New Gorilla Glass Smartphone Screens Promise To Be Stronger Than Ever

Take your selfies in peace.

Imagine this: It’s late, you’re tired. You reach for your phone in your pocket. You go to grab it and before you realize it, your grip has loosened and your precious cargo is on the ground ― facedown.

That next moment, before you turn it over to assess the damage, is terrifying. Is it shattered? Have I broken it? Have I just ruined everything?

Well, the glassmaker behind Gorilla Glass is about to make those moments a lot less scary.

Corning, the company behind the chemically strengthened glass known as Gorilla Glass that’s used in personal electronic devices the world over, has just rolled out a new version of its glorious product, according to The Verge.

In a photo from Dec. 14, 2015, an ice ball breaks up after hitting a sample of Corning Inc.'s Gorilla Glass at the Dearborn Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan.
In a photo from Dec. 14, 2015, an ice ball breaks up after hitting a sample of Corning Inc.'s Gorilla Glass at the Dearborn Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan.
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

The latest iteration, Gorilla Glass 5, was specifically engineered to withstand falls onto rough surfaces from waist height or shoulder height (shoulder height being most significant, because selfies!!).

“With many real-world drops occurring from between waist and shoulder height, we knew improving drop performance would be an important and necessary advancement,” said John Bayne, vice president and general manager of Corning Gorilla Glass, in a press release.

The part about the rough surfaces is crucial. Corning did internal research and found that uneven, rough or sharp surfaces are particularly brutal for delicate smartphones. Anyone who has ever dropped their phone in the street can surely attest to this.

Gorilla Glass 5 supposedly survives up to 80 percent of the time when dropped from 1.6 meters, or about 5 feet 3 inches. By contrast, Gorilla Glass 4 could only survive being dropped from a height of about 1 meter, or about 3 feet 3 inches.

However, it should be noted that Corning’s 80 percent survival rate was achieved with glass that was 0.6 millimeters thick. Many companies use significantly thinner glass in their phones ― as thin as 0.4mm.

The moral: You should probably still be careful with your phone.

Gorilla Glass 5 is currently in production and should be available in the coming months. In the meantime, there’s always the Otterbox.

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