A broken screen is the most common damage to a mobile phone. At the moment, in the Netherlands, 1 in 10 people walk around with a cracked phone screen. That’s 190,000 smartphones with a crack on the front. But why is it that your phone always falls with its screen down? The Gitzo detective looked it up for you.
What do sandwiches and mobile phones have in common? Exactly: when they fall, they almost always do so with the wrong side down. The sandwich always lands on its greased side, resulting in a dirty kitchen floor. And your AT&T mobile: it lands fully on his glass belly. The result: a nice crack exactly where the Tinder or Facebook icon is. Does that suck!
Your phone is a sandwich.
When it comes to falling, your cell phone is scientifically a sandwich. British scientist Robert Matthews investigated falling sandwiches and managed to unravel the mystery. He even won the Nobel Prize for it. And guess what? That your phone almost always lands on his stomach is neither coincidence nor bad karma. It is – like everything really – physics. Your phone will fall down due to sheer unadulterated gravity. The thing is, as soon as your phone slides off the table or falls out of your pocket, it spins. This happens because the part of your phone that sticks out of your jacket or slides off the table first falls earlier than the other. Your phone spins about half a turn before it hits the ground, and this lands it on the glass side.
Why your phone sometimes lands neatly on its back
Fortunately, your phone does not always fall on its screen. Your phone is more likely to land on its back if you have it face down. And the height of the drop also affects how your phone ends up on the ground. When your phone falls from arm or table height, it won’t have enough time to turn a full circle. If people and tables were twice as high, your phone would just land on its back. Your phone will then have enough time to run a full circle. But please don’t try this at home. Because when your phone falls from a higher height, the blow is also harder. This can also damage your phone. And that’s a shame!
What you can do about it
You can’t do much against the action of gravity. But a protective case with rubber edges or a flap on the front will at least break the drop of your phone and prevent your screen from hitting the ground. It does not offer a guarantee against a broken screen, but it does reduce the chance of it happening. So now you know exactly what to do to prevent broken screens as much as possible. Meanwhile, science is busy developing unbreakable telephone screens, so broken telephone screens will soon be a thing of the past.
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