Chemically treated 'Gorilla Glass' easily cracks in smartphone experiment

Local 6 tests durability of glass screens on various phones

ORLANDO, Fla. - If you own a smartphone, there is a good chance you've cracked its screen.

Wireless carriers and phone manufacturers have caught on that fragile screens are a real problem for consumers, so they are seemingly doing something about it.

Newer phones are equipped with Corning's "Gorilla Glass" and the newest of the new even have "Gorilla Glass 2". 

Verizon bragged up its Motorola Droid Razr as being thin and tough with the face made of the special glass and a back made from Kevlar in commercials.

Corning's own commercials show an animated gorilla dropping a phone on the ground and picking it up without putting a scratch on the screen.

With the help of the smartphone repair gurus at UbreakIfix, and 10-year-old Zaniyah, we put 5 different smartphones face to face with concrete.

Zaniyah first dropped the phones from 3 feet and all the screens remained unscathed, however the side of the HTC Aria began to fall apart.

When she moved up to a 5-foot drop, the glass on the iPhone 3g, iPhone 4s, Motorola Droid Razr, and HTC Aria cracked. The Blackberry Curve was the only phone that passed the test.  It even survived a 7-foot drop, but when Zaniyah threw it against the pavement it shattered.

The phones with "Gorilla Glass", the Razr and iPhone 4s, actually appeared to shatter more than the other phones.

A Corning spokesperson said that the company never claimed that it is an unbreakable product.  He said it has been proven in laboratory tests to perform 20 percent stronger.

He also pointed out examples of clips on Youtube where people try to break their phone screens.

"Some videos show iPads with Gorilla Glass getting dropped from buildings and they survive, and other show screens breaking from short falls.  It is all about how it is dropped and how many times it was dropped previously,"  said Dan Collins, Corning's vice president for corporate communications.

Eddie Trujilla, a managing partner for UbreakIfix, said they see all makes and models of broken phones but confirmed that Blackberry's are typically stronger than some of the other phones.

"Their screens are made of more of a plastic material, so they aren't as responsive to touch," said Trujilla who recommends consumers get a protective cover like an Otter box.

"There is no phone on the market right now that is unbreakable," he said.

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