New Tougher Gorilla Glass Will Survive High Smartphone Drops

Screen glass-maker, Corning, has unveiled its latest version of Gorilla Glass. The chemically and synthetically strengthened glass is used in thousands of devices to protect them from scratches and drops.

The new Gorilla Glass 5 was specifically improved to reduce the damage risk from gadgets being dropped onto rough surfaces from certain heights. There major targets were to make the phone immune from drops of waist height and shoulder height. Additionally, Corning managed to do something for selfie hobbyists with butterfingers. Corning Gorilla Glass 5 is strong enough to survive a 1.6 metre drop 80 percent of the time.

Gorilla Glass 5 can survive 4 out of 5 drops from a height of 1.6m

The new glass tech succeeds 2014’s Gorilla Glass 4 which was two times tougher than its predecessor and two times more likely to survive drops to uneven surfaces. However, Corning only managed to claim those numbers for a height of 1 metre.

Internal research done by Corning has shown that 85 percent of smartphone owners drop their phones at least once every year. Two-thirds of those drops were from the waist height, while taking out the phone, or shoulder height, while using the phone.

Rough surfaces proved to be a real bane for smartphones which has resulted in Corning target that segment this year. The new Gorilla Glass can survive drops on rough surfaces and absorb sharp contact damage.

85 percent of smartphone owners drop their phone at least once a year

However, there is more to this than what Corning claims. The 80 percent survival rate was seen while using a 0.6mm thick glass pieces.

Some smartphone manufacturers ask Corning to develop glass pieces up to 0.4 mm thin. This could result in drastically different results. Another factor could be the design and rigidity of the smartphone itself.

Then comes the matter of corner drops. Corner drops are more dangerous and Corning’s introductory videos only show face drops. The company’s Vice President, John Bayne, says that such drops depend on the design of the phone and not just the glass.

He said that phones where the glass stands above the surface of the body, are less protected but those which are protected by the bezels stand a much better chance of surviving corner drops. “And as we go to 3D designs, the edge is more exposed … and you have to be sensitive to that,” he added.

Design of the phone is the major factor in the glass’s strength

In short, it depends on the OEM and not Corning’s Glass. However, the company does work with some manufacturers throughout the design process to make the phones from secure against drops.

Gorilla Glass has been used in over 4 billion devices since it started production in 2007. The new Gorilla Glass 5 is in the production stage and will be ready in the next few months, according to the company. So, you can hope to see the new protective glass in phones released this fall.

Image Source: 9to5Mac

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