What is Gorilla Glass? What is 2.5D glass? How do they compare?
If you use a smartphone, it is almost sure 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 different types of Gorilla Glass? Also, many smartphones 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 1960s, 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 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 surface strength and damage resistance. Nowadays, Gorilla Glass is used extensively to cover the displays of smartphones, and tablets, and also on smartwatches and laptops. It is protecting the screen from scratches and cracks.
How many versions of Gorilla Glass are there, and what's different between them?
Do you know how many types of Gorilla Glass are there? Since 2005, when Corning Inc. started researching new ways to improve their glass, they have released six different types of Gorilla Glass, or versions if you prefer: Gorilla Glass version 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Each new version has significant improvements over its predecessor, and newer Gorilla Glass types are tougher or thinner than the older ones.
The first Gorilla Glass made its first appearance on the first iPhone, back in January 2007. This was the first time that 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 wass 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.
Gorilla Glass 2 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.
Gorilla Glass 3 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. A few examples of new smartphones that still use Gorilla Glass 3 for protection are Samsung Galaxy A50, Motorola G7, and Nokia 7 Plus.
During the next years, the company found through surveys that, when it comes to smartphones, people are worried most about dropping them on the ground and cracking their screens. So, for their Gorilla Glass 4, which was announced at the end of 2014, Corning Inc. focused on improving the glass to 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".
Gorilla Glass 4 is found on some smartphones that are still available on the market today, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7, Google Pixel, and Pixel XL, HTC One M9, ASUS ZenFone AR, or the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2.
Gorilla Glass 5 was announced in July 2016. 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 many new devices, and examples include Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL, LG V40 ThinQ, Sony Xperia 10 Plus, and XZ3, Xiaomi Mi Mix 3, Huawei Mate 20 Pro, Nokia 9 PureView, Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.
On July 18, 2018, Corning Inc. announced the release of its latest iteration of tough glass: Gorilla Glass 6. The company advertises it as being the most durable cover glass ever. In the company's lab tests, Gorilla Glass 6 survived, on average, 15 drops from 1 meter onto rough surfaces, and proved to be up to two times better than Gorilla Glass 5. In comparison, Corning Inc. says that most of its competition does not survive even the first drop.
When we published this article, there weren't many smartphones with Gorilla Glass 6 available on the market. However, here are a few of some of the most exciting smartphones with Gorilla Glass 6: Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2, OnePlus 6T, Oppo F9, Oppo R17, Samsung Galaxy S10, Sony Xperia 1, and Xiaomi Mi 9.
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 broad 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.
2.5D glass vs. Gorilla Glass
When considering Gorilla Glass used on smartphones, the newer versions are usually better. Gorilla Glass 6 is an improved version of Gorilla Glass 5, and it is a lot better than Gorilla Glass 4, 3, 2 or 1. Each new version of Gorilla Glass is tougher and more resistant. The newest Gorilla Glass 6 and 5 are the best when it comes to withstanding drops. When considering your next smartphone, tablet or other devices with a touchscreen, you should make sure that it has Gorilla Glass and not just some "tempered super-tough glass."
As far as 2.5D glass is concerned, nobody can say whether it is better than Gorilla Glass because it is not a type of glass or a brand of glass. It is just a naming convention for how the glass looks. Also, the 2.5D glass found on different smartphones has different characteristics, depending on where and how it was manufactured. You may 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 just looks better and feels better in your hand.
Which smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and wearables use Gorilla Glass?
If you are curious to know whether Corning Gorilla Glass protects your device, 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.
If your device is not listed on this webpage, there is a high chance that it does not use Gorilla Glass. However, it is still possible, but your device's manufacturer might have asked Corning Inc. to keep this information hidden from consumers. In that case, you can only make assumptions based on rumors, such as those that iPhones still use Gorilla Glass although Apple only tells us about tempered glass in their specs.
Do you own devices with Gorilla Glass or 2.5D glass?
We are curious to know if the glass on your devices is a significant 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.