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We Placed The iPhone 12’s Ceramic Screen In A Drop Test

The new Apple iPhone 12 comes with a Ceramic Shield screen said to be up to 4x tougher. That means it performs up to 4x the strength in case the phone is accidentally dropped. 

Tom’s Guide

In a drop test of about six feet, the iPhone 12 suffered some minor cracks and scraped edges. According to Allstate, a mobile insurance firm, the results show better performance compared to the previous iPhone 11 or the Samsung Galaxy S20. 

On the other hand, the iPhone 12 Pro showed a cracked handset in the lower half of the ceramic shield screen. Fortunately, the phone didn’t sustain any malfunction. On the flip side, because it’s about 25 grams heavier than the iPhone 12, it got slightly worse cracks, but it still showed significant performance compared to the iPhone 11 Pro in a similar test. 

Here’s how it performed in an actual drop test. 

First drop

The first drop is about three feet high with the screen side down. When the phone is dropped accidentally in a hip-high, it can be harmless. But if it lands on the sidewalk or in the street, it could end up with a broken screen. 

But when the phone dropped from the same height and hit the ground then the bottom, it bounced back before it landed flat on the sidewalk. Remember, the phone is dropped with the screen side down intentionally. 

Surprisingly, the aluminum frame suffered a few minor dents around the edges but nothing serious. The phone is still in working condition. 

Second drop

The second drop is about three feet high with the back side down. The phone seemed to be really top-heavy as it landed almost the same way. The top hit first, followed by the bottom before it landed with its back, side down on the pavement. 

There was a sound difference on this drop. The thud sound was louder. When we picked it up, we saw that the phone’s bottom half was broken. The edge was rough because of the dent but to our surprise, the shards were not falling off. 

Third drop

The third drop was over six feet high with the screen, side down. We noticed that the phone’s top left corner hit the concrete pavement. It’s opposite the camera module that hit first. Also, it bounced back and hit the right side before it flipped on its back and landed with the screen side-up. 

Furthermore, the biggest dent was on the top left corner, where it hit first. It even looked like it cracked the screen next to the metal frame. However, when we rub it off, it was just some metallic residue that came off the frame. The important thing is, the glass remained in perfect condition. 

Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Drops

On the fourth to the sixth attempt, it was nine feet high. Of course, this involved a step ladder and a measuring tape for accuracy. This is not a common drop unless you drop your phone from the second floor. However, it’s all for the sake of knowing the limitation of the toughest smartphone screen today. 

At nine feet high, we noticed that the landing is much harder to control. Gravity is sure to win every single time. The iPhone 12 landed almost the same way with the six-foot drop. It dropped first on the top right-hand side then bounced off the left side before it landed on the screen side up. 

The dent on the frame was deeper. To our surprise, the screen survived with flying colors. But we just wanted to know it’s limitations, so we dropped the phone two more times. Again, gravity is taking over. On the second attempt, we successfully made the iPhone 12 land on the screen side down. 

Unfortunately, this was because it bounced off on the side of the porch step. The frame that hit first had more dents and bruises, but the screen remained in mint condition after three back-to-back drops at nine feet high. Now we’re satisfied. The Ceramic Shield screen is, in fact, the toughest screen today.