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Modern cell phones are built to withstand a lot, but an accidental drop onto a hard surface risks a split or shattered screen. However, some phones are built to be especially durable, surviving rough treatment under demanding conditions.

Here's what you need to know about cell phone screens in order to choose one that'll stand up to the toughest tests.

What Goes into a Cell Phone Screen?

Perhaps one of the top features that makes modern cell phones so popular is the touch screen. It seems hard to imagine now, but only a little longer than a decade ago, the idea of swiping, pinching and zooming an electronic display on a personal phone was unknown outside of science fiction.

Most modern cell phones use a technology known as capacitive touch, which allows multi-touch operation. Unfortunately, this isn't as sturdy as the older, simpler one-touch screens, like those used in ATMs.

So, while the technology works brilliantly, it does mean that phones with multi-touch screens are a little more fragile than older models – and if the screen fails, the phone could be more or less unusable.

However, more recent screens have been toughened up using a special type of glass, called Gorilla Glass.

How Screens Are Made More Rugged

Gorilla Glass is made by bathing ordinary glass in molten potassium at a temperature of 400 degrees. This sparks off a lot of chemical changes, but the upshot is that the tempered glass is much more difficult to crack and any cracks that do appear don't spread so easily.

Some other options for the strongest phone screens feature Sapphire glass, produced under high temperature and pressure to give a similarly strong, clear material that's widely used in durable screens.

But, there's more to the most rugged phone design than just the glass. To be truly durable, a phone should be waterproof, dustproof and able to withstand dropping onto a hard surface such as concrete.

This normally means it should have a strengthened frame and case compared to regular cell phones that are often made of die-cast metal. It should also feature protective edgings rather than the wraparound bezel-less screens common on regular phones.

What if Your Phone’s Screen Isn’t Made of Extra Strong Glass?

If your phone screen isn’t made with the types of glass mentioned above and you're not looking to buy a new phone, there are still ways to keep your device protected. Find cell phone accessories, including a variety of screen protectors that add an additional layer on top of your phone screen and phone covers to provide reinforcement around the rest of the device.

What to Do If Your Phone's Screen Breaks

If a screen has a small crack or chip, it might only be the glass that needs replacing. However, with more serious impacts it's possible that the underlying electronics have also been damaged and a screen replacement may be needed.

But, there's no need to send your phone away for fixing! With our in-store repair services, you can bring your cell phone or tablet to us to handle problems from a broken screen to a dead battery, with a fast turnaround to get your phone back up and running as soon as possible.

Phone Screen FAQs