HTC is looking to NASA to improve the durability on its latest slimline smartphone. The aluminum housing on the HTC One S is treated with a process called microarc oxidation - an electrochemical surface treatment process used on many NASA satellites that results in a housing three times stronger than stainless steel.
The HTC One S is part of the company's new One series announced at Mobile World Congress in February. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor with up to 1.5GHz dual-core CPU’s, has a 4.3-inch Gorilla Glass touchscreen and at 7.9 mm (0.31 inches), it's HTC’s thinnest phone yet. But it was the microarc oxidation process used to create the phone's unibody housing which caught our attention at CTIA wireless in New Orleans this week.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
The microarc oxidation process is similar to conventional anodizing but the substrate metal, in this case aluminum, is subjected to 10,000 volts. This gives the aluminum a matte black ceramic finish with a super-dense crystalline structure that HTC says is four times harder than anodized aluminum and three times stronger than stainless steel.
And the point of all this? You don't need the extra bulk of a case to protect the phone.
The HTC promo video below takes us through the microarc oxidation process.