Your Next Phone Could Survive Drops Better With New Gorilla Glass Victus 2
If you want your next smartphone to be better at resisting drops on concrete, then you’d better hope Corning’s new glass lives up to its claims.
On Wednesday, the company launched Gorilla Glass Victus 2, the latest version of its durable glass for smartphones. Corning says the new glass should offer better drop resistance on rougher surfaces.
The announcement is significant because Corning’s Gorilla Glass on prominent phones from companies like Samsung and Google, which may offer a preview of what to expect from next year’s new devices. The first products with the new glass should hit the market within the next few months, although Corning was unable to share additional details. Corning’s more durable smartphone glass comes amid a renewed interest in extending the life of mobile devices, for both environment and economic reasons.
Among the biggest differences between Gorilla Glass Victus 2 and the current version is that the new iteration should better withstand drops on harder surfaces. The new glass could withstand drops of up to one meter onto a surface that replicates concrete in laboratory tests, the company says. The current Gorilla Glass Victus, by comparison, was tested on surfaces meant to simulate asphalt.
“We had to find an even more difficult test to probe the surface,” said John Bayne, senior vice president and general manager of Corning’s mobile consumer electronics division. “And concrete is exactly that. It’s actually more challenging than asphalt.”
The company uses materials that replicate concrete instead of real concrete because real surfaces deteriorate after repeated drops, Corning said.
Gorilla Glass Victus 2 should also offer better cover glass protection for larger and heavier phones, according to Corning. The test puck the company uses to simulate the size and weight of a real phone during the testing process is now about 15% heavier to more accurately reflect today’s larger sized devices. This can be especially useful for foldable phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 4which weighs 263 grams, making it noticeably heavier than even the 228 grams Galaxy S22 Ultra. The Galaxy Z Fold 4’s cover and back glass already use Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus Plus, which is a version of the glass exclusive to Samsung’s Galaxy devices.
Corning typically releases new versions of its glass every 18 to 24 months, Bayne said. But the arrival of Gorilla Glass Vicus 2 comes as consumers hold onto their devices for longer periods of time, underscoring the need for durable products.
Data from Assurant, an insurance provider that also helps companies develop device trade-in programs, suggests that consumers are now waiting three and a half years before trading in their devices to upgrade to a new phone. Two smartphone screens are also cracked every second in the US, according to a 2021 report from electronics repair brand UBreakIFix.
Part of the reason people may not be upgrading their phones as often as they used to is that annual upgrades aren’t as compelling as they used to be. But Bayne thinks there’s still plenty of room for improvement in smartphone durability, especially when it comes to developing glass that’s tough but also thin.
“Our work will never be done, to tell you the truth,” he said.