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
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 12 (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

Relentless Power Avatar
25 weeks 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
25 weeks ago
Scratches at a level 7 with deeper grooves at a level 8??
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
easy4lif Avatar
25 weeks ago
not gonna lie, the ceramic shield is pretty impressive.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
25 weeks 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
25 weeks 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
25 weeks 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)

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