iPhone 12 Six-Foot Drop Test Results: Ceramic Shield More Durable But Not Damage Proof
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 the metal. According to Allstate, this result was significantly better than both its predecessor, the iPhone 11, and the Samsung Galaxy S20.
As for the the iPhone 12 Pro, which is 25 grams heavier than the iPhone 12, the handset cracked across the lower half of its Ceramic Shield screen but sustained no malfunctions or noticeable functional damage. While it fared slightly worse than the iPhone 12, it also performed considerably better than the iPhone 11 Pro in similar tests.
In a back down drop test in similar conditions, the iPhone 12 corners and edges were scuffed but the rear panel survived "virtually unscathed," and the testers suggested its improved durability could be down to its flat-edge design. Meanwhile, the iPhone 12 Pro shattered when dropped on its back, resulting in loose glass and cracking on its wide camera. The damage was not catastrophic, however, and the iPhone 12 Pro seemed to work as normal after impact.
When dropped on their sides in similar conditions, both iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro suffered scuffing and sharp steel edges, especially along their corners, but both models were otherwise
unharmed. The testers summed up the findings with the following:
Through face-down, back-down, and side-down breakability drop tests, Allstate Protection Plans found that the Ceramic Shield front front is a huge improvement. Additionally, the flat side design appears to improve durability on both phones when dropped on their rear panels. That said, both phones were damaged when dropped on a sidewalk. Given their hefty repair costs, we encourage everyone to use a protective case and treat their new iPhone 12 with the care you would give an expensive camera.
Apple charges $279 for screen repairs on iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models. For all other damage, such as cracked rear glass, the repair fee is $449 for the iPhone 12 and $549 for the iPhone 12 Pro. To obtain service, visit the Get Support page on Apple's website.
YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh previously conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance to the iPhone 11. You can see the results of those.
Keep in mind that these kinds of drop tests are not always going to see the same results, and can vary based on the angle that an iPhone happens to fall at, so it's always best to use caution with devices made of glass, whether or not they have a Ceramic Shield.