Man every year Apple says its new iPhone has the strongest glass ever and this year is no exception.
But this one.
Is no ordinary glass Apple calls it a ceramic shield.
And it's supposed to make the screen of the new iPhone 12 four times tougher than its predecessor, the iPhone 11.
And tougher than any other smartphone.
We're gonna put it to the test.
Because this is a completely new cover material both for the iPhone and for smartphones in general, we're dividing up this test into two parts.
First up the scratch test, which is what I'm set up for over here.
Just to kind of see how it handles everyday wear and tear, but once you introduce a scratch, the glass is compromised and that's where Chris comes in.
That's right Vanessa.
I got my own iPhone 12 right here.
It's in a lovely green colour.
We're gonna drop it on the ground a few times and see what happens.
Now before I begin the scratch test, let me just point out one thing.
The ceramic shield is only on the front of the phone.
The back of this phone is actually last year's glass, the same one that was on the iPhone 11 So just keep that in mind as we go forward with our test.
I'm gonna start with the purse or pocket test to kind of mimic what happens in our person pockets, putting in some keys, a pen, and these coins, and I'm gonna shake it for about Let's see 30 seconds.
I hope you're not going to be doing this yourself.
But it's supposed to just mimic the everyday wear and tear over the course of a couple of weeks, maybe a couple months.
So let's see how we're doing.
Almost there, just a couple more seconds.
I'm shaking this pretty vigorously, so I don't know if this is gonna cause any damage.
AlL right 30 seconds.
That does it.
Let's see how it did.
All right, well, I'm gonna take this cloth which is actually a baby And clean up the debris a little bit because it's tough to know whether it's just debris from what was inside the person or an actual scratch.
I mean, the fact that I'm having such a hard time finding any kind of damage on this phone is a very good sign.
So as I said, no obvious Scratching both the front and the back performed really well.
So that's probably the more real world scenario of all these.
Now we're going to raise the stakes and I have a piece of tile over here.
And I'm going to slide this phone back and forth to mimic what happens if you slide it across the kitchen table or any kind of rougher surface.
But I'm gonna limit myself to 10 times because sometimes when I talk I forget how long I'm be going.
And I went too far with a note 20 Ultra.
So let's start one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.
I'm gonna do the same on the back of this phone.
See I did.
Well, Chris, again, I'm having some hard time finding any damaged, Terms of scratching on this phone.
That sounded pretty rough.
Yeah, it did.
And you know what?
The only thing that it did that I'm seeing at least right now is that the tiny little bit of metal that surrounds one of the lenses has been shaved off a little bit, but I'm not sure That's just the coding like a color coding or what it is.
I don't think it would affect the lens itself.
The camera bump is probably protecting the back a little bit isn't true.
The camera bump is protecting the back upon Closer inspection I did find a little tiny hair of a scratch on top of the Apple logo.
The only reason I can see it, it's because it's so reflective.
It looks almost like a mirror and little bit, a little bit of a scratch over here on the bottom of the phone.
It's going to be hard to show you so hopefully you can see it.
What about on the front side?.
The front of this phone looks pristine.
So that's interesting different type of glass.
Different performance for scratch resistance at least.
It looks like the ceramic shield is protecting it.
I swear I have inspected this phone and the only damage that I could find Are two tiny hairline of scratches on the back and the scuffing on the frame surrounding one of the lenses.
That's about it.
I have a feeling this next test might show us some different results.
I have a sheet of sandpaper.
Now hopefully none of you are gonna.
Be rubbing it against sandpaper but it's meant to mimic what happens when it falls on cement or any other extremely rough surface.
This is 80 grit sandpaper.
Corning uses a lesser version of this for some of their tests on the glass and I'm going to slide it again 10 times on both sides.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 onto the other side 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 this is like nails on a chalkboard.
Let's assess the damage.
Yeah, there's damage.
Let's see how much of this damage is part of the debri, and how much it's actually scratching, it just hurts so much just to even hear that sound.
It's so bad.
All right, this is the back of the phone.
So that glass, And it does have quite a bit of damage.
But I think because of the way it's angled does protect it a little bit, and the cameras survived without even a scratch, just that same little scuffing of the frame of one of the lenses there you can see some of the scratches, and fear on the front.
It does look like the front has more scratching or more visible scratching.
So I rubbed it on sandpaper and it scratched big surprise.
But it is important to know the way that they scratched is very, very similar even though they are different materials they look about as deep and they scratch in the same way.
What are your takeaways here Vanessa?
Well pretty much don't slide it across your driveway that's for sure.
But your everyday wear and tear, pockets, even bathroom floors.
This will hold up both on the front and the back of the phone.
It kind of just Expect it to perform the same as blast in terms of scratch resistance, and it's pretty good for that matter.
And now it's Chris has turned with drop test.
That's right, like we usually do in these drop tests.
We're gonna start out of pocket height that's about three feet off the ground.
I'll drop it on the front, take a look, drop it on the back, take a peek.
If it's not totally shattered by then we'll go up to about six feet.
Drop it on the front and the back.
If it's still hanging in there at that point, then we'll reassess and see where to go next.
Now before you drop that phone, let me just say one more thing about the design and because the glass is flush with the side of the phone this time around instead of kind of curving upward as in previous models that in and of itself is going to make it twice as tough.
Even though it does have that same glass as the iPhone 11 on the back of the phone, so again, just keep that in mind as we go forward.
Now take it away, Chris.
Okay, I'm all set.
I'm ready for the first drop, hip height.
We wanna count me in Vanessa.
All right, let's do this in three Two one drop [SOUND]
Didn't sound too bad Let's take a look.
And three feet down.
I'd say it actually doesn't look too too bad.
There's a little bit of a scrape right here on this corner on the metal band, not on the glass.
There's another little dance right up here at the top.
As far as the glass goes, it looks pretty clean.
Yeah, I mean, from where I'm standing, Chris.
It's hard to notice any kind of damage.
Is I'm curious though is that little dent on the side.
Does it permeate into the glass or is it just on the aluminum frame?
No, it's just on the aluminum right here.
There's no, it doesn't travel over into the glass or anything.
Same up here at the top.
It's just, it's purely cosmetic on the metal, not on the glass.
All in all, I'd say it's looking pretty good, totally still usable.
But now let's drop it on the back and see what happens.
There we go again from pocket height, three feet, count me down.
In 3, 2, 1 drop.
Send it a little harder than the front side.
All right, you ready for this?
Man So if you look here at the bottom half, we've got a big parking crack some little, little mini ones at the bottom.
It's a little bit rough to the touch, at least on the edge here across here.
It feels pretty smooth that one's on the surface.
Don't see anything on the camera bump.
There's a little scuff on the metal.
But this didn't appear to take any beating.
All the damage is down here on the bottom half.
I mean, I guess it would make sense that the ceramic shield is stronger than the back.
From what we know, but even though this phone is broken at this point, I'm still curious to see what happens with the screen and that ceramic shield Chris.>> Yeah, I agree.
I think we should definitely drop it from six feet on the front.
And we'll see what happens at that point.
Ready for that?Call me now>> let's do this in three to one drop.
Here is the front from six feet.
Gotta say it's looking pretty good.
No major cracks or shatters along the front.
One thing I see is this little spot on the top corner.
Now if I brush this That's just the aluminum that sort of came across the top of the glass.
The glass itself underneath is just fine.
Is there any scratching to the glass at all at this point Chris?
I don't see any scratches at all.
It looks pretty much pristine.
It's looking like the screen on your phone is gonna come out a lot better looking than mine even though you drop it on actual concrete
True but I only dropped it once.
Not like I was using it as a hockey puck.
I have to say I'm pretty impressed with this class so far.
I say we just disqualify the backside of the phone at this point and keep going with the front because the screen is what's interesting to me at least.
What do you say?>> I agree.
Let's go to nine feet.>> All right, Chris is on the ladder.
Let's do this.
Nine feet in three two one drop.
Ooh, that wasn't exactly flat.
You know what Atlanta did the exact same spot and nothing really happened.
Let me try that one more time and see if I can get it flatter.
All right, one more time.
There we go three two one Got a tumble on that one.
Still looking good.
One more time.
Twice from nine feet, nothing.
Let me try and get this nice and flat.
Three, two, one.
I'm telling you this thing is doing great>> [LAUGH]
I dropped out three times from about nine feet and this front screen looks just as good as it did when it came out of the box.
The back hasn't even changed that much.
This metal frame is really the most worse for wear after all these drops.
In fact, I still can't see any cracks on this front one at all.
That's really impressive, Chris, I mean, even though it didn't fall flat, it still felt three different times from nine feet and hopefully none of you are gonna be doing that intentionally.
So I'd say it's a pass in my book, if not a complete win.
I'd have to agree after these first cracks on the back from just 3 feet, I was a little skeptical how this was gonna survive as we got higher, but sure enough, that was the only real damage we saw besides just that scuffing.
So any final thoughts, Vanessa?
So it's obviously not indestructible.
We didn't expect it to be indestructible but it has gone far and above my expectations.
Now obviously you have to be careful with the back because it doesn't have that ceramic shield so you probably still going to need a case on it.
But that ceramic shield did hold up to the claim at least, In our tests, obviously your mat mileage can vary.
These are not scientific tests.
Chris, would you venture would you go case lift this year?
You know, I probably wouldn't feel too bad about trying to do this without a case.
That being said, the new magsafe cases that just stick right on the back with a magnet are kind of cool.
Plus they have them that are clear so you're not gonna cover up whatever color you end up buying.
Well, that's been our scratch and drop test of the iPhone 12.
Now, let us know in the comment section whether or not you would feel confident enough to use this phone without a case.
I'm curious to know.
Also make sure to check out our other drop in durability test on CNET.
Keep coming back because we're going to continue running some other tests on the iPhone 12.
See you next time.