Apple has covered it for its new iPhone 12, It says . Every year Apple makes similar claims about its glass, but this time it may be different because it is not ordinary glass. Although it looks and feels completely like glass, as the name suggests, the ceramic shield that covers the screen is a combination of glass and ceramic (harder than most metals). It is a brand new cover material for the iPhone, unlike anything we have tested before.
Testing is exactly what we do. In order to figure out how this new material constitutes the elements, we passed some scratch and drop tests on two brand new iPhone 12s. It turns out that this new glass is very durable. (The competitor stated that its screen is)
iPhone 12: Smashed glass
The ceramic shield only covers the front (screen) of the iPhone 12. The back is covered with the same glass as last year’s iPhone 11, which Apple says is the strongest in the industry. Both types of glass are manufactured by Corning.
In addition to glass, the design may also affect the drop resistance of this phone. The glass on the iPhone 12 is flush with the metal frame, instead of bending upwards as in previous models, allowing more glass to be exposed. Apple says that only one design choice can make the rear and front more durable than the old model.
All four models of iPhone 12 () Have the same ceramic shielding layer on the screen and the same type of glass on the back. The only difference in material is the frame. The two Pro have stainless steel frames, while the Mini and 12 are aluminum. The performance of the frame may vary from material to material, but the glass should provide the same type of protection across the board. For testing, we used a regular iPhone 12 in blue and green.
Starting from scratch: it survived a pocket/wallet drop
For the first test, I put the iPhone 12 in a small cosmetic bag. There are some common phenomena that will scratch our phone: a set of buttons, six half buttons and a metal pen. I shake the bag vigorously for about 30 seconds to simulate what happens after checking the wallet or pocket for a few weeks after it bounces.
After wiping the phone with a cloth, no scratches were found on the glass or frame of the iPhone 12.
Click on the video below to see the results of the scratch test.
Scratch 2: After sliding on the tile, there is no scratch on the screen
Next, I want to see how the screen will support if it comes in contact with a hard surface (such as a marble table, kitchen counter or bathroom floor). I swipe the iPhone 12 back and forth 10 times on the textured tiles, first along the screen and then on the back of the phone.
There are chip debris on the screen, but after cleaning it up, it is difficult for me to find visible damage to the glass. Testing the back of the phone is tricky. The raised camera module does not allow the phone to lie flat on its back, so I slid the phone at an angle. This did not damage the glass, but it caused some of the metallic paint on the frame around the bottom camera to be wiped off. This hardly attracted attention, and the lens itself was still in its original state. Then, I hung the camera module on the edge of the tile again and did this again. After carefully inspecting the back, I finally managed to make two micro scratches, one on the silver Apple logo and the other directly under the blue glass. Both are sparser than a fine hair, about a quarter of an inch longer.
Scratch 3: Rubbing on sandpaper leaves marks
After passing two excellent scratch tests, I decided to do another (extreme) test on this iPhone 12: rub it with 80 grit sandpaper. In the real world, this may be equivalent to sliding a mobile phone on a traffic lane or sidewalk, hopefully this will not happen often.
I rubbed the two sides of the phone back and forth 10 times, applying slight pressure. This time, both sides of the phone were scratched off. The screen is the most damaged, with horizontal lines passing through the middle of the phone. Some of them are deep enough to be felt with my nails, but they are still working. Again, due to the protection provided by the raised camera module, there is significantly less damage to the back of the phone, but visible scratches are still visible on its center and lower edges. The metal finish on the frame continued to peel off, but the mirror itself was still not scratched.
Scratching the phone will damage the glass and make it easier to break when dropped, so my colleague CNET resident producer Chris Parker used another brand new iPhone 12 to perform a drop test on the sidewalk.
Drop 1: 3 feet, screen facing down
When you put your phone in your pocket or take it out of your pocket, the most common situation is when you drop your phone. Although dropping the phone from high on the hip may be harmless, if it falls on the street or sidewalk, it may cause the screen to crack.
When falling from hip height, the top of the iPhone 12 first hits the ground and then the bottom. Then it bounced in the air again, then landed on the sidewalk and turned the screen down as expected.
The aluminum frame has some dents on the edge of the phone, but nothing serious.
Drop test 2: 3 feet, backside down
Next, Chris did the same fall, but this time the back of the phone was facing the ground.
The iPhone 12 seems to be the heaviest: it lands in exactly the same way as before, first hitting the top (where the camera module is) and then the bottom. Eventually it landed on the sidewalk.
The main difference in landing is that the sound during landing is louder than before. Sure enough, once we turned it over, we noticed that the lower part of the phone was broken. The edges are a bit rough to the touch, mainly caused by the dents on the frame, but no debris fell from the back of the phone, and despite the cracks, it still felt smooth.
After the back split, we only reduced the droplet onto the screen.
Drop 3: 6 feet 6 inches, screen facing down
This is about as high as Chris can put down the phone without a ladder.
The upper left corner of the screen is opposite to the camera module. First, then the right, then the left until it flips backwards so that the screen faces up. The most obvious dent is on the top, it hits first, almost looking like it caused a crack in the screen where it met the metal frame. But after wiping it off, we realized that it was just a metal residue in the frame and the glass was still in perfect shape.
Drops 4, 5, and 6: Drop 9 feet with the screen facing down
With the screen still strong, we decided to go higher and use a step ladder to reach 9 feet. Likewise, unless you happen to slide your phone out of the balcony on the second floor, this is not a realistic drop, but we want to know how far we can take it.
At a height of nine feet, controlling the landing becomes more difficult. When Chris planned to put it on the screen, the iPhone 12 had his own idea and landed in almost exactly the same way as the previous six feet. The upper right corner of the screen first hits the ground, then bounces from the left, and the landing screen is upward.
The dent in the upper right corner of the frame has deepened, but the screen is still there.
We repeated this drop twice, hoping it could land on its face at some point, but the weight of the camera made it difficult to land at that angle, especially at that height. The iPhone 12 finally landed on the last drop of the screen, but only because it bounced off the side of the porch steps. The frame has more bumps and bruises, but after three consecutive falls from 9 feet, the screen still looks like new. The only way to climb from there is to climb the roof or rent a scissor lift, and we are not yet fully prepared.
Let’s break it down
Since our tests are unscientific, we cannot say that the screen is stronger than any other phone on the market, but we can say with certainty that our iPhone 12 is difficult to crack (and scratch) even on tiles. And sidewalks.
However, the back of the iPhone 12 does not seem to have the same drop-proof super ability as the screen. Although you may feel comfortable using this phone without a screen protector, we and Apple together recommend using an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro with a protective case, because when changing the screen or returning without AppleCare Plus The cost ranges from US$279 to US$549, depending on maintenance costs.
In a statement to CNET, Apple said: “The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro represent the biggest leap in iPhone durability… The iPhone 12 model has passed rigorous real-world tests and is designed to be durable but indestructible. If anyone is worried To drop the iPhone and damage it, we recommend using one of the many beautiful protective cases that can be used to protect the iPhone.”