Apple has covered its new iPhone 12 with one, which it says is . Every year Apple makes a similar claim about its glasses, but this time it may be different as these are not ordinary glasses. Although it may look exactly like glass, the ceramic shield that covers the display is, as the name suggests, a combination of glass and ceramic (harder than most metals). It’s a brand new case material for the iPhone, and it’s unlike anything we’ve tested before.
And testing it is exactly what we did. To find out how this new material meets the elements, we’ve put two brand-new iPhone 12s through a couple of scratch and drop tests. And it turns out, this new glass is extremely durable. (This opponent says its screen is.)
iPhone 12: Broken glass
Ceramic shielding only covers the front – screen – of the iPhone 12. The back is covered with a layer of glass similar to last year’s iPhone 11, which is considered by Apple to be the hardest in the industry. Both types of glass are manufactured by Corning.
Aside from the glass, another factor that could play a key role in how well the handset is drop-resistant is the design. The glass on the iPhone 12 is flat with a metal frame instead of curved upwards like previous models, making the glass more exposed. Apple says a design choice alone will make the back and front twice as durable as older models.
All four iPhone 12 models () have same ceramic shield on display and same type of glass on back panel. The only difference in material is the frame. The two Pros have a stainless steel frame, while the Mini and 12 are aluminum. Frame performance may vary depending on the material, but the glass should provide the same type of protection over the entire area. For our tests, we used the regular iPhone 12 in blue and green.
Scratch 1: It still survived the bag / wallet breakage
On the first test, I put the iPhone 12 in a small makeup bag with some common culprits scratching our phones: key set, half a dozen quarters, and a metal pen. I shake the bag vigorously for about 30 seconds to simulate what will happen after a few weeks of twisting in my wallet or bag before checking.
After wiping the phone with a cloth, I couldn’t find a single scratch on the glass or frame of the iPhone 12.
Click on the video below to see the results from the top and drop tests.
Scratch 2: There are no scratches on the screen after sliding the tile
Next, I want to see how the screen will perform if it comes in contact with a hard surface like a marble counter, kitchen counter or bathroom floor. I slide my iPhone 12 back and forth 10 times on a textured ceramic tile, first along the screen, then on the back of the phone.
The screen had a lot of debris from the tile, but after cleaning it, I struggled to find any visible damage to the glass. Examining the back of the phone is more difficult. The raised camera module does not allow the phone to lie on its back, so I did a few swipes with the phone at an angle. This doesn’t damage the glass, but it causes some of the metallic paint on the frame around the bottom camera to be rubbed off. It’s barely noticeable and the lenses themselves remain in their pristine condition. Then I did it again with the camera module hanging off the brick edge. After thoroughly examining the back, I finally found two microscopic scratches, one on the silver Apple logo and the other just below the blue glass. Both are thinner than a fine hair and about a quarter of an inch long.
Scratch 3: Rub it on the sandpaper to form a stain
After passing two scratch tests with flying color, I decided to do one more (extreme) test on this iPhone 12: rubbing with 80 grit sandpaper. This is probably the real-world equivalent of slipping your phone across the driveway or sidewalk, hoping that won’t happen too often.
I rub the phone back and forth 10 times on both sides, applying light pressure. This time, both sides of the phone have been shaved. The screen was the most damaged, with lines running across the middle of the phone. A few of them are deep enough to be felt with my fingernails, but it’s still in an active state. The back of the phone is significantly less damaged, again protected by a protruding camera module, but it still has visible scratches on the center and on the bottom edges. The metal finish on the lens frame continues to peel off, but the lenses themselves remain unscathed.
Scratching the phone affects the glass and makes it more likely to break when dropped, so my colleague, CNET Production Director Chris Parker, used another brand new iPhone 12 for Our sidewalk drop test.
Drop 1: 3 feet, the edge of the screen down
One of the more common times you can drop your phone is when you put your phone in and out of your pocket. While dropping your phone from hip height can be harmless, if it falls on the street or the sidewalk, your screen may break.
When dropped from hip height, the top of the iPhone 12 will touch the ground first, then the bottom. It then popped up in the air again before landing flat on the sidewalk, pointing the screen down as intended.
The aluminum frame has a few indents around the edges of the phone, but nothing serious.
2: 3 feet drop test, back side down
Next, Chris did the same drop, but this time with the back of the phone facing the ground.
The iPhone 12 looks top heavy: It landed almost exactly the same as before, with the top (where the camera module is located) first, then the lower one. Finally it landed again on the sidewalk.
The main difference in this drop was the sound when it landed, a louder sound than before. Sure enough, when we flip it over, we noticed the bottom half of the phone was broken. The edge feels a bit rough to the touch, mainly due to the dents in the frame, but there isn’t any debris falling off the back of the phone, and it still feels smooth despite the cracks.
With the back cracked, we just narrowed our drops down to the screen.
Drop 3: 6 feet, 6 inch, screen edge down
This is so high that Chris can drop the phone without a ladder.
The top left corner of the screen, opposite the camera module, press first, then the right edge, then press left until it flips upside down, the screen lands upwards. The most noticeable dent is at the top where it hit first, and it’s almost like it caused a crack in the display right where it made contact with the metal frame. But after rubbing, we realized it was just metal residue from the frame and the glass was still in perfect shape.
4, 5 and 6: 9 feet drop down, screen down
With the display still firmly held, we decided to go even higher, using a ladder to reach nine feet. Again, this isn’t an actual drop unless you happen to slip the phone off the second floor balcony, but we wanted to see how far we could take it.
At 9 feet tall, controlling the landing becomes even more difficult. While Chris was aiming to drop it flat on the screen, the iPhone 12 had a mindset of its own and landed almost exactly the same as the 6-foot drop the previous one. With the top right corner of the screen touching the ground first, then bouncing off the left side and the screen landing face up.
The dent in the upper-right side of the frame is deeper, but the screen persists.
We repeated this drop twice again in the hope it would land flat on the face one day, but the weight of the camera made it difficult to land at that angle, especially at that height. The iPhone 12 finally lowered the screen at the last drop, but only because it popped off the edge of the platform. The frame got some extra bumps and bruises, but the screen still looks like new after three drops from a height of 9 meters back. The only way to get up from there is to climb the roof or hire a scissor lift, which we are not exactly prepared to do.
Let’s break it
Because our tests are not scientific, we can’t say for sure that this screen is more powerful than any other phone on the market, but we can certainly say that the iPhone 12’s we are extremely difficult to crack (and scratch) even when placed on bricks and pavement.
However, the back of the iPhone 12 doesn’t seem to have the same drop resistance as the display. And while you can feel comfortable using this phone without a screen protector, we – and Apple – recommend using an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro with the case, as a replacement Screen or rear replacements without AppleCare Plus coverage range from $ 279 to $ 549 depending on repairs.
In a statement to CNET, Apple said, “The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro represent the biggest leap in endurance ever on an iPhone … The iPhone 12 models have undergone real-world testing. Strict and designed to be durable, but indestructible.If someone is worried about dropping their iPhone and damaging it, we recommend using one of the many beautiful cases available to protect your iPhone. protect iPhone. ”