The much-anticipated Apple Vision Pro has officially launched in the United States, garnering attention from eager users. Initial tests showcased its laminated front glass, which is essentially a plastic layer on top of the glass. While the plastic layer may protect the glass from shattering, it is very susceptible to scratches.
Scratch Vulnerability of the Apple Vision Pro
Upon being scratched, the outer plastic layer will obstruct the view of the cameras through which you see the world. The $3499 Apple Vision Pro starts scratching at level 3!
Youtube creator Jack Nelson from JerryRigEverything shared a teardown video today, focusing on the front glass covering the camera, sensor, and display of the Vision Pro. While laminated glass typically incorporates a plastic layer to enhance impact resistance, the Vision Pro’s design leaves this layer on the outside, making it highly prone to scratches.
Scratch Tests and Results
Tests employing Mohs hardness testing revealed that tools with a hardness level as low as 2 can leave light scratches on the Vision Pro’s front glass, with level 3 hardness tools causing deeper scratches. This contrasts sharply with most smartphone displays, which typically only show scratches at hardness levels of 6-7.
As a consequence, everyday items such as keys, coins, and even dust pose a significant risk of leaving permanent marks on the Vision Pro’s front glass. To mitigate this issue, Apple includes a special protective case and polishing cloth in the product’s packaging. However, replacement of the front glass comes at a hefty cost of US$799 (~5,700 Yuan), underscoring the severity of potential damage.
Drop Resistance of the Apple Vision Pro
Despite this vulnerability, the outer plastic layer does offer an upside: enhanced drop resistance. Drop tests conducted by AppleTrack demonstrate that the front glass of the Vision Pro can endure multiple drops before succumbing to breakage, providing reassurance to users concerned about accidental impacts.
While the Apple Vision Pro excels in one aspect, its vulnerability to scratches highlights the importance of proper handling and maintenance of the device. Apple CEO Tim Cook says this ‘special computing‘ device will soon launch in the Chinese market.