As mobile device technology has matured, so too have our expectations as it relates to toughness. How well a smartphone's screen holds up against scratching is an important factor when it comes time to make a purchase despite the fact that many people outfit their new device with a screen protector from day one.
A high level of scrutiny has been placed on Apple's new wearable, and rightfully so. It's the first new product category for Apple in five years, the first since co-founder lost his fight with pancreatic cancer in 2011 and the first to be worn on the wrist (and thus constantly exposed to all sorts of perils). It's also the first to use a sapphire crystal display albeit only on the mid-range and high-end models.
Consumer Reports has released the findings of its scratch test on both the Sport model with its Ion-X glass as well as the Apple Watch version sporting the aforementioned sapphire crystal.
Using the Mohs hardness scale which compares the scratch resistance of minerals relative to one another, the Apple Watch Sport completed the level 7 test without incident but was ultimately scratched by an 8-rated pick. The more expensive sapphire-laden wearable managed to survive the level 9 test. Scaling starts out at level 1 which is equivalent to talc and increases in hardness up through level 10, diamond.
Consumer Reports also tested the water resistance capabilities as well as the accuracy of its heart rate monitor, earning favorable marks in both tests.
CNET also put the Apple Watch through a comprehensive set of torture tests including water tests and scratch tests of its own. The publication even got messy by dunking the watch in a random mixture of red wine, maple syrup, soy sauce, ketchup, mustard, peanut butter and Nutella. Boiling water? Drop tests? Impact tests? This clip has it all.
FoneFox, meanwhile, gives the Apple Watch Sport a shower and even takes it for a swim.
All things considered, both models seem to hold up against scratching and water very well. The sapphire crystal on the mid-range device performed exceptionally well in scratch testing as expected. These early tests reveal that the primary concern that buyers should have as it relates to damage is impact resistance. It's something to certainly take into consideration before buying unless you plan to encase the watchface in an aftermarket case (yes, smartphone watch cases do exist).
Image via TechRax