Over the years one the biggest problem we known with smartphones is they break. In most cases, it is the screen that breaks, as a matter of fact around 50% of repairs are in the form of broken screens. There are other issues as well which land you in the smartphone repair shop like Water damage, malfunctioning of the charging ports or connectors and non-functioning buttons.
Such flaws cause users like you to regularly keep changing their phones and even at times make you think smartphone makers purposefully design their products to eventually fail. But that’s not the case such incident does happen over a period of time.
Many smartphone users have taken notice of this and in recent years taken a few small steps in the direction to make our smartphones more durable. We can hope soon we will be able to start using unbreakable phones as smartphone manufacturers develop phones with a less fragile display and body materials and devices which can keep threats against dust and water at bay.
Samsung has come up with a technology which based on developing an unbreakable smartphone display. Samsung will make display made from the flexible OLED panel with a layer of fortified plastic on the top. We are used to the brittle glass top which is easily breakable. With the use of OLED panel screen, if we drop the phone the screen merely flexes instead of cracking and breaking on impact.
The smartphone has gone through several tests before being certified by the Underwriters Laboratories. It has withstood several rigorous military-grade standards such as 26 repeated drops from a height of 1.2 meters (3.9 feet) and has been able to withstand with no physical damage and no impact on performance at temperature tests ranging from -32 C to 71 C (-25.6 F to 159.8 F)
Samsung is confident the display is well suited for portable electronics. The company further said – “not only because of its unbreakable characteristics, but also because of its lightweight, transmissivity, and hardness, which are all very similar to glass.”
Another player Corning Gorilla Glass 6 is also working towards a similar goal. Apple has been using Corning Glass for a long time on its iPhones. Corning has hinted the newest range will be introduced in mid-July and appear on handsets this month. In tests conducted it was able to withstand 15 drops from the height of 1 meter.
Others have moved on to sapphire or synthetic sapphire for ultra-scratch-resistant displays in recent years. There still are others who are working on self-healing screens made from glass and synthetic diamond glass material which would be both scratch- and shatter-resistant.
Apart from working on making the screens unbreakable smartphone manufacturers also looking to make them more efficient in terms of water resistance and waterproof devices. Smartphone makers Samsung and Sony have been manufacturing phone less susceptible to water since 2014. Apple followed their footsteps in the year 2016 with the launch of iPhone 7. The IP67 rating suggests water resistant phones must survive being submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. To achieve this phones require new types of seals for ports and buttons and adhesives that won’t degrade when in contact with water. Some of the manufacturers have removed ports and buttons in order to make their devices more water resistant. You have already witnessed this when Apple ditched the use of headphone jack in the iPhone 7. Others have started eliminating the home button and instead opting for static fingerprint sensors and swiping gestures for navigation. Eliminating a moving part which can break after extended use.
Traditionally our smartphones have been susceptible to breakage but recent advances are certainly going to bring a major change. Repair shops like the iCracked or Zagg Phone Repair are making good money out of this as we continue to drop, crack, and otherwise bust our phones.
With the recent advances in developing more durable phones you no longer need to spend money every year on buying new phones. Instead, you can hold on to your phone for three, four, or five years. Buying a few bucks more on a phone that won’t shatter when it slips through your hands, will certainly be a wise decision.