Phones are going to get tougher this year thanks to Gorilla Glass 5

The latest version of Corning's Gorilla Glass can survive nearly human-height drops and will be baked into new phones starting this fall.

Vanessa Hand Orellana CNET Senior Editor
As head of wearables at CNET, Vanessa reviews and writes about the latest smartwatches and fitness trackers. She joined the team seven years ago as an on-camera reporter for CNET's Spanish-language site and then moved on to the English side to host and produce some of CNET's videos and YouTube series. When she's not testing out smartwatches or dropping phones, you can catch her on a hike or trail run with her family.
Vanessa Hand Orellana
2 min read
Watch this: How tough is the new Gorilla Glass 5?

You'll soon be able to drop your phone from selfie level worry-free with a little help from Corning. The glass company presented the fifth iteration of its super-resistant Gorilla Glass at an event at its offices in Palo Alto, California.

Corning has been making a more resistant version of Gorilla Glass nearly every two years since its inception in 2007, and this year's version is taking the glass to new heights -- literally.

"We wanted to go higher than the meter drop," said John Bayne, Vice President and General Manager at Corning.

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Corning's chemically-strengthened Gorilla Glass tops a heck of a lot of phones.

Mariana Marcaletti/CNET

The previous version of the glass could survive a drop at about pocket level or below on a rough surface, but with 63 percent of drops occurring between waist and shoulder height, according to Corning, the goal was to increase the total fall distance that a Gorilla Glass-topped phone could withstand.

Gorilla Glass 5 promises to brush off drops of up to 1.6 meters (5 feet, 2 inches) based on Corning's tests, making it almost four times more resistant than regular, unstrengthened glass, the company says.

About 4.5 billion of the world's phones use Gorilla Glass on their displays, and you'll find the topper expanding beyond these pocket-size devices. This year, Ford announced that the 2016 GT model will have Gorilla Glass windshields. Some ATMs will even sport an antimicrobial version of Gorilla Glass on their displays.

The company didn't specify which devices will use Gorilla Glass 5, but it did say we can expect to find the material baked in to new products hitting the market this fall.