This review investigates the tests done for the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus and Apple’s Ceramic Shield. We will find out if there is a winner for the most durable and crack resistant, and also decide if tempered glass protector is still necessary for future phones.
The Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus™ is used on most of the latest high-end smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S Series and Xiaomi smartphones.
The ceramic shield glass is used on the Apple iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and Apple Watch 7. Cnet conducted several tests using the iPhone 12, which has a front ceramic shield, while the back of the phone is the same glass as the iPhone 11 which is not a ceramic shield.
Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus™ Test
Corning conducted their own tests using proper lab test equipment and shared their results using the video clips below. The tests are more controlled such that the variables are all pre-determined, such as the height of drop or swing, or angle of impact, and loading has been measured and recorded.
1. Mega Slapper Test.
Corning created a “Slapper” to test the drop performance of mobile device glass. The jig involves fixing the test sample to the end of an arm and swinging down under the force of gravity. It is easier to explain by watching the short video below.
The Gorilla Victus survived the Mega test while the other manufacturer’s glass shattered during the Mini Slapper test.
2. Drop Tower Test.
The second test was a drop test at a height of 2 meters (6.56 feet), and it was done with a special test jig to ensure that the phone lands face flat on the concrete floor. The Gorilla Victus passed the test, while the other manufacturer’s glass was shattered at just 0.8m.
3. Scratch Test.
The next test is the Knoop hardness (alternative to the Vicker’s hardness) test equipment that uses a pyramidal diamond point to press into the polished surface of the test material with a known load while the material is moving. The thickness of the test samples used for the test is 0.8mm.
The Gorilla Victus withstood the test up to about 8N (800grams), while the normal glass was visibly scratched at less than 4N (400grams) or less.
4. Retained Strength After Scratch
The scratch test has caused a micro or hairline crack to the test samples, so the next step is to test if the glass would shatter if the load is applied directly at the hairline crack area.
During the test, the normal glass was shattered at a load of 15kg, while the Gorilla Victus survived up to 100kg.
Apple Ceramic Shield Test
The tests performed by Cnet are not as “scientific” and well-controlled as the Corning tests. However, they do give us an idea of how strong the ceramic shield is, and they are having more fun than the guy in the Corning video.
In the Cnet video below, it is noted that the iPhone 12 has a front ceramic shield, while the back uses the same glass as the iPhone 11 front display. So whenever you see the back glass is scratched or cracked, it is telling us that this will happen to the iPhone 11’s screen.
This is a summary of the test results:
1. Purse Test
The phone is placed inside a pouch with a pen, some keys, and coins, and shake for 30 seconds. After that, the phone is removed and inspected for scratches.
The result shows that there are no scratches, dents, or cracks.
2. Sliding test
The phone was slid back and forth 10 times on a floor tile with a slight texture, and without pressure or load. The result shows slight scratches around the protruding aluminum frame, and visible scratches on the back glass. The back glass is the same glass used for the iPhone 11 front display.
3. Sandpaper test
The phone was slid back and forth 10 times on 80 grits sandpaper, and without pressure or load. The result shows visible scratches on both the ceramic shield, as well as the camera frame and back glass.
4. Drop test
It was hard to drop the phone flat on the front face, as the center of gravity causes the phone to drop with the bottom edge down all the time. However, this is what will happen in real life and is 100% representative of an actual drop. Furthermore, even if the impact is on the edge, the shock will be transmitted to the glass as well.
- The first drop is at a height of 3 feet (1m)
- The aluminum frame gets slightly scratched.
- The front ceramic shield survived but the back glass has smooth, spiderweb crack lines.
- The second drop is at a height of 6 feet (1.83m), face down
- The ceramic shield still survived, but the aluminum frame gets chipped and dented on the side that hits the floor.
- They dropped several times at 9 feet (2.74m), trying to get the phone to land face down.
- The phone was dropped 3 times at this height and the ceramic shield survived all the tests without a crack.
Both tests have shown that the Corning Gorilla Victus and Ceramic Shield are strong and durable. Since the tests conducted for both glasses are different, the results do not conclude if one of them is better than the other.
While Corning’s test may be more controlled and “scientific”, we find that the tests done by Cnet are quite severe. This is especially the case for the sandpaper test and 2.74 meters drop, which is higher than the drop test tower done by Corning. Even if Cnet’s testing is not “scientific”, the results do provide the confidence that Apple’s ceramic shield glass is durable.
While there is no clear winner, we may conclude that there is no longer a need to buy any extra “protective” tempered glass to stick over the Victus or Ceramic Shield. It does not make any sense to use a weaker glass to protect another that is much stronger.