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Is the iPhone 12's 'Ceramic Shield' display more durable?

One of the new features of the iPhone 12 is what Apple calls Ceramic Shield. It’s supposed to give the iPhone 12’s screen four times better drop performance. But does it work? There’s only one way to find out.

Anyone want to volunteer their new iPhone 12? No.? Well, lucky for us, the folks at Allstate Protection Plans has carried out some drop tests for us.

Also: Every iPhone 12 model from mini to Pro Max: Prices, specs, and availability 

Ceramic Shield is a technology developed by glassmaker Corning that uses a high-temperature crystallization process to allow nano-ceramic crystals to form in the glass, boosting toughness.

Apple claims that Ceramic Shield is tougher than any other smartphone glass, and that this is the biggest jump in glass reliability the iPhone has seen. So, what happens when you drop it? Spoilers: It still breaks.

iPhone 12 and 12 Pro following drop-tests

iPhone 12 and 12 Pro following drop-tests

The durability testing consisted of dropping iPhone 12 handsets from 6 feet onto a rough sidewalk. Not particularly scientific, but I doubt that you’re even going to be scientific when you drop your iPhone either.

Also: Which iPhone 12? How to choose the iPhone model that’s right for you 

Here’s what the Allstate Protection Plans tests showed.

  • Drop either the iPhone 12 or the iPhone 12 Pro (which is 25 grams heavier) onto the display, and the display cracks, but is still usable. Bad, but it fared better than its predecessor or the Samsung Galaxy S20 on similar tests.
  • When dropped on its back, the iPhone 12 suffered only minor scuffs, while the iPhone 12 Pro shattered, but remained usable.
  • When dropped on their sides, both sustained scuffing and sharp metal edges were created, but both remained usable.