SCHOTT high-performance glass enables vivo’s first foldable phone


The brand new vivo X Fold comes fully packed with specialty glass made by SCHOTT (Mainz, Germany). The phone’s foldable main display features glass from the SCHOTT UTG line-up that can bend hundreds of thousands of times after processing. The secondary display is protected by Xensation α, a high-performance cover glass with outstanding drop performance.

The new device was presented in China recently and advances the partnership between SCHOTT, the inventor of specialty glass and an international technology group, and vivo, a leading global smartphone maker.

Foldable smartphones are on the rise globally and are expected to reach 30 million shipments by 2023 according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research. SCHOTT, which is celebrating 30 years of UTG production this year, has positioned itself as a major supplier in the foldable smartphone market and is the only company currently mass-producing UTG that is ultra-thin and ultra-flexible, and also capable of being chemically strengthened. Its material composition gives its ultra-thin glass a bending radius of less than 2 millimetres after chemical strengthening and allows it to bend hundreds of thousands of times.

On the exterior of vivo’s new smartphone, Xensation α (Alpha) provides significantly improved drop resistance compared to lithium aluminosilicate (LAS) and aluminosilicate (AS) cover glass types. Launched in October 2021, Xensation α is SCHOTT’s latest high-end addition to its cover glass portfolio. It is a newly composed lithium alumino-borosilicate (LABS) glass that is made to survive: in addition to its outstanding drop performance, it is also less sensitive to scratches than conventional LAS glasses, as shown in a Knoop indenter scratch test.

The phone also features a foldable display equipped with a SCHOTT UTG glass. It is produced in a down draw melting process to achieve a bending radius of less than 2mm after processing.

The vivo X Fold’s outstanding camera optics, developed by vivo and SCHOTT's sister company ZEISS, also come protected from the challenges of everyday life using Xensation Up. Like Xensation α, it is manufactured at the SCHOTT plant in Jena, Germany. From there, the raw glass is transported as large format panels to China, where it is processed with high precision into cover glass.

“Our partnership with vivo has evolved over the years and allows both companies to showcasee the latest technological advancements in our fields,” said Dr Lutz Klippe, product group manager cover at SCHOTT. “The vivo S12 Pro was the world’s first smartphone to feature our Xensation α cover glass when it was launched in December 2021, so we are excited that our industry-leading flexible UTG will now be part of the cover solution in its first foldable device as well.”

Caption: The vivo X Fold (photo: SCHOTT, vivo)

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