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First iPhone 12 drop tests score Ceramic Shield display protection wins, and a repair catch


Now that the iPhone 12 has established 5G band count dominance, albeit to the great chagrin of battery life when you use the fast connectivity, it’s time for Apple’s other record claim – the toughest glass on a phone ever – to be put to the test.

The drop test, that is, as the so-called Ceramic Shield cover glass at the front is the one that is expected to undergo the biggest durability improvement compared to the iPhone 11 series. The back is still the good old Gorilla Glass medley, so we don’t expect any enhancements in shatter-proofing there, and the drop tests prove us right.

Three iPhone 12 drop tests, three Ceramic Shield display protection wins

Both in the Allstate Protection Plans (formerly SquareTrade Breakability) above, and in the Everything Apple Pro iPhone 12/Pro drop tests below, the display remained relatively unscathed even when it met the ground from increased heights compared to the iPhone 11 before it.
This jibes with the findings that the iPhone 12 display is indeed tougher than the iPhone 11’s cover glass when drilled into. The Shield seems to be some sort of a blend with ceramic, perhaps resulting from Apple’s $200 million investment in Corning, the makers of Gorilla Glass, last year, and is also found to be very tough by a third independent producer of controlled drop tests as well.

The most expensive iPhone 12 repair is not the Ceramic Shield display

Long story short, after years of unimpressive performances at drop tests, the iPhone 12 has now shot to the top of the durability front, at least if it lands on the pavement face down. The back, however, still breaks like a pretzel from the same heights, and that’s actually the most expensive part to replace in the new iPhones.
Yes, we said replace because, if your shatter the back of your iPhone 12, you’ll pay Apple $459 to swap it, whereas the iPhone 12 Pro rear will set you back $549, as opposed to both phone’s $279 display replacement price. Why? Because, according to iFixit’s iPhone 12 teardown, “if the back glass breaks, you’ll be removing every component and replacing the entire chassis.” Bummer.

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