It is no secret that wearable devices take a beating. They are constantly exposed, being subjected to not only the elements but also the objects you encounter everyday. There is nothing more frustrating than your watch ramming a door handle as you walk by or scraping along the wall when you reach for something. Sapphire glass is used for numerous of wearables for just that reason – sapphire is the second hardest material, only behind diamonds. But sapphire glass isn’t perfect. To start with, it is expensive (estimated to cost 3 to 4 times more than typical Gorilla Glass) and heavy (67% heavier than typical Gorilla Glass). Also for how great it is protecting against scratches, sapphire glass shatters very easily. Finally, the optics of sapphire glass, especially in direct light, are not nearly as good as traditional glass products. Looking to address all of these issues, Corning has developed Gorilla Glass SR+.
Originally announced as Project Phire in early 2015, Gorilla Glass SR+ is a new composite material from Corning. It was designed to offer the same scratch protection as sapphire, but with impact protection closer to Gorilla Glass. In fact, Corning claims the new glass is 70% more resistant to breaking than sapphire. Additionally, Gorilla Glass SR+ offers 25% better surface reflection compared to sapphire; this means better optics and improved outdoor readability.
Corning announced that the new glass is already commercially available and will be utilized in devices from “leading global brands” before the end of the year. In fact, Samsung has already announced that their new Gear S3 will feature the Gorilla Glass SR+. Check out the below graphics from Corning to see how Gorilla Glass SR+ compares to other solutions.