back to article Butterfingers who don't bother with phone cases, rejoice: New Gorilla Glass 'Victus' tipped to survive 6ft drops

Aluminosilicate wrangler Corning has lifted the lid on its latest generation of its hardy Gorilla Glass. Dubbed Victus, Corning claims the glass boasts twice the scratch resistance of its predecessor and can effortlessly survive a 2-metre (6ft) drop without shattering. smashed windscreen As Corning unveils its latest Gorilla …

  1. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

    Is dropping your phone common?

    I've honestly never dropped mine in a way that cracks the screen. I use the case that came with my Mi 9 and it's nice but generally won't go out my way to get a case.

    So is it common? I drink a ton and I have dropped phones but never ever outside and never in a way that has even produced a scratch.

    Am I an alien, or is this feature here a genuine selling point?

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: Is dropping your phone common?

      Well... I dropped my phone, OK, phones. All of them. Several times, from varying heights on different materials. So far they survived, but so far all had bevels and no full glass front. I don't get it: the slick full glass front is a selling point, and then people put it in a phone case which looks... not good (tempted to write something else). Just make the stupid thing more robust, include a bevel to absorb some of the shock. Yeah, it will be thicker and heavier, but not as thick, heavy and fugly as the sleek all glass one with the phone case on it...

      Sorry. I need a drink...

      1. JassMan
        Joke

        Re: Is dropping your phone common? @Joe W

        Are you sure you haven't had one too many drinks already? Or do you have a strange keyboard with the V and Z swapped. Most phones with edge protection for the screen have a bezel, which may or may not have a bevel (flat chamfer).

        Sorry, just couldn't resist being a grammar nazi having just downed a few glasses of "Saint Thaur" Picpoul de Pinet to celebrate living to see another Friday. Just as good as the Ormarine Black label but only half the price.

        1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

          Re: Is dropping your phone common? @Joe W

          My phone has a beveled bezel.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Is dropping your phone common?

        Er, just buy a better looking case?

        That's the advantage of cases, you can choose a level of drop protection vs bulk that suits you and your environment. You can also choose additional features, such as credit card holders and kick stands, should you wish. You can choose the colour and material, so that you phone won't be confused for that of others in your household, should they have the same model of phone. You can replace the case if it does get too worn and shabby.

        So just what is the advantage of incorporating shock absorbing material into the phone itself rather than in a removable case?

        My feet are fairly robust, but I choose the cases (shoes) I put them in according to the situation. I wouldn't choose for my feet to permenantly have the bulk and feel of a pair of walking boots.

    2. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: Is dropping your phone common?

      In the past, I've thrown mine. had one bounce off the wall, which popped the back cover off and dismounted the battery. (this was back when cell phone *had* removable batteries...)

      never managed to break the screens on any of them. the last one I killed was back in 2012, when the phone managed to fall into the deep end (~3 meter) of the pool and got waterlogged to death.

    3. The Alpha Klutz

      Re: Is dropping your phone common?

      yes. s9 owner. the screen is a composite material of oled glued to glass. its actually very tough. if you shatter it, the screen will work, it will just have hair line scratches. I drop it every week. it is two year old. for some reason it always hits on the front side as well, which is annoying, the front side has bits of glass missing but the touch sensor doesnt need the glass. the glass is only there to protect the oled which is easily sensitive to pressure. so if i break the glass, who cares, the glass is the protective case for the oled. i dont care.

      1. Keythong

        Re: Is dropping your phone common?

        Indeed, OLE screens seem tougher than LCD screens because my Samsung tablet has a part cracked screen and is going strong 5 years later, with LineageOS.

    4. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Is dropping your phone common?

      I've dropped mine a couple times, onto wooden floors, onto concrete, and onto a cat. The phone never seems to mind these drops, but mine is older and has a case on it to be careful. The case isn't designed to provide massive levels of protection, but I've seen other people with cracked screens, so I figure it's not hard to use the basic protection option. So far, this combination has resulted in no problems save for a short meow and a contemptuous look.

    5. Aleph0

      Re: Is dropping your phone common?

      To me it happens a couple of times a year, in autumn when I start wearing jackets again. At six in the morning I pop the phone in my jacket's pocket, bend down to lace my shoes, and out the phone slips... Admittedly at that point the fall is just from 50-60 cm, but I reckon that with my luck it's best to take no chances so I bought a custom TPU case at the same time as the phone.

      I've only managed to break one phone, a Nokia 808 Pureview (the last all-European phone from the hardware to the OS, and one of the first actually good cameras on a phone) to answer what turned out to be a spam call while I had both hands occupied. At the time the model had been out of production for a year, original replacements were no longer available and so the repair shop fitted a knock-off screen without the polarizing layer. So in the end even after paying for the repair, in a few weeks I still had to get a new phone because the display looked like crap.

      After all those years I still miss that phone...

      1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

        Re: Is dropping your phone common?

        I've only broken one phone screen. A Sony Ericsson P800. Didn't drop it, got it out of my pocket once and the screen had shattered. I never found out how, but I think the folding keypad got pushed a little too hard by the edge of my pocket when I sat down.

        However, I have dropped phones many times. Never had a smashed screen since, but I *always* have a case. Currently have a lifeproof case on my iPhone XS Max that doesn't really add a whole lot of bulk to an admittedly large phone. It *does* add a lot of protection though. I'll be honest though, I am not really worried about how slim the phone is. I bought it because I liked the features. I bought the case because the phone cost an awful lot of money, and , tbh, it seemed stupid not to want to protect that investment.

        The phone and case are nearly two years old now. The case is a little dirty from time to time (nothing a little soap and water can't fix), but inside the case, the phone still looks new.

        Oh, and for those who say I never drop the phone, well, I rarely drop mine.

    6. DS999

      Re: Is dropping your phone common?

      I've dropped several generations of iPhone onto concrete a few times and knock on wood never had any damage other than a bit of scuffing on the metal frame. Never had a case on any of them. Of course they were dropped from 'texting height' about 4 - 4.5 feet off the ground not 6 feet. Not sure how a drop from 6 feet happens unless you are very tall and holding it to your ear.

      I've seen enough people with phones that have anything from a few cracks to basically the entire front being shattered (seems like it would be hard to read text on those...) to know that there was some luck involved in my not having any damage. Better glass is always welcome.

      I figure scratches probably happen from the people who carry their phone and keys in the same pocket. I couldn't bring myself to do that, even Apple's sapphire screens had panned out. I have two front pockets, so there's no reason to not to segregate keys and phone into separate pockets.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Is dropping your phone common?

        Even sapphire can be scratched. Chief culprits are from diamond jewellery, dust from using a diamiond cutting disc, and some anti-slip abrasives added to flooring.

        1. DS999

          Re: Is dropping your phone common?

          Sure sapphire can be scratched by other sapphires or the few harder materials like diamond. But the potential for your phone's screen encountering such materials (does anti-slip flooring use sapphire dust or something like that?) is a lot lower than it encountering something capable of scratching glass - which is basically anything made out of steel, sand (quartz) and other common materials that might be in your pocket either deliberately or accidentally (just try keeping sand out of your pockets if you live near a beach)

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Is dropping your phone common?

            I'm pretty certain that most of us encounter industrial abrasives on a near daily basis, whether we know it or not.

            1. gobaskof

              Re: Is dropping your phone common?

              All these people who have never smashed their phone? I have smashed phone by, doping it out of coat pocket and it landing on the point of a flint stone, dropping a phone on a marble floor; coming off a climbing wall awkwardly and falling 3 meters heel first onto my own phone; having something fly up my sleeve while I was on the phone and gesturing wildly to scare it but was drunk and ended up flinging my phone down a hill...and others.

              I have now had a crazy ruggedised, waterproofed, tank-phone for about 14 months and the screen is intact. The protective bezel is smashed from when I dropped it down a flight of concrete steps, and the glued back is coming off from when it got left out in the sun in Africa (wedged back in with some extra long torx screws into the case with large washers holding on the back plate).

              I am not normal. I get that. I try to protect my phones, but life keeps happening to them. I salute the engineering effort that goes into making a device "me-proof".

              1. SuperGeek

                Re: Is dropping your phone common?

                @Gobaskof: You're the kind of real world tester manufacturers DREAM of!

              2. David Nash
                Mushroom

                Re: Is dropping your phone common?

                Dropping onto the point of a stone is probably more damaging than a 6-foot drop where it lands flat, or even on the phone's edge.

                It only needs to be a small stone, like on a road, and all the energy of the drop gets concentrated onto that spot.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Is dropping your phone common?

              Jake, oh you're an expert on industrial abrasives now?

              What HAVEN'T you done?

              Wait, let me ask something better... What WON'T you post here about? Because you should definitely focus on that.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Is dropping your phone common?

                The only place I made that claim was in your tiny little mind, AC.

                What haven't I done? Well, for a start I haven't spent my life in MeDearOldMum's basement. You might try it. It can be quite enlightening.

              2. Little Mouse

                Re: Is dropping your phone common?

                Yawn A/C - Didn't this all get dealt with 2 weeks ago?

    7. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

      Re: Is dropping your phone common?

      I bought an iPhone and dropped it as I took it out of the box. IMButterfingeredO a sticky rubber case is essential, but not just to be able to hang onto the bloody thing. Without a case, the switch that stops the ringer sounding is guaranteed to be in the 'off' position when it comes out of my pocket.

    8. This post has been deleted by its author

    9. hoopsa

      Re: Is dropping your phone common?

      The only time I've broken a phone screen is when it got swept off a table and landed fully flat and face-down on a hard floor. My old iPhone 7 has some actual dents in the metal case where it's hit the ground, but no other damage. Amazing, really. I don't make a habit of dropping them, all the same.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is that what the marketing department were after?

    Victus means defeated in Latin.

    1. JassMan
      Headmaster

      Re: Is that what the marketing department were after? @AC

      Depends on whether they intended it as a noun or a participle.

      Noun

      vīctus m (genitive vīctūs); fourth declension

      1. living, way of life, lifestyle

      2. nourishment, provision, diet, that which sustains life

      3. (Late Latin, law) necessaries of life

      Participle

      victus (feminine victa, neuter victum); first/second-declension participle

      conquered, subdued, having been conquered.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Is that what the marketing department were after? @AC

        Have the hand-wringing, curtain-twitching namby-pambys caught wind of this yet? It's obvious from the use of this word "Victus" that Corning is pro-male and anti-female (and the subjugated).

      2. Spacedinvader
        Joke

        Re: Is that what the marketing department were after? @AC

        Romanes eunt domus

  3. Suburban Inmate
    Boffin

    A butterfingered oaf writes...

    Telling us it can survive a 6 foot drop doesn't really tell us anything without knowing the testing method.

    I can tell you that my modest Motorola Moto G7 Power that I use for work has survived such drops to hard surfaces, aided by its bezel, discreet-ish factory fitted clear silicone (or whatever) case, and a £1.50 toughened glass screen protector.

  4. Keythong
    Meh

    The case may survive, but will the internals survive the shock?..

    I've had SMD components detach from a PCB, inside a premium metal cased bicycle light, dropped too many times from waist height, rendering it inoperable; the same could happen with a phone, and there is a lot more to fall off! Bumpers maybe possible inside the case, but may make the case thicker or hamper heat dissipation.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: The case may survive, but will the internals survive the shock?..

      Having dropped my S8 a lot, albeit in a case, I get the impression that the internals of modern phones are well put together with screws and glues (with adhere to a large surface area of a part rather than small screw holes - which can be 'stress risers' ). Glues can also be engineered to provide some level of shock absorption if appropriate.

      It also helps that many of the internal components of modern phones are smaller and lighter than those of their forebears.

      It's not just phones - Sika started out making polyurethane adhesives when automotive designers made the windscreen a structural component of cars. Ford are partnering with Downing to glue their vehicles together - it avoids stress risers, it avoids the headaches of bolting aluminium panels to steel frames, it saves weight over rivets, and the glue can be engineered to different levels of flexibility if required.

  5. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Here's a better option

    Don't buy a phone with a glass back. I reached that decision with my Nexus 6P. Fuck that noise.

    I drop stuff so often my grandfather had a special racist swear he would yell at me.

    Did you know if you have an empty (no oil, no spring) motorcycle fork leg and you drop it, it destroys the bumpstop and all the hydraulic valves? That cost me nearly $450.

    Did you know if you drop one of those WD MyPassport drives, even when it's off, it's destroyed and will never read data again?

    You can also destroy Cisco routers and PIX firewalls by dropping them.

    1. DS999

      Re: Here's a better option

      The odds of breaking the screen aren't any higher if you have a glass back. I have never used a case but if I dropped my phone and the glass back shattered I'd just put it in a case that covers the back, problem solved.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Here's a better option

        There are reasons glass is used for the back of phones. All design is compromise.

        A plastic back might deform too much and cause damage to internal components. Glass can be made fairly stiff.

        Aluminium can cause headaches for the radio engineers.

        Somehow the glass rear of my phone is cracked despite being kept in a case - possibly some speck of grit got between phone and case before I dropped it. Still, the crack is covered by a vinyl sticker, and the waterproofing hasn't been affected (as I discovered by falling into a canal)

  6. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Marketing versus warranty

    I've had three Gorilla Glass screens break because the phone slipped out of a jacket pocket while I was kneeling or sitting. That's not even a 1 foot drop. Zero of them were covered under warranty despite much marketing bullshit about the toughness.

    1. Alumoi

      Re: Marketing versus warranty

      The idea is to have them fall flat on the face on a smooth surface. Any deviation from this will result in a shattered glass. At least that's my experience (5 different Sammys)

      1. DS999

        Re: Marketing versus warranty

        From watching videos of guys who 'drop test' phones I've come to the conclusion that 1) it is almost impossible to get a phone to land flat on either front or back and 2) if it does, it is virtually certain to shatter.

        Whether it shatters on a corner/side impact has more to do with the strength of the frame. Which is why Samsung's design with the screen around the edges makes a phone more vulnerable to drop damage since there is no frame there to protect it.

        I've dropped most of the half dozen iterations of iPhone I've owned onto concrete, all have been corner or side impacts and none resulted in damage beyond scuffing the frame. I did see someone knock their (face down) phone off a table once, and it landed dead flat face down on a polished concrete floor with a sound I can't describe, but everyone cringed because we knew just from the sound it had to be broken.

        And broken it was, I've never seen so much damage to a screen as that accident caused! Usually with a broken screen the phone is still usable, you can still read texts etc. between the cracks. Not so this phone, the cracks were so many and so fine it was like a freeze frame of the "snow" you used to see on an analog TV tuned to a channel with nothing on it. The screen still worked, you could touch/swipe/etc. just fine, but it was completely unreadable.

    2. dinsdale54

      Re: Marketing versus warranty

      And mine.

      My Galaxy S8 didn't survive a 50cm drop when getting out of the car. It cracked from from one side to the other, and back again. It was in a Samsung case at the time.

      As a result I am very sceptical of durability claims by phone manufacturers - especially Samsung.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Marketing versus warranty

        Yeah, I've dropped lots phones getting out of cars - or rather vans, which are higher!

        I didn't read any durability claims before buying my S8, but after breaking a Sony in a Sony case, I bought a Spigen 'Tough Armour' case and a glass screen protector.

        My mechanic used to have an iPhone 4 in a case that was a 3/4" of foam rubber all around. It worked!

  7. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Can the Reg Standards Bureau verify these claims by knocking off examples of Victus Gorilla Glass off the head of a standing Richard Osman? Can they really survive falling through an Osman? And for good measure, can they survive a falling Richard Osman?

    Alexander Armstrong. Osman is also one of the tallest men in recorded human history British TV, at 6 foot 7" (2.0066m), and is regularly teased by other telly personalities on programmes such as Have I Got News For You for his ability to let the rest of us know when it's about to rain.

    https://www.theregister.com/2020/03/27/reg_standards_soviet_social_distancing_measure/

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How not to drop a phone

    Butter the back.

    Alternately tie it to a cat

  9. Dave 15 Silver badge

    My blackberry

    The screen glass survived the high velocity impact with the wall opposite when for the upteenth bloody time I made a phone call using the android software and the other party couldnt hear me.

    I dont know for sure what is at fault here.

    It could be the phone, but now my new android phone has done exactly the same twice today.

    It could be the network, but my old phone acted the same in Sweden, Germany and the UK

    Or it could be android, though this is now two versions on two phones doing the same.

    Or it could just be that no one today bothers to actually check the shit they foist on us to meet the deadline is actually something more than a crock of shit. No one seems to care.

    1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

      Re: My blackberry

      A phone that doesn't work as a phone? Interesting. Android will go out of business at that rate. But seriously: was the phone in a case? had you given the App permission to use your microphone (don't laugh: I've seen that)? How do you hold the phone? Is the microphone mute on by default? Etc. Umpteen billion users of Android products can't be wrong.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £5 buys you ...

    ... a nice 9H glass screen protector. I've cracked and scratched a dozen of these (I'm outdoors a lot, and am also a bit clumsy) but they have always saved the underlying phone. Nothing quite as pleasing as getting a phone that looks like it has a shattered screen, pealing off the cover and the screen underneath is still in Day 1 condition.

    1. Phil Kingston

      Re: £5 buys you ...

      They're good, but can't get one (cheaply) that fits curved-edge screens. You know, the curved edges no one asked for but Sammy gave us because they could.

  11. stick box
    FAIL

    If only there was a way to stop dropping them

    Dropping wouldn't be such an issue if flash phones didn't all have shiny backplates. Sure it looks good in the marketing, but why is something designed to go in your hand so slippy?

    1plus used to have textured backs and I wish it had become more commonplace.

    1. Jedit
      Boffin

      "1plus used to have textured backs and I wish it had become more commonplace."

      I'm still to see a better designed phone than the Galaxy Note 4. About the only thing they could have done to change the basic design was removing the physical Home button. But when you're talking about expensive devices, iterative refinement doesn't fly because nobody gets excited about last year's device with slightly better components. Samsung et al *need* to change something big every time so that the product looks new, different and worth buying instead of its now-discounted predecessor.

  12. FordPrefect

    Enough of Gorilla glass bring on the transparent aluminium already, that stuff will take a chunk out of the floor and not out of your phone!

  13. MJI Silver badge

    Never had a problem until recently

    Even the back is glass.

    So slippery as well, like a bar of soap.

  14. BGatez Bronze badge

    Considering there is a very lucrative industry replacing cracked screens I'd say it's a thing. That said this new claim seems kind of like - you test it first. Even if the screen still works looking through a spider web of cracks can be maddening. Plus considering the long wait for repairs these days - even if it comes with a fab warranty makes a case for a case.

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