Apple Watch scratch resistance: Ion-X vs. sapphire glass

Lindsey Caldwell - Apr 27, 2015
11
Apple Watch scratch resistance: Ion-X vs. sapphire glass

When it comes to the new Apple Watch, durability is important. The smartwatch sits right on your wrist and could face more nicks and scratches than a typical smartphone. At least smartphones can be covered by a case. So far, there aren’t really any accessories that could increase Apple Watch’s durability. Interestingly, Apple Watch Sport is made from different materials than the more expensive Apple Watch models. The sport model uses Ion-X glass which is similar to the Gorilla Glass used in many smartphone screens. The higher-end Apple Watches use sapphire-crystal glass; the same material is found in Rolex and Breitling watches.

The team from Consumer Reports tested both materials using the Mohs scale of hardness which uses ten different mineral densities as references. For example, talc is only a 1, but diamond is a 10 on the Mohs scale. Sapphire glass uses corundum, which rates a 9 on the hardness scale.

According to the video, Apple Watch Sport was unscathed by a 7-rated pick, but was scratched by an 8. The higher-end Apple Watch which used sapphire crystal was able to withstand a beating from a 9-rated pick. So, there is definitely a difference in quality contributing to the price difference between the models.

We’ve seen scratch tests on the material used in Apple watch screens, but this is the first time we’ve seen a scratch test on an actual Apple Watch. As for rumors of sandpaper scratching the Apple Watch, corundum (Mohs 9) is found in sandpaper, which is on par with sapphire glass. The best advice would be to keep your Apple Watch Sport away from sandpaper. Although according to this test, sapphire glass won’t be scratched by 9-rated materials, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to such an expensive smartwatch.

Consumer Reports isn’t the only one putting Apple Watch to the test. CNET challenged the new smartwatch in every which way imaginable from a cheese grater sharp knives to dropping it in a pot of boiling water. Hopefully, they destroyed it so you don’t have to accidentally sabotage your new device.

Source: Consumer Reports


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