Dropping a phone and smashing the display is one of the worst feelings for a smartphone enthusiast. When Corning introduced the first Gorilla Glass we all thought our displays would finally be safe. Unfortunately that was not the case and although it has improved over the years it is still not unbreakable and does not survive many drops at all. Corning are hoping to change all this will their new Gorilla Glass 6 announced yesterday.
Their first announcement yesterday was the all new Gorilla Glass 6. Gorilla Glass 6 is made from an entirely new material which is apparently less likely to break when dropped compared with previous versions.
Gorilla Glass 6 is an entirely new glass composition that can be chemically strengthened to give it significantly higher levels of compression than is possible with Gorilla Glass 5. This enables Gorilla Glass 6 to be more resistant to damage. Dr. Jaymin Amin, Vice President of Technology and Product Development, Corning Gorilla Glass and Corning Specialty Materials
In their lab tests the Gorilla Glass 6 survived 15 drops from one metre onto rough surfaces, twice as good as Gorilla Glass 5. The focus for Gorilla Glass 6 is on surviving multiple drops and considering the number of glass-backed phones being produced these days it is great they have this focus.
Corning Gorilla Glass 6 improves upon Gorilla Glass 5 by surviving drops from higher heights, but, more importantly, has been engineered to survive multiple drops.
Unfortunately the scratch resistance has not improved and is the same as for Gorilla Glass 5. At this stage it is “currently being evaluated by multiple customers and is expected to reach the market in the next several months” (Pixel 3?).
Corning’s second announcement was a wearable announcement. Their new glass for wearables, Gorilla Glass DX and DX+, is designed to improve display readability in sunlight through a 75 percent improvement in the front surface reflection while increasing the display contrast ratio by 50 percent. An offshoot of in improved readability is longer battery life as the brightness of the device does not have to be set as high.
Gorilla Glass DX features enhanced optics with the same excellent scratch resistance of Gorilla Glass while Gorilla Glass DX+ provides enhanced optics with superior scratch resistance approaching that of alternative luxury cover materials.
Corning have also improved the durability of the glass with better scratch resistance and able to withstand impact better. It is unclear when this will be released but you can expect to see it in upcoming wearables later this year. Corning have also signalled an intent to bring the Gorilla Glass DX and DX+ readability technology to “larger form-factor devices” in the future.
It will be interesting to see how these new technologies compare to others around. Hopefully they function as designed and are in fact improvements on previous generations of glass. Time will tell.