The Evolution of Gorilla Glass: Gorilla Glass 4 vs Gorilla Glass 5

Mobile devices are used for a variety of tasks, in a wide variety of environments. From capturing photos of our loved ones to deciphering plans on a construction site, the ubiquitous nature of mobile devices is undeniable. With such widespread use of these devices, however, it is only natural that they will be occasionally dropped. After investing a decent sum of money in a device, this isn’t necessarily the most comforting fact. Not only will devices be dropped but unfortunately, some screens will break. How do we prevent this?

Is Gorilla Glass tough enough for a hammer? | Shutterstock
Is Gorilla Glass 5 tough enough for a hammer? | Shutterstock

Well Corning has been making strides over the past decade in making mobile device cover glass which can stand up to abuse with their Gorilla Glass. On July 20th, 2016 they announced that they were raising the bar again in introducing updated cover glass technology with some impressive impact resistance specifications, beating out their previous generation of cover glass technology.

Introducing Corning Gorilla Glass 5, a new glass solution that raises the bar for protection against drops higher than ever, surviving 1.6-meter, shoulder-height drops onto hard, rough surfaces up to 80% of the time.

Just who are these Corning guys anyway, and how much better is this new glass anyway?

Corning Gorilla Glass

Corning manufactures Gorilla Glass which is a cover glass for mobile devices such as cell phones, using an ion exchange process which essentially gives the glass an armor, protecting it from dings and drops.

Corning has actually been around for quite a while and they are leaders in material science. Their innovative history dates as far back as 1879 when they created a process for mass producing light bulb glass. However, let’s not get too far off track. Back to Gorilla Glass!

Even budget phones can have Gorilla Glass: As we had seen in our recommendation of the Moto E as a backup device.

Gorilla Glass 4 vs Gorilla Glass 5

The announcement on July 20th was for Gorilla Glass 5 but let’s first look at Gorilla Glass 4 which was introduced back in 2014 and see how the 5th iteration improves over it.

After extensive testing, scientists at Corning realized that drops on rough surfaces were the most detrimental to device cover glass. After tweaking the formulation of the glass and carrying out more testing, they found that when Gorilla Glass 4 was dropped from a height of 1 meter onto rough surfaces, it survived 80% of the time. This was quite impressive.

Also impressive: Motorola’s Shattershield glass technology, which has been around a few phones and will also be seen in their new ‘modular’ devices too.

Gorilla Glass 5 tops even that drop height, surviving falls from 1.6 meters onto hard, rough surfaces 80% of the time. With the scratch resistance of Gorilla Glass already established, there was a need to improve drop resistance and it seems that Corning has delivered on this. At least on paper. Not only does it stand up to light abuse such as rubbing against house keys, it is tough enough to survive drops on unforgiving surfaces. Real-world test and reviews will confirm whether or not these claims hold up.

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In order to get a better sense of the toughness of both generations of Gorilla Glass, it is recommended that you view the testing videos for each. The Gorilla Glass 4 testing video can be viewed here while the video for Gorilla Glass 5 can be seen here.

Conclusion

Yes you should avoid dropping your pone and put it in a protective case, but Gorilla Glass gives your phone that something extra just in case and can spare you a lot of heartbreak.

Gorilla Glass never fails to impress and it will be exciting to see just how far Corning will continue to push the envelope in terms of drop height.

ALSO READ: GT Answers: What is the Difference Between GPS and GLONASS

William Elcock

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