As you may be aware, the more expensive midrange Apple Watch uses sapphire for its display, whereas the base Sport model uses Ion-X glass, which is obviously cheaper and keeps costs down.
And while the sapphire screen has been subjected to a battery of scratch tests, the Ion-X glass hasn’t – not until now, that is. So how does the cheaper model fare when it comes to the strength and resistance of the Ion-X display (which, some say, is essentially just Apple’s own rebranded version of Gorilla Glass)?
Unbox Therapy filmed a video – which you can see above, and it was spotted by 9 to 5 Mac, incidentally – of the Apple Watch Sport 38mm and 42mm displays being attacked by various bits and bobs, including a key, a pocket knife, steel wool, sandpaper, and some ‘hardcore’ sandpaper.
The display shrugs off the advances of the key and knife with no marks, and ditto for the steel wool. The normal sandpaper, however, does scratch the screen – and the stronger sandpaper really scratches it up.
The sapphire coating did prove resistant to sandpaper, so the Sports model is slightly more vulnerable to scratching as you might expect – but it performed very well against the other objects it was scratched with, and in real-world usage, it should prove pretty darn tough. And let’s face it, you’re unlikely to ever accidentally sandpaper your smartwatch (you would hope).
Unbox Therapy, by the way, is the same outfit which conducted the famous tests on the iPhone 6 Plus which helped to stoke up the whole “bendgate” controversy when Apple’s phablet initially hit the market.