The Nexus S is a smartphone co-developed by Google and Samsung was the first smartphone to use the Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" operating system.

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Nexus S front glass panel - is it scratch resistant?

Hello iFixit community,

Thank you to the great people who contributed to the Nexus S teardown. Does anyone know what type of glass is used on the front panel? Is it scratch resistant? Samsung has not published any information as to how to best protect the front glass and there is possible misinformation about it here whereby the author asserts that the Nexus S glass it not Gorilla Glass unlike the Galaxy S (apparently a close sibling to the Nexus S) and thus implies that it will be easily scratched and damaged (the Twitter post he points to that is allegedly from a Samsung employee corroborating this leads to a page that states "Sorry, that page doesn't exist" so the author's assertion is dubious. The Samsung user's guide for the Nexus S is rather sparse and there are no care instructions.

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I read the same "not Gorilla glass" reporting. I've had my Nexus S for about two months and have not applied a protective film (although I have one standing by) and have seen no scratches on the glass at all yet. It may be that the curved glass, slight chin and softish plastic bumper case I have on it makes it almost impossible to scratch the screen with grit when laid face-down on a table; the screen is held aloft from the table.

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9 Answers

Nexus S is definitely not with Gorilla glass. Corning's website (makers of Gorilla glass), doesn't list Nexus S as one of the devices where there product is being used. Galaxy S, is with Gorilla glass.

I cracked the front panel of my Nexus S after my kid dropped a fully loaded milk bottle on it and it probably hit the sweet spot of the glass. It's still working but it's annoying seeing the "mini-web" like crack on the screen all the time.

As to whether it's scratch-proof or not, you're right, there's no information on Google's/Samsung's websites for the Nexus S. My wild guess....it's not scratch-proof. It may not be easy to put a scratch on it's screen, but I doubt if it's totally scratch proof like the Gorilla Glass tech.

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Still using my Nexus S heavily everyday, no scratches yet. But then I'm careful.

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i'm a regular phone destroyer and 3+ months in on the Nexus S with no screen protector and absolutely not a mark. Kudos to Samsung for not getting caught in a Corning brand trap that would have had us paying extra for a product that isn't better.

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I'm good with phones, but after putting my keys in the wrong pocket, there are a couple scratches on the glass.

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I'm pretty careful with my phones but I do keep mine in a pocket with a few other things (not keys!) I got a small scratch on the screen right next to the menu softkey. I put an invisible shield on it right away just to avoid more damage.

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Very rough user and not a scratch after 9 months of use . Nexus S rocks !

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3 weeks of ownership and have a minor scratch on the screen, to the left side of the center area.

For such a high end model the casing is cheap, my old Wildfire survivied better and still doesnt show any signs of scratching and it was heavy used.

Gutted as the phone otherwise is amazing, And it has proper release of ICS.

So guess I need to find something that can fill the scratch in a bit and then stick a cover on :(

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After searching and searching some more a while back, I found a polishing compound that has been a huge success for me in removing scratches on my iPod and HTC Evo 4G. I used a glass polishing cloth along with their glass compound and it has worked wonders more than once. I initially tried all of the "creative" ways to remove the scratches (eraser method, alcohol, etc.) but saw little improvement. Here's what they have available...

TDI-LLC Resurfacing Compounds

If you are finished trying to figure out how to fix the scratches on your device and just want them fixed, I suggest picking up some of their compound. There's enough to fix multiple phones as well.

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Still no scratches on glass. Maybe because I keep it in a Golla bag now. I picked up some scratches on the plastic back in the previous belt wallet, likely due to other stuff in the wallwt with it.

Glass is still pristine though. I'll be taking it out of the bag even less often now that I have a Pebble watch.

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Most scratch are caused by dust (due to the silica based sand in dust), which is one of the few compounds that can scratch a screen, and what most people don't realise it is the oilphobic surface not the glass that provides the scratch resistance.

Scott, that compound looks really interesting, do you know if it removes the oilphobic surface o rnot?

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Damien, I've seen comments all over the web presenting concern regarding the oleophobic coating being removed due to resurfacing. The coating is actually quite opposite from what you have stated. It is not protection from scratches. I guess you could say it is between the glass screen and possible scratching elements (sand, etc.) but it's hardness comes nowhere close to prevent scratch damage from any common element. It is there to repel oil, dust, fingerprints, etc. and to promote an easily to clean screen (much like the properties and purpose of the clear coat of paint on your car). Start research here...

Lipophobicity

If the coating is scratched, the method of eliminating the scratches is to buff down the affected surface to meet the depth of the scratch. Therefore, you will wear away the coating due to resurfacing; this is a given with any buffing project. Although, I did just find a possible way to reapply the coating once the screen is resurfaced...

Hydrophobic and Oleophobic Cell Phone Treatments

The options you have if buffing is not desired are putting a screen protector on and hope the scratch is unnoticeable, replace the digitizer (which could easily void the warranty), or replace your phone entirely.

Without a screen protector from the beginning, you are asking for scratches. If you look into the Wiki below, you will see that there are many minerals that will scratch glass in a heartbeat (even gorilla glass).

Mohs scale of mineral hardness

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See the ifixit guide to use a nanotechnology coating for scratch protection

How to apply scratch-proof coating

or the website http://www.nanostate.co

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