Simple questions: What is Gorilla Glass? What about 2.5D glass?
If you use a smartphone, it is almost certain that you have heard about the term Gorilla Glass. Some of you might already know that it is a special kind of glass that is used on smartphones, tablets, and other similar devices. However, do you know what it does, and why it is important? Did you know that there are many types of Gorilla Glass? Do you know what's different between them? Your smartphone may have 2.5D glass. Do you know what that is and how it is different from Gorilla Glass? Read this article to see the answer to all these questions, and more:
What is Gorilla Glass?
Gorilla Glass is a type of toughened glass that is designed to resist damage while remaining thin and light. Gorilla Glass was invented by an American company named Corning Inc. Back in the 1960's, they created a sturdy glass called Chemcor that was used for several decades for both industrial and commercial applications. In 2005, the company decided to use their prior experience with Chemcor and start new research to see whether they could create a new kind of hardened glass that could be utilized for modern electronics such as smartphones and tablets. The result was the first Gorilla Glass, which was first announced in February 2008.
Gorilla Glass is made from a material called alkali-aluminosilicate which contains minerals such as aluminum, silicon, and oxygen. These materials help strengthen the sheet of glass. According to Wikipedia, in the manufacturing process, the glass is also immersed in a hot potassium salt ion-exchange bath which further increases its the surface strength and damage resistance.
Nowadays, Gorilla Glass is used extensively to cover the displays of smartphones, and tablets, but also on hybrid devices, smartwatches, and laptops, protecting the screen from scratches and cracks.
What types of Gorilla Glass are there?
Since 2005, when Corning Inc. started researching new ways to improve their glass, they have released five different types of Gorilla Glass, or versions if you prefer: Gorilla Glass version 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Each new version had significant improvements over its predecessor and newer Gorilla Glass types are tougher or thinner than the older ones.
What is Gorilla Glass 1?
The first Gorilla Glass made its first appearance on the first iPhone, back in January 2007. This was the first time when Gorilla Glass was ever used in consumer electronics. The reason for that seems to be the desire of Apple's Steve Jobs to use glass on the company's new iPhone, instead of plastic. However, at that time, glass was too easy to crack, so Steve Jobs met with the CEO of Corning Inc. and, after learning about their research on Gorilla Glass, immediately placed an order.
The Gorilla Glass that was used on Apple's iPhone had a thickness of 1.5 mm and oleophobic coating. It was both scratch and crack-resistant, as well as fingerprint and smudge-resistant.
What is Gorilla Glass 2?
The second version of Gorilla Glass made its debut in 2012, and it was 20 percent thinner than the original version. It kept all its other characteristics such as toughness and scratch resistance, but it could do all that while being thinner. That was perfect for many smartphone manufacturers, as they could now design and fabricate thinner devices.
Some of the most popular smartphones that used Gorilla Glass 2 for protection were the LG Nexus 4, Samsung Galaxy S4 mini or the HTC One.
What is Gorilla Glass 3?
The third version of Gorilla Glass improved on the core feature of this type of glass. Corning Inc. managed to increase the glass' toughness and created a new Gorilla Glass that was stronger, more flexible and more scratch-resistant. 2013, the year in which Gorilla Glass 3 appeared, was also the year when manufacturers started to become interested in using this hardened glass on laptops and hybrid devices with touchscreens.
What is Gorilla Glass 4?
Through surveys, the company found that, when it comes to their smartphones, people are worried most about dropping them on the ground and cracking their screens. So, for their Gorilla Glass 4, Corning Inc. focused on improving the glass and make it a lot more resistant against falls. According to their statements, when dropped from a height of 1 meter, Gorilla Glass 4 can "withstand breakage 80% of the time".
What is Gorilla Glass 5?
Gorilla Glass 5 was announced in July 2016, and it is another version of the glass that is designed to be even tougher than the previous version. The Gorilla Glass 4 was tested and improved to withstand falls from a height of just one meter. The Gorilla Glass 5 has been enhanced to become up to four times more resistant when dropped. Corning Inc. says that the new type of Gorilla Glass can survive 1.6 meters (about 5 feet), face-down falls onto a rough surface, up to 80% of the time. That means that a smartphone using this new type of glass can survive even if you drop it while taking a picture, for example.
Gorilla Glass 5 is found on the newest devices and examples include Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, Huawei P10 and Huawei P10 Plus, HTC 10 Evo or ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom.
What is 2.5D glass?
Many affordable smartphones are marketed as having 2.5D glass, instead of Gorilla Glass. 2.5D does not name a particular type of glass or a brand of glass. 2.5D is only a naming convention that is used for addressing contoured glass, which is any glass that has a slight curvature towards its edges. So, 2.5D glass can be Gorilla Glass or any other brand of glass, strengthened or not, as long as its edges are slightly curved and thinner than the middle of the glass sheet.
The 2.5D glass is used on many smartphones and other similar consumer electronics, such as tablets or smartwatches. The main reasons for its large adoption by smartphones manufacturers are the better looks and improved comfort. Displays with 2.5D glass are smooth on the edges, and they are not raised outside the smartphone body. Apple, Samsung, Huawei, ASUS and many other big companies in the smartphone world use this glass design. However, because 2.5D glass is only a naming convention, it does not have any particular features regarding resistance, clarity or quality.
Which glass is better: Gorilla Glass or 2.5D glass?
When considering Gorilla Glass, the answer to this question is rather obvious: the newer versions are better. Gorilla Glass 5 is an improved version of Gorilla Glass 4, and it is a lot better than Gorilla Glass 3, 2 or 1. Each new version of Gorilla Glass is tougher and more resistant to scratches. The newest Gorilla Glass 5 and 4 are also the best when it comes to withstanding drops. When considering the next smartphone, tablet or other devices with a touchscreen, you should make sure that it has Gorilla Glass 5 or at least Gorilla Glass 4.
As far as 2.5D glass is concerned, you cannot say whether it is better than Gorilla Glass because it is not a type of glass or a brand of glass, just a naming convention for how it looks. Also, the 2.5D glass existing on different smartphones has different characteristics, depending on where and how it was manufactured. You may even have 2.5D glass made of Gorilla Glass. Therefore, when you see the term 2.5D glass, even in our smartphone reviews, remember that it only tells you about the shape of the glass, and nothing about its resistance or strength. 2.5D only looks better and feels better in your hand.
Which smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and wearables use Gorilla Glass?
If you are curious to know whether your device is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, you can check your device's hardware specifications, or you can visit Corning's official website and look for your devices in the list of mobile smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and wearables that use Gorilla Glass: Full Products List. Also, if you want to see what new devices have Gorilla Glass 5, visit this web page: Products Designed with Gorilla Glass 5.
Do you own devices with Gorilla Glass or 2.5D glass?
We are curious to know if the glass on your devices is a major factor in your purchasing decision. Did you know what Gorilla Glass means? What about 2.5D glass? Do you want a particular type of glass on your devices? What kind of glass is on the devices that you own? Don't hesitate to comment below.