Third-party screen protectors or 'Tempered Glass' as they are generally known as are the most widely purchased smartphone accessory in India. Buyers from across the price spectrum install a good quality tempered glass on their smartphones as soon as they put the SIM card. After all, who would risk damaging displays of newly purchased smartphones when repairing costs go as high as Rs. 35,000 for premium flagship devices.
Even the best quality third-party cover glasses do not guarantee 100 % protection. I say this with experience. A recent example is the Asus ROG 3, where the handset's AMOLED screen cracked in half after hitting the floor from a 4-feet drop. And mind you, the Asus ROG Phone 3 boasts a Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection, which promises superior durability if not the best in the business.
This is just one example of an extreme case. Routine scratches and minor bumps also hamper the phone's screens clarity and the overall user experience.
Things might change in the coming months with Schott AG's new cover glass. Headquartered in Mainz, Germany, the multinational glass company specializes in manufacturing of glass and glass ceramics, and has announced its plans for the Indian market. Schott has unveiled its latest cover glass- Xensation α (Alpha) for premium smartphones to be launched in India in the coming months.
The chemically strengthened lithium alumino borosilicate (LABS) cover glass will be first featured on new Vivo high-end flagship devices. Notably, the recently launched flagship Vivo X70-series also boasts Schott AG's cover glasses for protection against any possible damage.
What makes the new Xensation α (Alpha) special and why it might bring a big change in smartphone usage for premium buyers in India? We interacted with Dr. Lutz Klippe, Product Group Manager Cover at Schott AG to find out the answers.
Increased Drop Resistance- 100 % Over LAS Glass
Dr. Lutz Klippe describes the Xensation α (Alpha) as a leap forward in making the smartphone displays truly unbreakable. The new cover glass is said to have a drop resistance of 100% over LAS glass. What this means for end-users is that the phones boasting the new Xensation α (Alpha) will offer double the resistivity towards drops at twice the height as compared to the cover glasses currently available in the market.
On being asked about the durability standards of the new cover glass on different surfaces, Dr. Jochen Alkemper, Head of Product Development at Schott said, "Xensation α (Alpha) showed significantly higher breakage resistance on different surfaces, like wood, asphalt, and sharp-edged surfaces. The new glass combines the chemical strengthening characteristics of LAS glass and scratch-resistance of borosilicate glass for higher strength performance."
He also assured us about the optical performance of the new cover glass. As per Dr. Jochen Alkember, the Xensation α (Alpha) does not compromise on the integrity of optical performance and will now hamper the readability and viewing performance of high-resolution displays on the premium handsets.
Will Schott Xensation α (Alpha) Increase The Price Of Upcoming Smartphones?
Since the new cover glass brings better breakage resistance without compromising on optical performance, we were expecting a marginal increase in the overall cost of the upcoming handsets; however, Schott mentioned that it won't add any significant cost to the final price. The selling price of the upcoming handsets won't see any notable rise.
Schott India Plans
Since Schott has big plans for the Indian market, we enquired about the brand's plan to set up a plant in the country. Schott said, "We produce Xensation Alpha in our melting facilities in Jena, Germany. There are no plans to expand cover glass melting capacities to India. However, we are constantly monitoring the Indian market and keep ourselves open-minded for collaborations with new partners and business opportunities, especially in our key focus areas such as the cover glass market."
Would You Need To Spend More For Extra Durability?
All of this sounds pretty impressive but does the new cover glass make smartphone displays truly unbreakable? Well, not exactly but it does reduce the chances of glass shattering. Schott mentions that glass still breaks, depending upon the surface it hits; however, if the smartphone comes installed with the new Xensation α (Alpha), the survival rate is much higher.
List Of Devices With Schott Cover Glass?
As per the information shared with GizBot, the Xensation α (Alpha) will be first seen on Vivo's 2022 smartphone line-up, possibly the S12 flagship handset. Besides, Schott cover glasses are already been used on a range of devices, some even available in India. For instance, the mid-range Vivo V21e and the value flagship X60 Pro uses the Xensation Up cover glass.
The brand also mentioned that the world's first foldable device also featured a Schott UTG cover glass. "As a supplier to Samsung, we are thrilled to continue on this journey in many other devices. We expect to maintain our leading position because we deliver flexible glass where no slimming in a second step is needed. Schott's cover glass for the foldable devices is marketed as Xensation Flex.
We liked Schott's modest approach towards the glass industry. While the brand has made a significant leap in the cover glass segment, it also accepts that this isn't the end of the road yet. Schott is dedicated to innovating further in the cover glass segment to make our smartphones' screens more durable than ever.
We will keep a close eye on smartphones launching in 2022 as the real test will happen once we have a handset with Schott Xensation α (Alpha) to test its durability standards. Would you still prefer spending some extra thousands on third-party screen protections if your premium handset promises a nearly unbreakable display? Let us know in the comments.
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