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Gorilla Glass 4 is here, and you can already buy a phone that uses it

Gorilla Glass 4 is Corning’s latest, and most protective, glass touchscreen cover to date. Unlike many new and exciting products, Gorilla Glass 4 is available right now, provided you choose the Samsung Galaxy Alpha – the first smartphone to use the new material. Samsung’s decision to use Gorilla Glass 4 enabled it to make the Galaxy Alpha its slimmest phone yet, without compromising on damage resistance.

Corning says a Gorilla Glass 4 panel measures just 0.4mm thick, which is actually the same as Gorilla Glass 3, but it’s apparently twice as strong when compared to competitors products. Scientists at the company developed tough new tests to best replicate the most common screen breakage scenarios, then used the results to engineer Gorilla Glass 4 into a stronger, more durable product.

Related: The Mythbusters take on Gorilla Glass, inevitably break lots of it

It found “sharp contact” was responsible for 70 percent of smartphone breakages – which sounds like code for being clumsy and dropping the phone – but claims Gorilla Glass 4-equipped hardware survived in 80 percent of the tests. Regular soda-lime glass broke each and every time.

Samsung worked closely with Corning on the Galaxy Alpha to create a phone with “a sophisticated look and feel without sacrificing functionality. Announced earlier this year, the Galaxy Alpha is the first Galaxy phone to come with a metal chassis, giving it Samsung’s long sought after “premium” look. It’s thin at 6.7mm, and light at 115 grams. The 720p, Super AMOLED screen measures 4.7-inches, and Samsung’s own octa-core Exynos processor powers the device.

The Galaxy Alpha may be the first phone to use Gorilla Glass 4, but it certainly won’t be the last. We expect to see more examples in the new year, potentially starting at CES 2015 in January.