Sapphire Apple Watch screen passes scratch test with flying colors

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited April 2015
A video posted to the Web on Thursday runs a gauntlet of stress tests, including keys, sandpaper and even a power drill, on what is claimed to be an authentic sapphire display cover from Apple's forthcoming Apple Watch.




When Apple Watch launches later this month, two models -- Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition -- will sport display covers made from sapphire, a super-hard material Apple has used in smaller implementations like the iPhone's Touch ID home button.

A UK company called iPhonefixed got its hands on what it claims to be an Apple Watch screen replacement and put the sapphire part through its paces in a scratch test. Unsurprisingly, the screen withstood some major punishment, coming out unscathed from a process that would probably but gouges in parts made from lesser materials.

Like other scratch test videos, iPhonefixed used a variety of surfaces and tools to field test Apple's sapphire display. Meant to be a simulation of everyday wear and tear, the test involved raking the part against a stone wall, contact with a coin and a key, and rubbing it with sandpaper of an unspecified grit. More outlandish tests included a hammer and power drill.

In the end, Apple's sapphire component came away with no visible marks, scratches or nicks.



The unscientific test bodes well for Apple's first wearable. Devices attached to one's body are often subjected to bumps and scrapes, and with a watch, the glass element is first to make contact. Judging by recent reviews, Apple Watch is not a slim accessory, meaning it could be even more susceptible to accidental damage.

While Apple's sapphire material held up in testing, it remains to be seen how well the company's ion impregnated "Ion-X" glass withstands similar punishment. Cheaper than sapphire, Ion-X is used in the Apple Watch Sport model, which also swaps out stainless steel and gold for aluminum.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
    There goes scratchgate!
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    There goes scratchgate!



    #$%^!! *scribbles scratchgate off the list*

  • Reply 3 of 19
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,937member
    People complain about the pricing, but I think Apple nailed it. I can see dropping $350 for one. I've worked it into my budget already. But then I start thinking...for a few bucks more, I could get sapphire and steel...

    The low end was low enough to get my wallet ready and the mid tier slowly becomes conceivable (even though I originally thought there was no way I would cross $500 for one).
  • Reply 4 of 19
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    That is a pretty funny video.

  • Reply 5 of 19
    patpatpatpatpatpat Posts: 628member

    Interested to see how it fairs against sand.

  • Reply 6 of 19
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by patpatpat View Post

     

    Interested to see how it fairs against sand.




    They showed us sandpaper in the video. They didn't use garnet, but people don't usually encounter garnet paper that often, at least not on their watch.

  • Reply 7 of 19
    Ion-X is one of the X-Men, right?
  • Reply 8 of 19
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member

    Trying to reconcile this statement ("Runs a gauntlet of stress tests, including...a power drill") with this one ("Meant to be a simulation of everyday wear and tear..."). 

     

    Unless Apple Watch/Apple Watch Edition customers are exceedingly in the construction industry? 

  • Reply 9 of 19
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,397member
    Ion-X is one of the X-Men, right?

    Yeah and Iron Ore is his prostitute wife.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    bageljoey wrote: »
    People complain about the pricing, but I think Apple nailed it. I can see dropping $350 for one. I've worked it into my budget already. But then I start thinking...for a few bucks more, I could get sapphire and steel...

    The low end was low enough to get my wallet ready and the mid tier slowly becomes conceivable (even though I originally thought there was no way I would cross $500 for one).

    ditto. gonna do the SS for me and sport for her.
  • Reply 11 of 19
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    Ion-X is one of the X-Men, right?

    No, it's the radicalized, and militant version of Ion. :lol:
  • Reply 12 of 19
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,541member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post



    People complain about the pricing, but I think Apple nailed it. I can see dropping $350 for one. I've worked it into my budget already. But then I start thinking...for a few bucks more, I could get sapphire and steel...



    The low end was low enough to get my wallet ready and the mid tier slowly becomes conceivable (even though I originally thought there was no way I would cross $500 for one).

    When you look at what the competition is offering for generally $250 - $299 (rarely any better individual features, not as complete feature-wise or integration-wise in general, and no where near the fit & finish), and compare with Apple Watch, $350 seems like a very reasonable entry price indeed.

     

    I am not 100% convinced I will get generation 1 - it really depends if Apple Pay comes up here (if it does it will solidify the deal for me - if not might still get one but have to see feedback from real users).  But if I do get gen1, it will be the sport model.  Once we get to gen3 or so, and assuming the general Apple improvements come, then I will likely invest in the stainless steel version & another band.

  • Reply 13 of 19
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post



    People complain about the pricing, but I think Apple nailed it. I can see dropping $350 for one. I've worked it into my budget already. But then I start thinking...for a few bucks more, I could get sapphire and steel...

    Maybe for a smart watch. I've never seen a traditional watch that sold for $350+ that didn't have a sapphire crystal.

  • Reply 14 of 19
    ddawson100ddawson100 Posts: 479member
    Pretty darn impressive video still available at http://iphonefixed.co.uk/apple-watch-screen-scratch-test-by-iphonefixed.html. I bet they wouldn't have done this test if was strapped to a $400 watch.
  • Reply 15 of 19
    tobiwantobiwan Posts: 73member
    bageljoey wrote: »
    People complain about the pricing, but I think Apple nailed it. I can see dropping $350 for one. I've worked it into my budget already. But then I start thinking...for a few bucks more, I could get sapphire and steel...

    The low end was low enough to get my wallet ready and the mid tier slowly becomes conceivable (even though I originally thought there was no way I would cross $500 for one).

    For Gen 1 I think 350 is a good entry. By Gen 3 or 4 most likely upgrade to a more expensive one.
  • Reply 16 of 19
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post



    People complain about the pricing, but I think Apple nailed it. I can see dropping $350 for one. I've worked it into my budget already. But then I start thinking...for a few bucks more, I could get sapphire and steel...

     

     

     

    Before the prices were announced, I settled for the Apple Watch with Stainless Steel link bracelet. After the prices were announced, the fact that the bracelet itself costs more than the Sport Watch is a momentary pause... but every picture I see of the Apple Watch convinces me that the Stainless Steel bracelet is absolutely gorgeous with the watch.

     

    I haven't changed my mind!!

  • Reply 17 of 19
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BestKeptSecret View Post

     

     

     

    Before the prices were announced, I settled for the Apple Watch with Stainless Steel link bracelet. After the prices were announced, the fact that the bracelet itself costs more than the Sport Watch is a momentary pause... but every picture I see of the Apple Watch convinces me that the Stainless Steel bracelet is absolutely gorgeous with the watch.

     

    I haven't changed my mind!!


     

    At least, the bracelet can then be used for your next watch... You can give the body to a family member with a leather strap :-) and keep the expensive bracelet. They'll be happy and you'll be happy.

  • Reply 18 of 19
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by foggyhill View Post

     

     

    At least, the bracelet can then be used for your next watch... You can give the body to a family member with a leather strap :-) and keep the expensive bracelet. They'll be happy and you'll be happy.




    Assuming Apple does not change the formulation of the case materials, or the design parameters for the band connectors due to introducing a thinner design profile. The link in particular is designed to match perfectly the finish of the watch case, so a mismatch might not look too good. Two toned (gold/silver) is one thing, but a clash is another. Either way, I wouldn't buy a band this way given Apple's history -- they don't traditionally seem too concerned with supporting legacy products if they need to make a change for the new product.

  • Reply 19 of 19
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,254member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post



    People complain about the pricing, but I think Apple nailed it. I can see dropping $350 for one. I've worked it into my budget already. But then I start thinking...for a few bucks more, I could get sapphire and steel...



    The low end was low enough to get my wallet ready and the mid tier slowly becomes conceivable (even though I originally thought there was no way I would cross $500 for one).

     

    In Australia the 42 mm sport goes for $579. Add an extra $300 for the equivalent steel model. It wasn't so long ago we were close to parity with the US dollar.

     

    *Sigh*

Sign In or Register to comment.