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Does the iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield display live up to the hype?

Of all of the enticing new iPhone 12 features there is one early adopters will be reluctant to test – the new Ceramic Shield, which promises to better protect the display from the occasional drop

However, while we’ve also opted against chucking around our iPhone 12 review sample around, a US insurance company is more than happy to pick up the slack.

AllState reports that the new display glass tech has resulted in “significantly” better performance than the iPhone 11 family, when dropped face-down onto the pavement from a height of six feet. It didn’t escape damage completely during the company’s Breakability Drop Tests, and suffered small cracks and scuffed edges. The iPhone 12 Pro, meanwhile, cracked across the lower half of the screen, but remained functional.

Related: Best iPhone 2020

The news was better when dropped back-down, with the iPhone 12 emerging “virtually unscathed” aside from scuffed corners and edges. However, the iPhone 12 Pro rear glass casing “shattered when dropped on its back, resulting in loose glass and cracking on its wide camera.”

Meanwhile, a side-down drop test for both phones also resulted in some scuffing and sharp steel edges “but were otherwise unharmed.” As well as outperforming the iPhone 11, AllState says the iPhone 12 series is more durable than the Galaxy S20 series, according to its tests.

Overall, it suggests that iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro buyers can expect greater durability from the Ceramic Shield. Apple itself says the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro offer 4x better drop performance compared to the iPhone 11 series. On the iPhone 12 website, the company calls the tech tougher than any other smartphone glass.

Apple explains: “Enter Ceramic Shield. It’s made by introducing nano‑ceramic crystals — which are actually harder than most metals — into glass. Sounds simple, but it’s incredibly difficult because ceramic isn’t transparent. By controlling the type of crystals and degree of crystallinity, we developed an exclusive formula that maximises the toughness of the ceramic while remaining optically clear. This was the breakthrough that made Ceramic Shield ideally suited for the display.”

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