What makes the Droid's screen so tough? Gorilla Glass, of course

The Motorola Droid is, by far, an industrial-type phone. Solid in the hand, it just feels tough. And that's not by accident. While any glass screen can be cracked, the Droid's is less susceptible to scratches, thanks to its special "Gorilla Glass." We'll leave the science to the scientists. But it has something to do with ions. Here's how it was broken down to SmartPlanet:

Like many glasses used in these kinds of applications, Gorilla glass chemically strengthened. Glass is a brittle material. Brittle materials are extremely strong under compression but extremely weak under tension. When you chemically temper a glass, you immerse it in a salt bath and you stuff larger ions in all the surfaces and put them all under compression.What’s unique about Gorilla Glass is that because of its inherent composition, it can allow those larger ions to penetrate the surface more deeply to increase the compression tolerance and tolerate deeper scratches.

So let's hear it for ions, everybody. [Gorilla Glass via Gizmodo]

  • "less unacceptable to scratches" The f---?
  • Language! Just a spell-check fail.
  • I was wondering if the screen was pretty tough. I keep a screen protector on it, but I would like to go without one if it won't get all scratched up. Are most people using one or not?
  • I personally do not use one, and it has no scratches so far. Grantedd, I have not dropped it yet, nor slid it on rocks/floor. I have done the key scratch test, and have no scratches.
  • really.. Really? Why wouldnt you buy a dedicated garmin device for this price. I can see people biting at $20/$30 but $90??!! You have google maps on G1 devices now. I can see this for windows mobile phones but too little too late.
  • I do not use a screen protector. My only counterpoint to "industrial-type phone" isn't concerning the screen, rather it's the slider mechanism. Personally, I would prefer a slider mechanism that requires more force to open and has a more positive engagement when in the closed position.
  • After an incident last week, my Droid was run over by a car several times. The result was minor scratches on the battery cover and a non-functional speaker. The screen is flawless, and it was face-down on the ground. Tough cookie.... tough cookie. If you must ask how it was run over several times... it fell out of my coat pocket while getting in my vehicle which was parallel parked on the side of the road. After leaving the parking space, I discovered the phone was missing, and 20 minutes later returned to the scene. There was the Droid, face down in the snow, lifeless behind the tire of a Jeep Cherokee.
  • lol, I dont know what your talking about, 3 days after buying my first moto Droid I dropped it and the screen shattered. It was only the outer screen ( thank god ) but it was still $100 for the screen and time and labor.
  • I've dropped mine many times and I have one or two scratches on it the only complaint I have is the slider isn't that durable. The battery doesn't last too long eithe the battery cover comes off a lot if I don't have a case on it and it doesn't have that many apps available. Otherwise I like the phone a lot and I can't wait for flash player to come out.
  • I have an iPhone since day one. I also have dropped it onto the concrete, pavement, rocks, and from my lap while getting out of a Ford Van. I assume the glass screen is similar to that of the Droid. The glass is tough and I have no scratches on it even after two years of in the pocket or bouncing off of concrete action. Never once broke the glass, but I have heard of others that broke the glass upon dropping on the concrete floor. The Droid will have a similar characteristic as even toughen glass can have the tension released by a proper strike- just like a cars window. I am assuming that the Droid is built along the same lines as the iPhone with more mechanical complexity. I think this will be a problem as with other phones with similar design. Wear will start to show as the mechanics of moving parts slowly wear. Glad to see the phone starting to become more computer than phone. The one thing I have loved about the iPhone- bigger part computer than phone. Kinda replaced my laptop as my business now is almost all intertwined in my phone. Hope to see Droid 2 with more memory for apps and games. I may even try one out- but the glass issue I have not really seen as a problem. If the glass is tougher than the iPhone that would be great. Because mine has taken a beaten since I got it Day one.
  • @NCG598
    The iPhone uses exactly the same stuff. Corning gorilla glass. And the new iphone is made of steel, so it should be rather tough... but android phones continue to have one huge advantage over iphone... you guessed it: AT&T. (followed closely by all the other complaints android users have about iphones, naturally... but for now, the absolute biggest reason that i'm not going to get an iphone is AT&T. If, however, you are satisfied with AT&T's coverage where you are, I wouldn't hesitate to suggest just getting a new iphone when you want another phone... here in nowhereland... excuse me... suburbia, we're not lucky enough to be a blip on AT&T's radar.)
  • Where did you get your screen replaced?
  • I have a Droid Incredible and it also uses gorilla glass , no screen protector is needed at all but I use one because it makes the feel of the phone better , is less prone to studies ,glare and smears . Not to mention increased screen protection . www.phantomskinz.com is all I ever use , far and away the very best . Installed it is nearly invisible . Best period !!!
  • Go Corning Inc....... its nice to know i work for the company that makes the glass for all these new devices.