pavement right outside the store.  And I've seem a few of them.  These guys don't have to try.  After a drop or two, the familiar web of cracks appeared on these minutes old phones.  

After looking at Corning's promotional videos and the testing involved, I can't help but feel perhaps that this time, it may be different.

I'm going to drop my iPhone a few times.  A friend dedicated to the Android has dropped her Pixel more often than I care to count.  She has a case on her phone and that has so far kept the glass on cracking.  I've dropped my XR a few times and luckily, the landings have rolled my way.  But I can't way the same for the iPhones from other friends and my nephews.

Corning claims the Victus glass can withstand up to a 2 meter drop.  I'll be honest and say that I have never had a drop that is more than 1.5 meters.  Most of my drops are about 1.2 or 1.3 meters depending on where hand is at the time.  Having said that, if a phone with a Victus glass is going to be fine at 2 meters, I am heartened to know that it'll be okay at 1.5 meters.  

Of course, we'll have to see how it goes with those Youtube guys on opening sale day for the flagship devices.  Even if they eventually manage to get the glass on the iPhone 12 to crack, as long as it takes a dozen or so drops before that happens, I am going to be very happy with the results.  These guys go for the clicks so in order to bait in the views, they are not going to be gentle.  

How about scratches on the Victus glass?  I'll probably have a case for my next iPhone I buy with my hard earned money.  So, unless it's a freak accident, I'm not going to worry a lot of drops. It's the scratches that'll gnaw at me.  According to Corner, the new Gorilla glass can withstand up to 8 newtons (force) while competing products scratch easier at 2-4 Newtons.  Even with the real world scratch level is at 6-7 newtons, I would definitely pay a premium for the new glass.  

What does that even mean?  Well, let's say you set something that is 102 grams (two candy bars) on a point.  That's what it appears the testing is like being conducted by Corning.  2-4 Newtons is four to eight candy bars.  And 8 Newtons is 16 candies.  Give or time.

Then again, according to a Life Hacker article, the scratches on your phones over the years is not coming from the coins or keys in your pocket.  The culprit is grains of sand - you know, glass.


And The Verge has said that scratch resistance has not improved since 2014 and the reason is Corning's attention to glass resistance to cracking than scratches.

Will the Gorilla Glass Victus be any different?  Probably not more so than the last generation Gorilla glass.  For a while, there was excitement in the Apple domain that it could switch to sapphire which would be tougher than even the best Gorilla Glass and nearly scratch resistance.  That never came to be as the manufacturer Apple contracted with could never fulfilled its promise to Apple.

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