Are you not astounded to the Iphone X latest glass! Read more about Ion Glass.
Table of Contents
- Alumina silicate 1
- Ion exchange 2
- Ion-X glass or sapphire? 2
- Sapphire glass or Ion-X glass: what are the differences? 2
- What is Ion-X really? 3
- Display Mate: Apple iPhone glass is better 4
- Conclusion: sapphire glass or Ion-X? 4
On the regular Apple iPhone, the display is protected by a sapphire crystal or Ion X glass – an incredibly hard material that is highly resistant to scratches. But that comes with a hefty price tag: for the iPhone with sapphire glass, you pay at least 649 euros. The cheaper alternative is the Apple iPhone, with a watch case made of aluminum and hardened Ion-X glass on the display. But what is that actually for a type of glass?
According to Apple, the glass on the Apple iPhone is made of alumina silicate. This involves a chemical connection between aluminum oxide and silicon dioxide. Ordinary glass also consists of silicon dioxide, but in addition, it only contains sodium and calcium oxide. You do not have to study chemistry to think that aluminum is harder than the other two. Incidentally, the sapphire crystal glass on the ‘normal’ Apple Watch is also made of alumina, but then minus the silicon dioxide.
In addition, Apple says the following: ‘The glass is hardened at the molecular level by means of ion exchange. In this process, smaller ions are replaced by larger ones in order to create a surface that is much stronger than ordinary glass. ‘It all sounds very spectacular, but that is nothing else than what has been done for years with the so-called Gorilla Glass (also made of alumina silicate) on the iPhone and other smartphones. This kind of glass is indeed very hard: if you drop the Apple iPhone get a strong impact, the glass will not break.
Okay, but if the Ion-X glass is already so hard, why does Apple even use the sapphire crystal on the more expensive models of the Apple iPhone? Take a look at the screen of your iPhone. You will probably discover some small scratches. Ion-X-glass (or Gorilla Glass so) can take a beating, but it is not scratch resistant. Conversely, you will not get any scratches on the sapphire crystal of the Apple Watch
Actually a logical choice from Apple. After all, with an iPhone, it is much more likely that you get scratches due to all kinds of small touches during daily use than when you drop it and the glass breaks. An iPhone, on the other hand, must also be able to withstand heavy knocks and Ion-X glass is the best compromise for this. Moreover, it is also lighter than sapphire crystal – also a great advantage in sports.
Sapphire glass or Ion-X glass:
What are the differences between these materials? In the more expensive Apple Watch, you will find sapphire glass, in the Apple iPhone Ion-X glass.
The regular Apple Watch has a screen of sapphire crystal, while the Apple iPhone is equipped with a screen of hardened Ion-X glass. At first glance, you do not see any differences, but they are indeed there. That is why we explain in this article the difference between sapphire glass and Ion-X glass.
Sapphire glass or Ion-X: the chemistry
Let’s start with the chemical composition, which is very different for sapphire glass, Ion-X, and ordinary glass:
- Ordinary glass: silicon dioxide + sodium and calcium oxide
- Ion-X glass: silicon dioxide and alumina
- Sapphire glass: alumina
“By melting alumina and then allowing it to cool slowly for two weeks, crystallization takes place around a crystallization bar and a large block of colorless sapphire is formed.”
Meanwhile, scratch tests have been done of both sapphire glass and Ion-X glass. This shows that sapphire glass is the most scratch-resistant: it can withstand scratches by keys, knives, and sandpaper. It is also very scratch resistant, but it does get scratched by sandpaper. In practice, it means that both watches are reasonably resistant to wear and tear due to daily use. But if you let the Apple iPhone slip from your hands on the rough pebbles of the pavement, there is still a chance of scratching.
According to Apple, the glass of the Apple iPhone is made of alumina silicate. The addition of aluminum makes the glass harder and therefore slightly more scratch resistant. In addition, Apple has hardened the glass even more by ion exchange. In this process, smaller ions are replaced by larger ones, as a result of which the surface becomes stronger. Gorilla Glass, which is also made of alumina silicate, has been using this method for a long time to make the glass extra hard.
Scratch-resistant and break-resistant are difficult to combine
For materials, manufacturers always have to make a tradeoff between scratch resistance (hardness) and fracture sensitivity. As you may have noticed in practice, the iPhone does not suffer from scratches on the screen. But if you drop the iPhone in an unfavorable way, the glass will break pretty quickly. It is difficult to find the right combination of material that is as hard as possible and also resistant to breakage. That is why the rugged protective cases that protect your iPhone against falls and bumps are often made of soft materials such as plastic and rubber. They absorb the energy well at a blow but are not particularly hard.
The glass screens of the Apple Watch make it difficult to ‘build in’ the same drop and impact resistance, but manufacturers try to adjust the properties of the material in a favorable direction, with treatments such as ion exchange.
Apple iPhone is more exposed to daily wear and tear
With a watch, it is important that the screen is very scratch resistant. You hit faster against all kinds of objects. If you try to open a door with a hand full of bags, chances are that your wrist will hit the door. If you slide over a banana peel, your watch will rub along with you on the rough pavement. In the bumper cars, the Apple Watch gets a hit faster.
Accessories that you wear around your wrist will be damaged more quickly. This is evident from the many complaints that arise with fitness bracelets. They turn out to break relatively often because people do everything with it: showering, walking in the rain, fighting, bumping into walls, playing sports. The Apple Watch is moisture resistant and can withstand a shower, but is exposed to many more risks, while many people keep their iPhone well protected in a case.
Display Mate’s screen experts have also viewed the screen material of the Apple Watch. They come to a remarkable conclusion: This screen has the best viewing angle and produces fewer reflections than the sapphire glass of the steel Apple Watch. The Apple iPhone is, therefore, better to read in bright sunlight and has better image quality.
An Apple Watch with sapphire glass is considerably more expensive than an Apple iPhone with Ion-X. It is, therefore, a consideration of how much you are willing to pay. But there is something else to play with it: Ion-X glass (and Gorilla Glass) is less scratch-resistant, but better against a bump. Sapphire glass is less likely to scratch, but the screen will break faster if it falls.
Ion-X glass: for athletes and people who roughly deal with their stuff
It is therefore not only a matter of money, but also a consideration of how your lifestyle works. If you are someone who regularly falls and lets things slip, Ion-X is probably the best choice. With a sports watch, it is also logical that the impact and fall resistance is good.
Sapphire glass: for people who are careful with their stuff
If you are careful with your stuff and do not want to see any wear and tear due to daily use, sapphire glass is the best choice. On that, you see less scratching by keys and daily contact with sharp objects. If you do not throw your Apple Watch in a corner carelessly after wearing it, sapphire glass is the better option.