Let’s talk about something that is a concern to us all; let’s talk about glass vs. Sapphire for the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch, being the new amazing product that it is, comes with amazing new advances in technology and a stylish new take on how to manage your phone without even pulling it from your pocket. But how well protected is the Apple Watch? In order to answer this question, we need to examine what kind of materials Apple decided to use on its watch.
As most of you know, Apple uses Sapphire for most of its high-end watches with the exception of the sport watch, which actually uses Ion-X glass. Sapphire is said to be one of the strongest transparent substances. What is being used to determine the strength of the Sapphire is something called The Mohs Hardness Scale.
The Mohs Hardness Scale is a qualitative ordinal scale, which characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material. So far, there have already been a handful of reviews done on Sapphire and the glass by means of the MHS, which puts the apple watch to the test to see what will scratch it first. What has been confirmed by reviews is that the Sapphire is almost just as tough as a diamond. A diamond ranks at 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale with Sapphire glass ranking 9.
As strong as Sapphire may be, one thing testing has showed us is that Sapphire nearly doubles the amount of reflected ambient light as apposed to glass. Sapphire has 8.2% reflectance compared to the Apple sport watch, which only has a 4.6% reflectance. What this means is that when you put the Apple Watch under a bright light, it will reduce contrast and color saturation, which robs you of the very impressive aesthetics of the watch’s full-color touchscreen display. In order to remedy this, Apple uses an anti-glare/reflective coating, which will easily scratch off under normal use of the watch. The Sapphire is tough, but maybe it’s a little more Bling Bling than we need.
The Apple Sport Watch, however, has the Ion-X glass, which is the same glass used on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The Ion-X glass is scratch resistant and is very similar to Corning Gorilla glass. And Because of its 4.6% reflectance, the Apple Sport Watch can handle bright lights much better than the other Apple Watches.
So when it comes to the fight between Sapphire and glass, who wins? Sapphire is tough but very reflective, and glass is tough enough and barely reflects. If you ask me, I would go with the glass because it won’t reflect and wash out the phone as much as Sapphire and I can just get a protective case from Tech Armor or something to reinforce my watch, but hey, that’s just me.