iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test.

Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs hardness scale, he found that the device's display is "still scratching at a level six, with deeper grooves at a level seven," in line with dozens of other smartphones he has tested over the years.


Nelson did find that the scratches with the level six Mohs pick appear to be slightly fainter compared to previous iPhones, but there is no dramatic improvement.

JerryRigEverything's results differ from a similar test by YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh, which found that the ‌iPhone 12‌ stood up to the six point and saw some faint scratches with the seven point on the Mohs hardness scale.


In fairness to Apple, it advertises the Ceramic Shield as providing 4x the drop performance, rather than improved scratch resistance. Earlier this week, insurance company Allstate conducted a series of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro drop tests and found that the devices are indeed more durable than the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro in similar tests.

Related Roundups: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

normang Avatar
12 months ago
Is it really necessary to prove that most anything can be scratched if you try hard enough,. what a waste of time and iPhones...
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cocky jeremy Avatar
12 months ago

With glass it’s either better scratch resistance or better shatter resistance. Can’t have both.
I'd rather have scratch resistance. I don't drop my phone so that's not an issue.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TonyC28 Avatar
12 months ago
So basically the new iPhone screens are not markedly stronger in terms of scratch resistance nor did Apple say they were. Got it.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. White Avatar
12 months ago
Pretty positive review if you ask me.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dwalls90 Avatar
12 months ago

I'd rather have scratch resistance. I don't drop my phone so that's not an issue.
Yea I'm so sick of having a scratched screen. Just had my phone replaced under warranty due to a defect, and the new screen corner is already lightly scratched from normal usage in a case. Much rather take my chances on accidentally dropping it and paying $29 with AC+ to have it repaired, than have a scratched screen all the time.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
12 months ago

Sapphire option please.
Sapphire is more brittle and less flexible than glass, so it would be significantly more prone to shattering when dropped. On balance, I'll take some scratches over a shattered screen.

Another downside is reflectance. As Apple Watchers owners know, in ambient or outdoor light conditions, the sapphire screens reflect more outside light and thus wash out what the display is showing. This can be overcome by display brightness, which is why Apple has jacked up the brightness on Apple Watches at every generation, but at the expense of battery life. It's worth it on a tiny watch screen, but on a larger smartphone screen, the battery life hit won't be worth it.

This is a good article on it: https://www.displaymate.com/Apple_Watch_ShootOut_2.htm
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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