Sapphire crystal OR Ion-X glass?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by TScottTX, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. TScottTX macrumors member


    Sep 14, 2016
    DFW TX
    Hello All, I've seen display reflective comparisons between Sapphire crystal and Ion-X glass but they seem to center on 1st generation watches. I plan to use my new Apple Watch Series 3 outdoors often and wonder if there really is a difference in the quality and brightness of the display or would I be happier with one over the other in bright sunlight. So, what say you - Sapphire crystal OR Ion-X glass?
  2. Mabus51 macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2007
    Due to all the scratches, you won’t be able to see the Ion-X Glass anyway. So Sapphire :D

    All sarcasm aside. Sapphire in my opinion is the only way to go when buying any watch. Even with the 1st gen Apple Watch I had no issues seeing it in daylight, even in bright ass Arizona. But also understand, the resell value of these is garbage.
  3. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Go with the stainless with sapphire and you will not regret it.
  4. KarimLeVallois macrumors 68010


    Feb 22, 2014
    I've got both and there really is little difference out in daylight, especially with the brighter screen of the Series 2.
  5. nightcap965 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2004
    Cape Cod
    With respect to the preceding folks, I've got the original and the Watch 2, both in the aluminum models, which is to say both with glass. Both are still pristine, despite daily wearing. Unless you're a car mechanic or rock-buster, it doesn't much matter.
  6. rdr7 macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2017
  7. redavis41 macrumors member


    Sep 14, 2017
    If you're getting the aluminum then Applecare+ is a must. You drop an aluminum Apple Watch and potentially face seeing a cracked screen. Sapphire can crack, but it is more durable than the Ion-X glass.
  8. AbsynthMinded macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2015
    Actually, the real benefit from Sapphire Glass is the scratch resistance. Its a less flexible glass and would be more prone to cracking than the Ion-X glass. AppleCare would be a good idea in general, I think and even more so with the SS version for both the glass and value you get out of it in case of accidents.

    I am going with with an Ion-X glass for the S3. I know enough people with Ion-X glass versions and no scratches that I will get one this time around.
  9. redavis41 macrumors member


    Sep 14, 2017
    I don't believe that for a second. Ion-X is less durable, not even close. It will take quite a bit of force to scratch and crack the Sapphire Glass. Meanwhile if you get a small ding in the Ion-X, it's done as that crack will expand through the entire watch. Seen it happen to so many people. If you beat your watch up either go Stainless or invest the $49 in Applecare.
  10. AbsynthMinded, Sep 20, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017

    AbsynthMinded macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2015
    Hardness and Toughness are two completely different properties when looking at materials.

    For the purpose of this thread, more hardness means more scratch resistance. Sapphire glass is harder than Ion-X glass and will therefore be less likely to scratch.

    Toughness on the other hand is determined by how much energy a material can absorb before fracturing. Sapphire glass is not as tough as Ion-X glass and will be more likely to shatter.

    I also happen to know more people with Sapphire glass screens shatter. Scratches won't turn into cracks unless a lot of focal pressure is applied. Fairly certain apprehensive nature of people will be if they see their screen is damaged they will start being more careful if they truly "beat up" their devices.
  11. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    Valid points. I think once when someone purchases the Apple Watch, they just need to have the mindset that this is a piece of technology and it's going to deappreciate Rather quickly and there isn't really any exclusivity factor to it, mainly because it's a masses produced item. But as others have stated, when someone upgrades to the stainless model, the sapphire display is worth it when protecting a tiny little display from annoying scratches that we use for viewing notifications and fitness.
  12. Sgt93 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2010
    I failed to research which versions had sapphire, and I am really regretting ordering the Nike LTE as it doesn't have the sapphire. My Fenix 3hr had Saphire, and as careful as I was with it, I still banged the glass a few times and it remained mint. I wear my watch all the time, so I may cancel my order and place one for the stainless sapphire. I will order a ceramic in a few years when battery life is significantly longer. I can justify spending a little more for the more scratch resistant sapphire though. Decisions decisions.
  13. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    Sapphire. Non-issue with 1000 nits. Also note that you cannot set the brightness to 1000 nits... it will only go that high by itself in sunlight when required.

    Some compare the brightness of the watches with the brightness setting set to maximum, and then wonder why they can't see a difference...

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12 September 20, 2017