So, I own around 200 Android smartphones, have grown from smartphones with Gorilla Glass 1 all the way to the latest Gorilla Glass 6 and have never broken a screen when dropped onto flat surface. On my 3rd day of using my brand, new Google Pixel 3A XL with a case(that Google sent me), I dropped it while taking out of my pocket but thankfully it was only a 1-foot drop as I caught it sort of in mid air and didn’t catch it. Upon picking it up, I notice two cracks that appeared. Since I dropped it on a flat surface with the case on, the case’s lip actually prevented the screen from touching the ground. So it got me wondering, how did it break?
Basically, the force of the drop caused the cracks. And trust me, I am one of those really paranoid guys who always use a case and 99% of the time, I don’t break screens much thanks to cases. But in this case, it cracked so it got me wondering why?
Upon closer examination and online research, I found out Google has used a sub-par glass called “DragonTrail” that’s used on pretty much many of the cheaper budget smartphones. Now, according to an article on AndroidAuthority, the DragonTrail has been tested for up to 132 pounds of force while Gorilla Glass can stand up to 430 pounds of force:
This result is echoed by Corning’s own “strength after abrasion damage” test, which tosses the glass sheets into a barrel filled with various items and tumbles them for 45 minutes. Afterward, the sheets are removed and subject to load testing. Corning claims the Sapphire sheet broke after a load of 161lbs (73kg) was placed on it, while its own solution withstood over 430lbs (195kg) of force. To be fair, it’s an in-house test of Corning’s making, but it’s still a revealing result.
Dragontrail manufacturer Asahi hasn’t published a four-point bend test video for its solution, merely showing off a three-point test video from 2011 with up to 60 kilograms (132 lbs) of force applied. It’s not the ideal comparison, given the differing test setups (and older glass in the case of Dragontrail).
Apart from scientific numbers, I can honestly tell you that in all of 300+ smartphones I have tested over the last 8 years or so, I have never broken a smartphone screen while using a case and dropped on a flat concrete surface. And I drop my smartphones ALL THE TIME, but thanks to cases I use, they don’t break that easily.
I am just telling you that your brand, new Pixel 3A or 3A XL screen could easily break from any kind of drop, even if your screen does not touch the ground but from the force of the drop. I really believe that screen would have not broken with a Gorilla Glass but obviously Google wanted to give us consumers a better price. This is just a PSA so for those of you who buy Pixel 3A or 3A XL, make sure to use a thick case and/or use tempered glass because the glass used in it is weak as I have experienced.
I am sure many of you are going to be cracking your screens soon(if you are not using protection) and if you did crack your 3A or 3A XL, be sure to leave a comment on our YouTube video or forums to share your experiences.
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