Rumored iPhone 6 Sapphire Crystal Display gets torture tested

We have seen plenty of leaks about the iPhone 6. When the phone debuts in several months there should be no surprise as to how it will look, the materials used, or the available color options. While the device looks fairly subtle, Marques Brownlee of MKBHD fame, has gotten his hands on an "actual" iPhone 6 sapphire crystal display.

According to Brownlee, the sapphire crystal display comes to him courtesy of reliable Apple leaker, Sonny Dickson. The part comes from a 4.7" model of the iPhone, which was previously reported as not having the sapphire crystal display. Luckily, this part negates those previous rumors of the sapphire crystal display only being available for the 5.5" model of the iPhone 6.

Brownlee puts the sapphire glass display through various tests and notes that this part is very durable and high quality. The sapphire crystal is extremely thin, has great clarity, and distortion is non-existent. Perhaps what is most impressive about the video is the displays resilience to scratches and bending. The display is put through a variety of tests that involves scratching with knives and keys. The display easily manages to pass these extreme tests without any damage. While the iPhone 6 is still a rumored device, if this sapphire crystal display seen in the video is indeed a factory part, it looks like Apple might be able to provide some excitement with its upcoming release. 

Source: MKBHDImage via MKBHD

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I've seen similar test on Gorilla Glass. Yet you go right outside and drop the phone and they break.

Proof?

Gorilla Glass 2 Test - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT8xI4PEU8c
Gorilla Glass 3 Test - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7M1FSbGo9fU

That bending he is doing with his hands and feet or keys, is likely not close to the force the machines in the tests are doing.

According to what I learned, the average human hand can only apply about 100 lbs of pressure. That si not enough to break the glass. In the Gorilla Glass test, that machine applied well over 100 lbs of pressure, yet the glass didn't break.

We also have seen all kinds of scratch tests. My note 3 is huge, it has been in my pockets with keys and coins and there is not a single scratch on the screen. In fact, every Galaxy device I have owned so far I have sold never had a scratch on the screen. I can't say that for any other phone I have own.

I like MKB, but this doesn't show us anything. The real test is going to be the drop. When you apply pressure to the phone screen, if that pressure is allowed to spread out, the screen won't shatter.

The issue with past displays is simple. The heat treatment. When you heat anodize a screen, It is suppose to make it stronger. The problem is, when you drop a device the drop causes a chemical reaction that moves to fast for the screen to absorb the shock. This reaction causes the screen to crack, the crack releases the chemical from being anodized which causes the screen to shatter.

IF and that is a big if, the sapphire screen can be made without anodizing them with heat, it would likely help the screen not shatter on impacts.

What these tests fail to show you is very simple, a drop causes a very different reaction to material. Dropping a heavy object on the glass may or may not break it, if the impact can be adsorbed. Those impacts they show in the video is a single impact in most cases. When you drop a phone, it receives several impacts, the initial impact and all the residual ones as it bounces. The glass shatters because right after the initial impact, another closely follows preventing the glass time to absorb the initial impact. The result is a shatter.

Its a bullet vs a sledge hammer to bulletproof glass.

The real test is me walking outside and I drop the phone from ear height and I'm 6' 1". Its glass still and I am betting it will break.

LOL. Calling it sapphire to make it sound expensive. Call it what it really is--aluminum oxide or at least synthetic sapphire.

BTW, Gorilla Glass is trademark for an aluminosilicate, which is comprised of aluminum, oxygen, and silicon. IOW, it's very similar to aluminum oxide.

why is everyone excited about the video? Lets wait for the real life tests. Theres plenty of phone that show how its scratch and shatter resistant, but when people buy them and drop them accidently you get massive cracks where.

All you have to do is hit the glass at the right point and it will shatter no matter what its made of.

I guess people are attaching their phones to the bottom of their shoes or something. I mean this is good, but how are people destroying their phones? I've used everything from the iPhone 3G, 4, 4S, a cheap and flimsy Samsung plastic garbage phone, a not as cheap but still flimsy Samsung plastic Galaxy flagship phone, Nokia 520 up through a 920 and none of them scratched or shattered one bit.

I didn't/don't use a case for any of my phones. I have dropped all of them at least once on a hard surface. They have shared a pocket with a hard object (keys, coins, etc.) and no problems whatsoever. What are people doing to their phones?

Enron said,
I guess people are attaching their phones to the bottom of their shoes or something. I mean this is good, but how are people destroying their phones? I've used everything from the iPhone 3G, 4, 4S, a cheap and flimsy Samsung plastic garbage phone, a not as cheap but still flimsy Samsung plastic Galaxy flagship phone, Nokia 520 up through a 920 and none of them scratched or shattered one bit.

I didn't/don't use a case for any of my phones. I have dropped all of them at least once on a hard surface. They have shared a pocket with a hard object (keys, coins, etc.) and no problems whatsoever. What are people doing to their phones?

.... EDIT: post was seen as a personal attack by Enron, so I am editing it...


Of course, you might be a lucky one, like I was with my first 3 smartphones, where nothing happen. However last 4 were damaged in one way or another.

Most people get the massive protection cases, but I would much rather have a durable phone, since I dislike the bulk and the look of such cases.

Edited by Earthworm_Jim, Jul 8 2014, 10:37pm :

panacea said,

I am sorry you don't have the will/luxury to have an active lifestyle where the phone (which you still want to carry with you) is much more likely to get damaged.

no one damaged their phone sitting in front of the PC monitor... but outside, it happens quite a lot.

Wow, nice assumptions and personal attack there. Couldn't be more wrong though.

Enron said,

Wow, nice assumptions and personal attack there. Couldn't be more wrong though.

Sorry, I tried to correct the post later with some addition of my explanation. I am very happy for you, if indeed you have an active lifestyle and an unprotected high end smartphone. good luck.

While it looked like it, I never really meant it as a personal attack :)
Its just my sarcastic alter ego pushes me to write those things... (like now...lol)
without considering the fact they might upset someone. i just find them funny.

i will try my best next time not to upset anyone, and only use sarcasm on inanimate objects that cannot be disturbed by it.

Edited by Earthworm_Jim, Jul 8 2014, 10:02pm :

panacea said,

Sorry, I tried to correct the post later with some addition of my explanation.

maybe i am just bitter for the Brasil VS Germany game, LOL

While it looked like it, I never really meant it as a personal attack :)

Ok no problem. I can understand, the game was brutal if you are a Brazil fan.

Back on topic, I saw your post up above about waterproofing. That would be a good combination to go with this additional durability. I was just surprised to see how so many people crack their phones. I've heard figures of 1 in 3 phones getting cracked, and I'm talking about sedentary office workers, not rock climbers or mountain bikers.

Enron said,

Ok no problem. I can understand, the game was brutal if you are a Brazil fan.

all good, my man. i just had one too many to drink, so i am writing a bit of nonsense :)

Enron said,
Back on topic, I saw your post up above about waterproofing. That would be a good combination to go with this additional durability. I was just surprised to see how so many people crack their phones. I've heard figures of 1 in 3 phones getting cracked, and I'm talking about sedentary office workers, not rock climbers or mountain bikers.


if is just luck, again. i manage to drop fragile phones with zero consiquenses.

I also dropped my nexus 5, from my car seat to a parking lot... Fully cracked screen, battery life cut in half, and phone dying on me randomly in 2-3 weeks.


you just never know how the damage might happen with a drop.

Enron said,
I guess people are attaching their phones to the bottom of their shoes or something. I mean this is good, but how are people destroying their phones? I've used everything from the iPhone 3G, 4, 4S, a cheap and flimsy Samsung plastic garbage phone, a not as cheap but still flimsy Samsung plastic Galaxy flagship phone, Nokia 520 up through a 920 and none of them scratched or shattered one bit.

I didn't/don't use a case for any of my phones. I have dropped all of them at least once on a hard surface. They have shared a pocket with a hard object (keys, coins, etc.) and no problems whatsoever. What are people doing to their phones?

The first phone I ever broke, honestly broke my heart it ###### me off so bad...it was an iPhone 4. I was ###### because it only fell from my waist which is only 34" from the wooden floor it broke on. And no I didn't have a case. I see them as a waste of money per se.

Then I broke my iPhone 4S...but it was the back panel which thank God is cheaper to replace.

I have a Galaxy Note 3. I have broke it. But I dropped it and it het face first on the ground. The glass was shattered, but was still usable. I replaced the front myself, though I purchase a full kit with digitizer and display. Unlike previous devices, this one was a pain to repair.

Glass will break, doesn't matter what it is made of if it takes a significant shock from a drop. Sapphire is aharder substance but one machined and made so thin, drops will still break the glass.

But again, I am happy to see Apple trying to use something for what they charge to better their devices. At this point they don't have a choice because the competition isn't behind them anymore.

Hi_XPecTa_Chens said,

As compared to this?
Gorilla Glass 2 Test - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT8xI4PEU8c
Gorilla Glass 3 Test - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7M1FSbGo9fU

I didn't see any difference other than, his hand cant apply the pressure this machine can.

I never said a single word about Gorilla glass. I think it's impressive but Sapphire is known for more hardness. Also, Apple would not be investing in such a new technology in smartphones if there was no positives to it. It's why I said I can't wait, because little is known exactly how the finished product will be.

So far, this does look impressive to me. While I haven't ruled out getting a new iPhone, I definitely would like to see other vendors start adding better scratch and shatter resistant screens to their phones. As mentioned above, the Lumia line is very resistant. My Lumia 920 even seems to do a better job of resisting fingerprint smudges than my other phones.

Hell yeah, if they add the waterproof tech at least the level of resistance
(ideally the one that Z2 has) and with this screen, I will seriously consider going back to Apple, after leaving it for android (last one was 4, got htc one x, instead of 4s)

seriously, this the the Revolutionary think I was expecting from Apple and did not get last few years!

But got forbid they forget the waterproofing (resistance at least)! It is essential on current top phones. I boat a lot, and many of my phones had water damage, as I hate bulky cases!

Man thats seems like some nice hardware. I just dont look IOS but I cant deny that the sapphire panel and touch ID are some great features to have in a phone. Otherwise I rather still to android where I can do more customization's.

Biglo said,
Man thats seems like some nice hardware. I just dont look IOS but I cant deny that the sapphire panel and touch ID are some great features to have in a phone. Otherwise I rather still to android where I can do more customization's.
What's great about Touch ID? Its a fingerprint reader. Its an old technology. What is good about Touch ID, is the sensor is big enough to get a full print without a swipe. When it works its good. As with all fingerprint readers, they don't always work for several reasons. There are things technology can't overcome. Grease and Grime is but 2 of them.

Sand has a hardness of 7-8, sapphire glass has a hardness of 9. So technically speaking the glass will scratch the sand.

btw, I doubt the "sapphire" glass talked about has the same hardness on the mohs scale as real sapphire. Sand and stones will probably scratch it without problems. Just like they do with gorilla glass :). Put a phone in your pocket after spending a day on the beach and you can expect some tiny scratches. Although I might be proven wrong ofcourse :)

From the manufacturing process that Apple's using, they're making real Sapphire. Large crystals, using the same method we use to make silicon wafers. It produces pure Al2O3 crystalline structures, so that would suggest it will be either at 9 on the mohs scale, or near as makes no difference to 9.

Axon said,
From the manufacturing process that Apple's using, they're making real Sapphire. Large crystals, using the same method we use to make silicon wafers. It produces pure Al2O3 crystalline structures, so that would suggest it will be either at 9 on the mohs scale, or near as makes no difference to 9.
Where did you find out about what manufacturing process Apple is using?

Bending is interesting. not really impressed on the scratch tests tho as they have been done before with current glass and withstand the abuse.

There's always been the assumption/worry that a Sapphire display would be incredibly brittle which is why it's generally not done.

Whatever compound this is it seems to have the super scratch resistance of Sapphire while being incredibly flexible and thin

acrodex said,
Maybe it is not a sapphire glass after all, but a plastic with sapphire coat.

I was thinking the same thing. Or sapphire, plastic composite of some sort. Does sapphire bend like that?

DomZ said,
There's always been the assumption/worry that a Sapphire display would be incredibly brittle which is why it's generally not done.

Technically that's not true. There have been phones made with sapphire glass for quite a long time now. Granted they are more of the "luxury" brand phones that most people will not ever want to buy like Vertu but still. The military has also used sapphire glass in quite a few of its electronics. Hell Corning has always compared it's gorilla glass technology to sapphire glass and claimed GG was far superior and cheaper.

It's not really a new technology but it is a good one so it'll be interesting to see what Corning has up their sleeve.

-Razorfold said,

Technically that's not true. There have been phones made with sapphire glass for quite a long time now. Granted they are more of the "luxury" brand phones that most people will not ever want to buy like Vertu but still. The military has also used sapphire glass in quite a few of its electronics. Hell Corning has always compared it's gorilla glass technology to sapphire glass and claimed GG was far superior and cheaper.

It's not really a new technology but it is a good one so it'll be interesting to see what Corning has up their sleeve.

Wow, those Vertu phones look great! Way to expensive for my budget but they look sweet!

techbeck said,
Bending is interesting. not really impressed on the scratch tests tho as they have been done before with current glass and withstand the abuse.

Thank you. Someone with common sense and not fanboi blinders. We may not always see eye to eye, but I can agree with you most of the time.

Sooo... If I remember my chemistry classes well enough, they've -finally- invented transparent aluminium!?

Now we know who Scotty sold that formula too in Star Trek IV!!

Gorilla Glass isn't nearly as scratch resistant and shatters pretty easily. This Sapphire glass looks to be quite a bit better. I'll be interested to see some actual drop tests.

Gorilla glass has a hardness of around 6 to 6.5, sand has a hardness of 7 and sapphire glass has a hardness of 9.

Astra.Xtreme said,
Gorilla Glass isn't nearly as scratch resistant and shatters pretty easily. This Sapphire glass looks to be quite a bit better. I'll be interested to see some actual drop tests.
That is false.

Gorilla Glass 2 Test - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT8xI4PEU8c
Gorilla Glass 3 Test - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7M1FSbGo9fU

The average human hand can only apply 100lbs of pressure. Of course your physical size would certainly have a bearing on that. However in this videos, well over 100lbs of pressure was applied to Gorilla Glass 2 and it didn't break.

The Sapphire Glass? These tests show nothing. No test is going to prove anything until its dropped.

spark7210 said,
It is not about cash, it is all about quality
Says you. Facts show otherwise. The insurance companies that cover your phones, already spoke on the fact it cost more for them to cover iPhone than any other phone ever made before and after it.

http://articles.latimes.com/20...billion-in-repairs-20120921

Never in history of smartphones has it cost consumers this much. EVER! With this fancy glass, it means it will likely cost more.

I remember when carriers didn't offer insurance to cover iPhones, you had to get AppleCare. However, I think lots of complainst came from custmers because all other phones sold cheap or not were covered by carrier insurance. Now the carriers also cover iPhone. The first trend I saw, was the coverage on iphones were higher. With VZW I was paying 9.99 per month for iPhone, while my Galaxy phone was only 5.99 I believe it was 3 years ago. Now they all cost about the same. It also cost more for the deductible to replace an iPhone if lost or stolen. It was as high as $150 on some carriers, while yet again my Galaxy device only cost $99 to replace.

Now that these companies are making even more money from all the deductibles of iPhone users mostly, they have the money to lower the replacement cost and even now the iPhone is now $99 to replace.

But what I can say, it is nice that Apple at least wants to improve their devices a bit for all the money they make. The iPhone 5 and 4 and 4S break way to easy and there are huge complaints posted online, especially about the iPhone 5.

Sammyinnit said,
I don't understand, how are they going to make money from replacement screens now?

Are you serious? I suppose not.

Apple would rather your screen not shatter than you having to have it replaced, this IS innovation, its the result of research and serious investment and will result in Apple customers having a better user experience. This is what Apple is about.

I think too that allowing people to carry their phones without a case lets the well designed Apple hardware be seen and shown off.

Sammyinnit said,
I don't understand, how are they going to make money from replacement screens now?
If you drop a phone with a glass face, it is going to break. What I do see is, this glass may not break on certain surfaces. If you drop it on concrete or a brick surface where the shock from am impact is bounced back to the object that hit it, it is going to break.

What this guy did in a video works on Gorilla Glass and they don't break either. This proves nothing.

Hi_XPecTa_Chens said,
If you drop a phone with a glass face, it is going to break. What I do see is, this glass may not break on certain surfaces. If you drop it on concrete or a brick surface where the shock from am impact is bounced back to the object that hit it, it is going to break.

What this guy did in a video works on Gorilla Glass and they don't break either. This proves nothing.

I have done a lot of reading about this and I expect the Apple sapphire screens will be much better than Gorilla Glass. I expect the saphire screens will make the Apple iPhone much better. It won't be long because after the phones have been released people can start debating the facts.

Apple was again the first one to do it. Solved the riddle of shattering screens for good. So much potential with this glass.

Open Minded said,
You mean buy a company already making this glass?

Then why didn't the other companies bought this company??

Liaqat_ali said,
Apple was again the first one to do it. Solved the riddle of shattering screens for good. So much potential with this glass.

Umm... Nokia has had shatter-resistant (not 100% shatter proof) glass for quite some time. I've dropped my phone countless times and not even a scratch. Yet my friends with iPhones and Samsung phones are shattered to pieces lol.

j2006 said,

Umm... Nokia has had shatter-resistant (not 100% shatter proof) glass for quite some time. I've dropped my phone countless times and not even a scratch. Yet my friends with iPhones and Samsung phones are shattered to pieces lol.

And my 920 has full of scratches.... Your phone can fall more than a meter, land on a hard surface and have no damage at all or drop ten centimeters and end up with a shattered screen. Plenty of variables contributes to determine the outcome of a drop.

Descartes said,
Wait so are we talking about scratch or shatter resistance?

I don't think they know what they're talking about. Everyone's an expert on resistant materials it seems.

Cosmocronos said,

And my 920 has full of scratches.... Your phone can fall more than a meter, land on a hard surface and have no damage at all or drop ten centimeters and end up with a shattered screen. Plenty of variables contributes to determine the outcome of a drop.

My 925 has a giant crack too.

It seems pretty impressive when he was bending it all over the shop. Will be very interesting to see some drop tests on this when fully assembled units are released

DomZ said,
It seems pretty impressive when he was bending it all over the shop. Will be very interesting to see some drop tests on this when fully assembled units are released

Hope it's much superior to the over hyped piece of landfill called Gorilla glass.

sanke1 said,

Hope it's much superior to the over hyped piece of landfill called Gorilla glass.

Lol. Gorilla glass is quiet good =). But thats beside the point...

My question is, does sapphire bend like that? Or is a plastic/sapphire screen?

Gorilla glass is ok, but the technology that makes it resistant, is the one that makes it shutter to pieces all over the place of a point impact.