Sapphire compared to Gorilla Glass in durability test

By , Aug 29, 2014

bend test

The repair experts over at uBreakiFix have posted a video comparing the durability of smartphone displays made of sapphire and Gorilla Glass. The comparison comes amidst ongoing speculation that the upcoming iPhone 6 may feature a sapphire screen.

Results from the test may surprise you, as although the sapphire display did prove to be significantly more scratch resistant than Gorilla Glass, it was also far more susceptible to impact breaks due to its stiffness and brittleness. Watch the full video below.

For the video, uBreakiFix technicians conducted 3 tests: scratch resistance using a tungsten drill bit, impact, and a four-point bend stress test. The techs found sapphire to be 25% stronger than Gorilla Glass, but not the super material it’s been made out to be.

Here’s another clip showing sapphire in a drop test:

Admittedly, rumors of the next-gen iPhone featuring sapphire have tapered off in recent weeks, but Apple is clearly very interested in the gemstone. Last fall, it announced that it had partnered with GT Advanced to build a sapphire production plant in Arizona.

It’s believed that Apple may use sapphire in other future products, such as the oft-rumored wearable the media has dubbed the ‘iWatch.’ It’s expected to be unveiled alongside the iPhone 6 at a media event next month, which Apple just sent out invites for.

[uBreakiFix via MacRumors]

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  • Industrial Fish

    Very useful info :)

  • http://www.eazycomputers.com/ PhoneTechJay

    Im pretty sure if apple plans to switch and use it they have their own ‘blend of ingredients’. We already saw a supposed iPhone 6 ‘sapphire’ glass blend way more than in this video.. Not all sapphire glass is made the same…

    • eXoguti093

      Isn’t it synthetic sapphire and not actual sapphire? I don’t know anything about that stuff but that could be why

      • http://www.eazycomputers.com/ PhoneTechJay

        Yes and that’s why I said that. The Sapphire glass they used in this test won’t be the same type Apple uses so its sort of irrelevant…

    • Gary LE

      So how many ingredients are in apple’s sapphire?

      • http://www.eazycomputers.com/ PhoneTechJay

        They’ll probably let you know on the 9th…

      • Jayy

        Sugar, Spice and everything nice!

      • javierE186

        These were the ingredients for perfect sapphire glass but Tim Cook accidentally added chemical X, thus creating Apple’s sapphire glass who are here to save phones from evil drops.

  • Juan Genao

    Well, if yo bend the phone to that level the Glass will be the least of your problem. My takeaway is that for scratches (keys in the pocket type) saphire is better but for direct impact glass is better.

  • James Coulee

    Well, Gorilla glass isn’t just glass: it’s laminated with other materials (resins, policarbonate, etc..)
    I bet Sapphire will have the same treatment: comparing Gorilla glass with straight Sapphire isn’t that relevant.

    • https://twitter.com/aidanharris1 Aidan Harris

      Exactly. Comparing glass to sapphire would be more relevant since whatever Apple has planned for sapphire if it’s for a display as you’ve said it likely won’t be pure sapphire and will be coated and fused with other materials.

  • Bugs Bunnay

    and at what pressure (pounds per square inch) were they at before they break? site has no mention of it

  • felixtaf

    Sapphire is hard but brittle. Thats y Apple is doing a fusion product that actualy hard and less brittle. The video done by MKBHD puts this to shame. This is basically a revisited video posted by Gorilla an year ago!

    • dpacemaker

      Since his video was a supposed part from the company itself, and these guys are using pieces made to look like iPhone screens I put more validity into MKBHDs video. He also bent it quite a bit more than the video above. I’m sure the Apple version will not be just straight sapphire, but a meld of materials that give the result we see in the MKBHD video.

    • MikeOxlong

      Exactly.

  • Chun-Li aka ThunderThighs

    Old news. Gorilla Glass company already warn everyone about Sapphire. If anything apple wants you to drop it so you can get it replace emptying your pocket more.

  • jack

    that 1st guy is gay

    • MikeOxlong

      Correctimundo

  • DevXav

    Well, i just think that, sometimes, it all depends on what someone wants..

    I would prefer a scratch “indestructible” glass instead of a drop resistant phone…

    My iPhone has never kissed the ground and i always use a case and a screen protector, which means its already protected enough, even if it drops..

    Lately there are even those glass screen protectors which makes things even more protected..

    So, to tell you the truth, if i would need to choose, it would be scratch indestructibility not to use any kind of screen protector, and then use a phone cover to protect the phone from drops..

  • Ancient

    laminate sapphire might do the trick, most people with iPhones don’t complain about scratches, they complain about shattered screen glass ? doesn’t look like sapphire is more than an expensive overpriced gimmick when it comes to shattering compared to say a case with a raised bezel.

  • arvindb02

    Didn’t apple by liquid metal some time ago. What happened got that. Haven’t heard about it in a while.

  • MikeOxlong

    I don’t believe this so called test is a good representation of what the sapphire glass in the upcoming iphone will be like. Not after viewing mkbhd’s video a few months back on YouTube where he literally stood on a sapphire display sample and pried it up with a lot of force and couldn’t break it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the iPhone display won’t be some sort of composite which will enhance durability in cases like this.