Scratch test shows the limits of Apple's Ion-X glass on the Watch Sport

Scratch test shows the limits of Apple's Ion-X glass on the Watch Sport
With pricing ranging from $349 to the tens of thousand dollars, it's fair to say that you have quite some choice when it comes to Apple's Watch. But, as you can imagine, more money gets you a better gadget, and not just in terms of cosmetics – like more premium straps and bezel materials – but also superior essentials. We're referring to the protective sheet of glass that Apple is using for its different Watch models – the cheapest, Watch Sport variant has to make do with Ion-X glass, while the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition ones are treated to sapphire glass.

A 'scratch' test carried out by Unboxing Therapy highlights the limits of the former, cheaper solution. While the Ion-X layer of glass holds up to scratches from, say, a knife, it is completely destroyed by sandpaper – something that wouldn't happen to sapphire, which holds up extremely well in tests of this kind. Obviously, since you won't be wearing the Apple Watch Sport in your bag or pockets, which are quite unlikely to house sandpaper anyway, this may be seen as a moot point – a hypothetical worse case scenario that has no real-world consequences. Still, the fact is that, like Gorilla Glass, Ion-X glass is not immune to scratches, which usually occur when you bump your device somewhere. In our experience using smartwatches so far, this is more common an occurrence than we're comfortable with, so either be extra careful with your Watch Sport, or just start learning to live with the idea that, a year or two down the road, your once shiny smartwatch may just feature a battle scar or two.

Take a look:

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24 Comments

1. gaming64 unregistered

Every screen is not safe.

9. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The one on the Note 4 is.

2. SamDH1

Posts: 419; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

What? Why would someone put sandpaper or anything like that to a watch face anyway? Pin point impact tests need to be done, like when you catch your wrist on a table top corner.

5. mixedfish

Posts: 1560; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Everytime you rub your watch face with your shirt, tissue, thumb etc etc that's a form of abrasive. The point of the test is to see how much it can handle abrasives like sand paper, and in this case eventually it will scratch.

23. SamDH1

Posts: 419; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

Well obviously it will scratch with sandpaper, but who the hell wipes down their watch face with sandpaper? I'm fully anti-Watch, think it's completely not like Apple to have released something so gross, but still expensive of course, but this seems like a pointless and predictable result

3. SamsungPhanboy

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

Apple sucks no news here.

4. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Only cost about 10$ more per watch to make it saphir glass... pathetic from Apple sorry!

6. mixedfish

Posts: 1560; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Since when did Apple provide the best for their audience. Not pathetic, but smart.

8. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

just what u expect from apple? they are just some huge marketing company who's great at fooling their customers.. they even sell (production cost around) $200 worth smartphone at $1000 price tag..

10. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Open amazon and check watches. You will see 300, 400, even 500$ watches without sapphire glass. Heck I have even found big brands quality watches for 700$ without sapphire. I wish every watch had sapphire but it doesn't as 90% of people have no idea whats sapphire thus they don't want it. If you don't know about something then you wont ever ask for it.

18. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Actually, a lot of watches use sapphire now including mall citizens.

26. willard12 unregistered

None of those brands are Samsung or Motorola which do use Sapphire glass. You'll find them for $170-$300.

12. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

saphire glass is crap anyway it may be "scratch proof" but it ain't shatter proof it's more prone to shatter then most glass used in the industry

7. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

... but will it blend??? can't wait for the video. :-)

11. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

From what I understood when Sapphire was claimed to be used on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, it was said that the estimated cost of the glass panel would be $30.00. Those panels in the video are roughly an 1" square on the small one and maybe 1.5" on the larger one, and I am just guessing since I am not good at converting MM to inches. I am sure I am fairly close. So Apple with having $2 Billion of hoarded cash in the bank, could spend $10 or less to have the cheapest expensive model have better glass? This is exactly why you have to be a frikkin fool to buy it. Apple is continuing to be cheap when they don't even have to be. All those fools lined up to buy this total useless POS, must be out of their god-forsaken mind. Now I will be fair, I too was out of my god-forsaken mind when I bought the original Galaxy Gear. But at least the glass on it was Gorilla Glass. It stopped working because when I worked out, my sweat simply got it to wet, which is exactly what I said will happen to the Apple Watch. For an excessive price of $349, this watch again as I stated in another thread has so many can't do's, to the point that what it can do is lame. You can't get it wet, you can't use it for anything unless you set it up using your phone, you can't take pictures, you can type on the screen or game because it is simply to small. All you can do is look at it showing you a smaller version of what is already on your phone screen. If you wear this device and don't have your phone, the only information on it that will update is your workout stats. If that os all you're going to get, then why not buy a FitBit or some other cheaper option that does this for a much lower price. This junk is nothing more than a piece of jewelry. Yet it gets higher praise than the Moto 360 and the Gear S? At least the Gear S can work 100% standalone. At least the display wont drain the battery on 5 hours. At least its waterproof for 30 mins. At least I can actually type on the screen. At least I can leave my phone at home and still never miss a call, never miss a text, never miss a notification from my apps and more. All for only $299. ' As I stated, all of these smartwatches are all stupid, including my Gear S per se. But at leats many of them are much more useful and none of them are that way overpriced for what you get. The fact the Gear S at least is a fully functional phone for half the cost of a full smartphone I think makes the price fair and reasonable for what the device offers. But the Apple Watch is a piece of sh** and you couldn't even give me one for free. That is how terrible it is. If I Was given one for free, I'd go right to the Apple Store and see someone standing in limne and say here...MERRY FRIKKIN CHRISTMAS.

13. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Well, Apple also chose not to go with sapphire glass for the iPhone 6 because yields were low in the manufacturing process, and they would not have been able to meet demand as sapphire glass would have bottle-necked the manufacturing of the full device. However with the Apple Watch, I believe that sue to the size of the watch face, they could have pulled it off, BUT, I do recall that they left their sapphire glass supplier in shambles and refused to pay them upwards of $40,000,000. This could have also contributed to their ability to procure enough to accommodate all models of the watch. But when it comes down to it, what kind of justification can you give to have people upgrade from one model of watch to the next, When it's all said and done, this was Apple's choice to further divide the features of the models to justify paying more.

14. HildyJ

Posts: 338; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

No, you aren't going to accidentally rub sandpaper on it. But you better not wear it to the beach. Sandy soil in your garden? Better take off your wristjob. As far as the cost of sapphire, manufacturers have been making cheap sapphire crystals for real watches for decades. The high cost of phone sized sapphire crystal is due to the size.

15. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Apple is very limited when it comes to breakable idevices

17. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Ion x. Lol Oh god they have the best marketing team. That's hilarious how they come up with their bs names and ifans just lap it up. Reminds me of how car manufacturers name their colours. Take s**t brown and jazz it up with a fancy name and call it Eden bronze or something.

19. Macready

Posts: 1824; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Sandpaper is not a moot point or hypothetical test. It mimics sand crystals rubbing the screen, which in daily use will happen, sooner or later, as those tiny but ultra hard crystals are all around us. Admittedly, it's not as much of an issue as it is with phones in our pockets (.. and often sand crystals), but it's still quite revealing.

20. blackberry_Boy

Posts: 213; Member since: May 27, 2014

Ion X glass why don't Apple just say it's the regular cheap glass that you can afford because you can't afford the watch editon one.

21. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

It is gorilla glass, but apple is such a prima donna that they can't acknolege the fact that someone else made the tech that goes into their devices.

22. mmdkhdm

Posts: 15; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

I watched this video yesterday in YouTube. I think that was very normal.

29. Zanatech

Posts: 32; Member since: Apr 19, 2015

Every screen is not safe!

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