This iPhone 12 scratch test shows that Ceramic Shield isn't scratch-proof

Iphone 12 Pro Max Screen Protector Hero
Iphone 12 Pro Max Screen Protector Hero (Image credit: Karen S. Freeman / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple's iPhone 12 models feature a new Ceramic Shield screen.
  • That makes the screens less likely to break.
  • But Apple doesn't mention scratches, so what's the deal?

Apple's new iPhone 12 lineup features a Ceramic Shield-equipped screen which, Apple says, makes it less likely to break than previous models. That's great news for those who drop their iPhones regularly – but what about those of us who are more concerned about scratches? That's something tech destroyer extraordinaire Zack "JerryRigEverything" Nelson wanted to find out. And find out, he did.

In a video posted to YouTube Nelson takes a brand new iPhone 12 Pro and then runs it through the full suite of scratch tests, starting with a one on the Mohs scale and going up to none. As you'll see in the video, level six is enough to begin scratching the iPhone's screen.

New iPhones sometimes means new features. Today we find out how durable the new Apple iPhones really are. Apple has changed up the design again. Its still a rectangle. With a screen. But this time around its a blockier rectangle with a screen that might be tougher? We'll have to check to be sure.

That means that the new Ceramic Shield iPhones aren't scratch-proof by any stretch but, then again, Apple never said that they would be. Ceramic Shield is all about preventing iPhone screens from cracking when dropped, not preventing them from scratching. Hopefully, that's the next thing on Apple's radar.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.