How tough is the sapphire edition HTC U Ultra? See it scratched and tortured in this video, then compared to other products

Earlier this year, HTC launched an oddball of a premium phablet — the HTC U Ultra, with a 5.7-inch main display and an extra ticker screen on top (a la LG V20), super-shiny finishes, and a missing 3.5 mm headphone jack (despite the device being quite large). To top it off, the company also announced that there will be a special edition of the phablet, which would rock a sapphire glass screen — allegedly the most unscratchable material for a screen that you can make.

Now, as we know, sapphire glass panels are super-hard to make — a couple of years ago, Apple hired a 3rd party company, which was allegedly going to make sapphire screen covers for the iPhone and the Apple Watch, but the task proved to be so hard and the yield was so abysmal that the company went out of business.

However, companies continue to try and improve the process for making sapphire displays, and it appears that HTC may well be among the first ones that have achieved any form of success there. Now, the U Ultra sapphire edition is quite expensive, and we'd assume that there's a good reason for that — it costs a good $160 more than the already pricey ($750) regular model. But is the glass really as scratch-resistant as advertised, or is HTC just trying to bank in on some buzzword marketing?

Well, YouTuber JerryRigEverything, well known for putting the "science" in "phone torture" took his famous Moh's picks to the glass of the HTC U Ultra and compared its durability to the glass of a premium Tissot watch. It seems like HTC was pretty serious about that sapphire screen!

Related phones

U Ultra
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 16 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(26h 3G talk time)



1. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

how about droptest? I guess it will crack from 10cm drop :v

5. vincelongman

Posts: 5804; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Drop tests of the regular and sapphire U Ultra would be interesting BTW since PA didn't mention it ZAGG's $50 InvisibleShield Sapphire Defense – Hybrid Glass Screen Protector is a SCAM Its a plastic screen protector with minor traces of sapphire Scratches at 3 on the mohs scale The iPhone version is rated at 1 star on Amazon (from 26 reviews)

8. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Exactly. They should be sued for their deception. Good that Zack exposed the scammers.

2. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Good build quality. Bad phone.

10. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

HTC are always pretty good with build quality. The phone is not bad but average i would say.

13. andrewkb

Posts: 24; Member since: Jan 04, 2016

for the price i expect alot more than build quality

12. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

Yeaa, its a bad phone if you're gonna use it as a hammer.

3. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

It's funny that my cheap temper glass I use for a year doesn't have any scratch whatsoever, the same with my previous phone, it doesn't have any scratch before it crack from drop.

11. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

I am pretty sure your tempered glass would scratch easier than real sapphire glass display.

4. jellmoo

Posts: 2671; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Great. The six people that bought the device will be thrilled.

6. Guaire

Posts: 897; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

We can't see how tough it is with a scratch test. Toughness and hardness are two entirely different abilities.

7. Spyro

Posts: 334; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

If you want a more intellectual way of seeing phone durability, go check JeremyRigsEverything on Youtube. He's the only Youtuber I see that knows how to make an actual durability test.

9. Guaire

Posts: 897; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

I'm a subscriber of his channel already. I was referring to the title of this article.

14. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

I am down for a sapphire front and back future once sapphire becomes easier to mass produce. Yes the drop resistance on sapphire is similar to ceramic and other hard brittle materials but I welcome a future where screen protectors are not needed unless you go to the beach and use your phone as a shovel for your sand castle.

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