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Sapphire screens: Almost diamond-hard

A rock and a hard place

Scratch attack

Compared to Gorilla Glass

Sapphire's many forms

Screens and things

No joke

BARCELONA, Spain--Want a truly unbreakable cell phone screen? Lab-grown sapphire could be the screen of the future. In this demo unit we saw at Mobile World Congress, a sapphire cover screen is glued on top of the phone's glass screen. Despite the double layers of material, the phone was still just as responsive.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET
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Sapphire screens: Almost diamond-hard

A rock and a hard place

Scratch attack

Compared to Gorilla Glass

Sapphire's many forms

Screens and things

No joke

I hit and dragged a piece of craggy concrete repeatedly against the screen.

Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET
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Sapphire screens: Almost diamond-hard

A rock and a hard place

Scratch attack

Compared to Gorilla Glass

Sapphire's many forms

Screens and things

No joke

What happened? Nothing. There wasn't a crack, scratch, or sign of any pitting, just a tiny amount of concrete fairy dust that wipes away with your thumb.

Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET
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Sapphire screens: Almost diamond-hard

A rock and a hard place

Scratch attack

Compared to Gorilla Glass

Sapphire's many forms

Screens and things

No joke

The thin wafer of reinforced Gorilla Glass (right) wasn't as lucky. Although the chemically strengthened Gorilla Glass wards off cracks, glass isn't indestructible.

Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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Sapphire screens: Almost diamond-hard

A rock and a hard place

Scratch attack

Compared to Gorilla Glass

Sapphire's many forms

Screens and things

No joke

Chinese company Zhejiang Shangcheng Science and Technology shaped both the smartphone screen (left) and the jewel with sapphire supplied by GT Advanced Technologies.

Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET
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Sapphire screens: Almost diamond-hard

A rock and a hard place

Scratch attack

Compared to Gorilla Glass

Sapphire's many forms

Screens and things

No joke

Zhejiang Shangcheng Science and Technology showed off a range of possible forms and applications at Mobile World Congress 2013.

Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET
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Sapphire screens: Almost diamond-hard

A rock and a hard place

Scratch attack

Compared to Gorilla Glass

Sapphire's many forms

Screens and things

No joke

It took 16 days to grow this 250-pound block of sapphire. From here, the boule, as it's called, can be shaved, shaped, polished, and sliced into fine wafers.

Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Sarah Tew/CNET
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