Gorilla Glass may be tough – but that doesn’t mean your screen won’t scratch

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When I bought my a new mobile phone last month, I made a conscious decision to keep it in the case it was supplied with, and not to use a screen protector. Why? Because it has Corning Gorilla Glass, which is described by its manufacturer as follows:

“Gorilla Glass features exceptional damage resistance to the scratches, drops, and bumps of everyday use. It’s cool to the touch, and cleans easily – making it the perfect solution for sleek, seamless designs. And it’s sensitive enough to enable today’s most sophisticated touch applications.”

So, imagine my horror when, despite having been incredibly careful about not placing my phone in the same pocket as keys, money, etc. I spotted a small (about 3mm) scratch on the display of my two-week old phone.

I started to research this and found that, whilst GorillaGlass is practically shatterproof, above the glass are the touchscreen electronics and then another coating – and that’s what’s scratched (not the glass itself). I’ve tried to polish it out with Displex Touch Screen polish (which might have had some effect, but it’s still visible – incidentally there is a similar product for non-touch screens – the one you need is in a yellow tube).

I also tried to buy a screen protector for the Lumia 800 but, annoyingly, despite claiming that they were:

“for Nokia Lumia 800”

and that:

“Our Vikuiti screen protectors are cut by laser in Germany on state-of-the-art machinery. Exact tailoring to forms and excellent border adhesion are guaranteed”

I found that the 3M Vikuiti covers I ordered did not cover the entire screen area – and others have made the same complaint for the official Nokia covers. I contacted the manufacturer and retailer (Bedifol GmbH), who said:

“because of the curvature display there is no other crop for this device possible”

So much for a precision cut with state-of-the-art German machinery. I’ll be sending that back for a refund.

I’m sure I can protect the screen with something like an Invisible Shield but I have that stuff on one of my iPod and its a) not invisible and b) has a strange texture.  I think I’ll stick with naked glass and hope for the best.  After all that works for my iPad (although the case I use for that covers the screen). I’ve also seen an anecdotal report of using car polishing compounds to remove scratches but that sounds a little risky to me…

So why bother with this post? Well, because it might serve as a lesson to others who, like me, assume that a scratchproof glass means a scratchproof touchscreen – and unfortunately that’s just not the same thing!

9 thoughts on “Gorilla Glass may be tough – but that doesn’t mean your screen won’t scratch

  1. Maybe it was cut by someone who was hung over, using state of the art German machinery. ;) Shows what a load of hot air the consumer has to put up with, doesn’t it? Not that it will likely happen – but I wish there was a way they would have to not only refund you but compensate you for the amount of your time they wasted, too.

  2. I’ve always protected my devices with a screen protector. I end up buying them on eBay and they do the trick. I absolutely hate the thick, rubbery stuff like invisible shield and prefer just a plain screen protector.

    Sorry about your scratch, you’ll definitely end up getting more though. No shame in putting on a cheap screen protector from dealextreme, ebay or handhelditems on there to protect again further scratches :)

  3. I’ll have to check that out – the official Nokia ones look like the whole glass on the promotional image but plenty of reports to suggest they are not. Cheers!

    Which reminds me… I need to send the Vikuiti/3M ones back…

  4. I found out the hard way – breaking the glass of my first iphone after having had it for only 2 days. It was in my pocket when I lifted a heavy metal box. I think to be honest though it might have broken whatever kind of cover it might have had on it.

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