The increasing use of premium materials in smartphones has gone hand in hand with the trend of them being presented as lifestyle and fashion items rather than mere gadgets. This year has seen the HTC One set a new design benchmark for Android (and now Windows Phone) handsets, Samsung switching to using real metal in its phones, and Sony refining a design language built around tempered glass and aluminum. But the hot new story is sapphire. Apple has committed an entire factory in Arizona to the full-time production of the ultra tough and scratch-resistant material, and all signs point to it planning to use it in the display for at least one of its new iPhones.
There’s no need to wait for the next iPhone, however, to find out what difference using sapphire will make. Kyocera’s Brigadier and Vertu’s exclusive range of luxury phones already have sapphire displays, and here at IFA, Huawei has just introduced its new Ascend P7 Sapphire limited edition handset. I spent some time with the latter phone today trying to discern a difference between the reinforced glass typically adorning phone fronts and the even hardier sapphire stuff.
Interesting look at the Sapphire displays that the iPhone 6 is rumoured to be sporting..