Samsung claims its new 'unbreakable' screens for future smartphones won't crack

  • Samsung says it’s developed an “unbreakable” screen for smartphones that’s reinforced with flexible plastic rather than glass.
  • The screen has been tested and certified by an independent company, which helps back up Samsung’s claim.

Samsung announced on Thursday that it has created an “unbreakable” smartphone display.

Samsung’s bold claim was verified by Underwriter Laboratories (UL), an official testing partner for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The new display survived 26 drops from a height of four feet and a single drop from six feet “with no damage to its front, sides or edges,” according to UL and Samsung. The panel is also resistant to extreme temperatures, having been tested at 71-degrees Celsius (160-degrees Fahrenheit) and -32-degrees Celsius (-25.6 Fahrenheit).

Samsung’s new screen is a flexible OLED panel that’s sandwiched between an “unbreakable substrate” and a fortified plastic window, instead of the glass that’s used on most smartphones. If you balked at the word “plastic,” I’m with you, but Samsung says that the plastic should look and feel similar to glass.

I’m usually sceptical of these sorts of claims. The four-foot drop test is “based on military standards set by the U.S. Department of Defence,” according to Samsung, which is marketing we’ve seen before on smartphones, cases, and screen protectors. However, devices that underwent “military-grade testing” can still break. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Samsung didn’t mention when we could expect a smartphone with an “unbreakable” display. It’s unlikely to come in the upcoming Galaxy Note 9, which is being announced on August 9 during Samsung’s Unpacked event in NYC.

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