Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models.

YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the ‌iPhone 12‌ using a force meter to compare its performance to the ‌iPhone 11‌.


With a force meter that measures in newtons, the ‌iPhone 11‌ was able to withstand 352 newtons of force, while the ‌iPhone 12‌ was able to withstand 442 newtons of force. The Ceramic Shield of the ‌iPhone 12‌ significantly outperformed the ‌iPhone 11‌'s cover glass.

In a separate scratch test, the ‌iPhone 12‌ was able to withstand scratching from keys, coins, rocks, and a box cutter, receiving no scratches on the display.

With a Mohs hardness test, the 6 and 7 points were able to leave scratches on the ‌iPhone 11‌, while the ‌iPhone 12‌ stood up to the 6 point and saw some faint scratches with the 7 point. The 8 point left significant scratches on both. For reference, the 8 point is also able to scratch the sapphire lens of the iPhone.

The edges weren't particularly durable, and the back glass of the ‌iPhone 12‌ appeared to scratch as easily as the back glass of the ‌iPhone 11‌. From MobileReviewsEh:

This Ceramic Shield is definitely tougher on the iPhone 12s. Quite a bit, over 100 newtons. It took a lot of effort to break this screen. The remainder of the iPhone in terms of scratch protection is similar to the iPhone 11. Screen is a little more scratch resistant.

Now that ‌iPhone 12‌ and 12 Pro models are out in the wild, we should be seeing additional drop and durability tests in the coming days that will give us a better idea of how the Ceramic Shield compares to the glass of earlier iPhones.

Keep in mind that these kinds of force tests and drop tests are not always going to see the same results, and can vary based on where a force meter is applied or the angle that an ‌iPhone‌ happens to fall at, so it's always best to use caution with with devices made of glass, Ceramic Shield or no Ceramic Shield.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

Relentless Power Avatar
12 months ago

The real test is the drop test.
To me, ‘drop tests’ really doesn’t prove anything. Because there’s so many variables when you actually drop a phone, like the surface type the phone lands on, the angle in which the phone lands, from what height, etc. Just because we see a ‘YouTube test’ of a drop, really isn’t indicative of everybody else’s experience how they drop their phone and if it was used in a case or not.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jakewilk Avatar
12 months ago
Scratches at a level 7 with deeper grooves at a level 8??
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
easy4lif Avatar
12 months ago
not gonna lie, the ceramic shield is pretty impressive.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
12 months ago
Just realized the iP12 in the thumbnail appears to have a screen protector on it while the iPhone in the video does not.

I'm not trying imply that there's something suspicious going on; it just seemed like an odd detail.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Deinocheirus Avatar
12 months ago

Yeah I’d still go for a screen protector. I tend to use my phones for over 2 years and I’m sure with it being mixed in my pocket with change and keys at times it would eventually leave micro scratches. When I resell my phones they’re almost always pristine as I case and screen protect right after unboxing.
Cant imagine living for 2 years with a screen protector for that reason.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kcslc Avatar
12 months ago
the jerryrigeverything guy won’t be able to say, “glass is glass” or “glass being glass, still scratched at a 6, with deeper grooves at a level 7.”
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 12 pro triple camera video

Apple's Changing the iPhone 13 Camera Bump

Friday April 9, 2021 3:21 am PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 13's rear camera bump is set to be thinner and protrude less from the device, according to recent rumors. A recent YouTube video from EverythingApplePro, used to share Max Weinbach's leaks, said that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature a flatter camera bump. Weinbach explained that the iPhone 13's camera module will not be completely flat, but each lens will protrude...
Top Stories 54 Feature

Top Stories: iPhone 13 Front Glass Leak, Rugged Apple Watch, HomePods With Screens?

Saturday March 27, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
With March drawing to a close and no sign yet of an Apple media event, rumors are continuing to dominate the news cycle. This week saw a number of new reports about the iPhone 13, a potential "rugged" Apple Watch model, a HomePod with a screen and camera, and more. The competitive dispute between Apple and Intel also took an interesting turn this week, with Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger...
iPhone 13 Camera Backs

iPhone 13 Models Will Be Slightly Thicker and Will Have Larger Camera Bumps

Monday May 10, 2021 10:41 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 models will be slightly thicker than the iPhone 12 models and will also feature larger, thicker camera bumps with lenses that protrude less, according to iPhone 13 schematics seen by MacRumors. The new iPhone 13 and 13 Pro models are expected to feature a thickness of 7.57mm, up from 7.4mm in the iPhone 12 models. That's an increase of 0.17mm, which won't be hugely ...
iphone 12 pro cracked glass

Apple Now Able to Repair an iPhone 12 Pro's Cracked Rear Glass Without Replacing the Entire Device

Wednesday March 10, 2021 9:57 am PST by
Last month, MacRumors reported that Apple was introducing a new same-unit repair method for iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models exhibiting certain issues that would typically require a whole-unit replacement. Now, we've learned that Apple has extended these same-unit repairs to the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Image Credit: EverythingApplePro Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service...
arglassesyay

Apple Glasses Reportedly Progressing Towards Engineering Verification Stage With Focus on Battery Life and Weight

Wednesday January 6, 2021 7:12 am PST by
Taiwanese publication DigiTimes yesterday claimed that Apple is about to enter the "second phase" of development of augmented reality glasses, citing industry sources. Now, the full report has been shared with a few more details. Following the second phase, the report claims that the glasses will go through a third phase of development a few months later. Upon completion of the prototype...
maxresdefault

Apple Shares 'Fumble' Ad Highlighting iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield

Wednesday March 24, 2021 6:33 pm PDT by
Apple today shared a new ad that focuses on the iPhone 12's durability, specifically highlighting the Ceramic Shield display, which is meant to be tougher than standard smartphone glass. In the ad, a woman's iPhone 12 slips out of her hand and she fumbles with it for several seconds before it flies out of her grip and lands on the ground, coming away unscathed. "iPhone 12 with Ceramic...
snap spectacles

Snap Working on Advanced Smart Glasses With Augmented Reality Capabilities

Tuesday March 30, 2021 2:33 pm PDT by
Snap is designing a new set of "Spectacles" smart glasses that have augmented reality capabilities, reports The Information. Snap has sold several versions of its Spectacles, but current options do not have AR features and are instead equipped with a camera for uploading content to social network Snapchat. The augmented reality Spectacles will be aimed at developers and creators rather than...
maxresdefault

iPhone 12 Six-Foot Drop Test Results: Ceramic Shield More Durable But Not Damage Proof

Monday October 26, 2020 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro feature a new Ceramic Shield screen that Apple says offers 4x better drop performance. To test that claim, Allstate Protection Plans put the two models through a range of breakability tests and recorded the results. In a face down sidewalk drop test at six feet, the iPhone 12 suffered small cracks and scuffed corners and edges, leaving sharp grooves in ...
maxresdefault

Apple Promotes iPhone 12 'Ceramic Shield' Display In New 'Cook' Ad

Saturday March 13, 2021 10:04 am PST by
In a new ad on its YouTube channel, Apple is promoting the durability and water resistance of the iPhone 12 and the performance of the "Ceramic Shield" display. The ad, named "Cook," showcases a chef putting an iPhone 12‌ through its paces by splashing it with liquids and flour, plus dropping it on its screen multiple times. The ad aims to highlight the "Ceramic Shield" display on the...
record gaze tracking patent

Apple Outlines How Smart Glasses Could Record Jitter-Free, Gaze-Driven Video

Tuesday March 16, 2021 6:30 am PDT by
Multiple reports suggest that Apple is developing an augmented reality headset as well as smart glasses, and a newly granted Apple patent may provide a clue about one of the potential features that could be included in the latter device. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple a patent describing "systems and methods for gaze-driven recording of video." Apple's...