HTC One S Gets Fried With 10,000 Volts of Electricity For Durability And Design [Video]


Back when the HTC One S was first announced, HTC mentioned a little something on the unique process that went into creating the device’s durable, ceramic-like unibody skin. Described as “micro-arc oxidation,” some of this process was shown in their wrap up video and now, they’ve decided to highlight this little known “feature” of the device, and give us a little more back story with the some of the designers who helped make this possible.

Micro-arc oxidation starts off with aircraft aluminum (that would look cool enough as-is on a smartphone) that is zapped with around 10,000 volts of electricity that almost makes the metal catch fire. The result? A new metal with a ceramic type coating that is 3 times stronger than stainless steel and 50 times stronger than adamantium. Pretty impressive.

There’s been a lot of talk about ceramic cased smartphones making their way around the rumor mill. It’s been said that Samsung will offer a device — the Galaxy S III — with a ceramic casing and while that doesn’t sound too durable, maybe it’s using a process similar to HTC. I’ve seen the a couple of hands-on videos around the net and apparently the rough surface provides great grip and can even file a finger nail if you scratch it. You can check out the (excessive?) process in HTC’s new video below.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Interesting. 

  2. Sure, it doesn’t need a case if you don’t mind your screen shattering when you drop it.

    1. ive dropped me G2 plenty of times. Slung it across the room by mistake, dropped while getting out of a car, off of a table.  No screen crack.

    2. Get a screen protector….. o_O
      Most Cases don’t cover the screen anyways unless its got i built in screen protector or its a flip cover.

      off topic:
      I always wndered why so may people care about one device being .2mm thicker/thiiner then another device when thay are just going to throw it into something huge like an Otterbox anyways.

    3. Dropped my Nexus One at least two dozen times over the past 2 years, still works.  it got a bit bent during one of the drops, but that’s what a strong shell (rather than some of the plastic ones) gives you.  Glass never got scratched during any of the drops or being kept in my jeans pocket (albeit never in the same pocket as keys/coins).

      Oh, and to be clear, never used a skin or screen protector on it.  I see this the same way as people who put plastic on their sofas.  You buy a product to enjoy it.  Part of enjoying a phone the nice feel in the hand, a great display (not marred by a screen protector) and the compactness.

      1. That’s why you buy an expensive screen protector that is scratch resistant, filters uv light and is washable. I don’t see why people buy an 1 dollar screen protector either, they usually suck and ruin your screen quality.

        I don’t mind buying a 30-50 euro worth screen protector as it can provide you with a better touch surface (mine really does), little to none effect on brightness and screen quality and full protection

        It can make the difference when selling your phone, I’m very confident that you can ask 50+ extra euros just because your screen is the same as when you unpacked it.

        If you’re not selling it and are putting it on your phone history shelf, i’m sure you’ll appreciate the scratchless screen.

        I ordered myself a Martin Fields screen protector for my Xperia S coming next week and I’m confident it won’t ruin the glorious screen

        1. Actually, I played with different screen protectors with a PDA I have (yes, I still use one for certain purposes), and settled on one that’s glare-proof, is pretty thick, and lasts a very long time (doesn’t scratch easily).  I think it was $25 or something.  Problem with it, though is that it causes a ‘rainbow’/pixelation effect.  The smooth/glare ones were worse to use during the day.  So either way (and especially as they get scoffed), the picture degrades.

          I’m a firm believer in Gorilla glass since my Nexus One, and have confidence in it to not be scratched.

          That said, I think with my next phone, I’ll pay $7/month extra for insurance to the carrier, as I AM worried about an unlucky drop or water damage sooner or later (scratches would be covered too).  
          Over 2 years (expected lifetime of my cellphones), it’s only $84:  not much for a $650 phone, in my opinion, and I don’t have to worry about anything at that point (can even use it as a hammer: just saved $10 right there!).

  3. This has hardware cool spec and the x has internal cool spec. I guess.

    1. S4>Tegra 3

      1. One XL best of both worlds
        S4 and 720p screen :D

      2. Yes! It is!
        I want S4!

  4. “Wow… what this”

    1. it’s a phone

  5. It’s five times stronger than aluminum and three times stronger than steel

    1. 5x stronger then AIRCRAFT aluminum and 3x strong then STAINLESS steel

      big difference, what you posted is just as incorrect as the article… 

    2. Thanks. Updated post. Also included adamantium O_o

      1. Stating that it’s 3x stronger than stainless steel but 50x stronger than adamantium means adamantium is much weaker than stainless steel… and this is false. Haha, sorry, it’s been driving me nuts. I had to say something.

        1. And we all like to buy stuff that is cool.  Who cares if it can…you know, make phone calls and stuff.

  6. Is this the same ceramic rumored to be in the Galaxy SIII?

    1. Could be. Unless HTC patents this process in which case the GSIII will be “toilet bowl” ceramic =p

  7. This sounds a lot like industrial anodizing… Regardless, not many people (I know I was one) don’t realize just how tough milspec anodizing can be. When built up a few mil thick, that anodized shell can be as hard as carbide, which is absolutely amazing when you think about it.

  8. Um, that’s awesome but the glass will still break right……..?

    1. it doesn’t have any stupid back glass as on the iphone 4 and 4S, which is so prone to breakage (NOT gorilla glass like the front).  and since the , and glass doesn’t completely go edge-to-edge on 4 sides, better chassis shape for impacts, expect slightly less breakage from small drops (though YMMV)

  9. “50 times stronger than adamantium”

    i love that… xp

    1. Yeah, good one, wolverine is getting a new coating on his skeleton by Dr.Mad (aka the wow what this! Guy) at the hTC lab with this new process!

  10. Why, oh why, HTC, have you forsaken me (by not putting in a removable battery)???

    1.  The case is too strong, you can not open it…lol

  11. I could be way off but isn’t this what most people call “powder coating” as in what they do to rims? I could be off like I said but the process is pretty close?

  12. HTC, I would have much preferred it had you saved money by skipping out on this treatment, and instead had included a microSD slot and removable battery.

    1. Yes! Thank you!

    2. So buy Htc One X. It has removable battery and 32Gb.

  13. So cool yada yada….but at what cost? 

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