Is Gorilla Glass Good Enough?

October 29, 2013

You walk into a tech shop to select your new smartphone. After checking out the various models, you find a phone with the price, features, and contract that fits your needs. However, you remember all those cracked screens you’ve seen on your friends’ phones, so you ask an employee for a smartphone with a durable screen. He reassures you that the model you’ve chosen is much more resistant than other phones, and that cracked screens are now a thing of the past.


Trusting the sturdiness of your new screen, you decide not to worry about buying a screen protector. A few weeks after purchasing the smart phone, you drop it on the ground, the screen shatters, and you are left breaking the piggy bank to afford a new phone.


The scenario above has happened countless times. It seems like with every new generation of smartphones there is a new generation of glass designed to be more resistant to damage. Indeed, screen technology has improved significantly since the first smartphones were released, but without a screen protector your phone will still be left very vulnerable. Few things are more frustrating for smartphone users than trying to read text on a screen that looks like it’s imprinted with a spider web, not to mention the difficulty of using an uneven touch screen.


It’s true that not all screens are created equal. Gorilla Glass, designed by Corning, has developed a solid reputation as a leader in developing more scratch-resistant glass. In fact, Gorilla Glass is found in over 1.5 billion products. Google is using it in its Nexus line of smartphones, and Samsung is using it for its popular Galaxy smartphones.


Gorilla Glass recently released its third generation glass product, Gorilla Glass 3. It is a significant step up from its predecessor, taking advantage of ion exchange technology to provide a thin, light product. Corning claims that Gorilla Glass 3 is 40% more scratch-resistant than previous products. However, while GG3 has improved the quality of smartphone screens, there is still a long way to go until screens are truly impact resistant.


In recent drop tests performed by Corning, the phones were able to hold up well when the screen didn’t directly hit the ground. However, when there is direct impact, the glass shatters completely. The reason for this is that Corning’s technology is based around creating a lot of tension inside the glass. When there is impact, that high amount of stored energy effectively destroys the entire structure of the glass.


While we recommend selecting a smartphone with a durable screen, if you want maximum protection it is best to get a screen protector. As you can see in our own impact test, our ClearPlex screen protectors can hold up against impact that Gorilla can’t on its own.