How to Break Your iPhone 12 Screen

Key Takeaways

  • Apple claims the ceramic coating on the screens of its new iPhone 12 models is the toughest it’s ever used. 
  • The new iPhone models can break, tests find, but it takes a lot of height and some hard surfaces to do it. 
  • The YouTube channel PhoneBuff dropped an iPhone 12 Pro Max onto a concrete block from 5 feet and it sustained no visible damage beyond some scuffs on the frame.


MKPCaptain / Pixabay

Angry about the state of the world and feel like destroying something? It’s possible to do just that with the new iPhone 12 screen, despite the ceramic coating that Apple claims is the toughest material it’s used on an iPhone display. 

The Ceramic Shield is four times stronger than the screen used on some of Apple’s previous models, the company says. The new screen is infused with nanoscale ceramic crystals, increasing the glass’s endurance to breaking. 

But if you’re upset about the coronavirus pandemic and feel like breaking something, insurer Allstate finds that you should do so with your 12 Pro from a height of 6 feet onto a rough sidewalk.

“The 12 Pro shattered when dropped on its back, resulting in loose glass and cracking on its wide camera,” the company said in a news release. Unfortunately, for those bent on destruction, “the damage was not catastrophic,” and the iPhone 12 Pro functionality did not appear to be impacted.

Maybe, Just Use a Case

“The Ceramic Shield front is a huge improvement,” Jason Siciliano, vice president and global creative director at Allstate Protection Plans, said in a news release.

“That said, both phones were damaged when dropped on a sidewalk. Given their hefty repair costs, we encourage everyone to use a protective case and treat their new iPhone 12 with the care you would give an expensive camera.”

Perhaps the devastating fires in Australia have gotten you down. Good news! Zack Nelson, of YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, tested the iPhone 12 Pro based on the Mohs hardness scale and discovered that the device’s display is “still scratching at a level six, with deeper grooves at a level seven.” 

If the mix of uncaring politicians and corporate indifference contributing to climate change is provoking your wrath, the YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh used a force meter on the Phone 12‌ to break its screen.

The reviewers found that the ‌iPhone 11‌ was able to withstand 352 newtons of force, while the ‌iPhone 12‌ was able to withstand 442 newtons of force. But the edges of the 12 didn’t fare so well, and the rear glass of the ‌iPhone 12‌ scratched easily. 

“This Ceramic Shield is definitely tougher on the ‌iPhone‌ 12s,” the review stated. “Quite a bit, over 100 newtons. It took a lot of effort to break this screen. The remainder of the ‌iPhone‌ in terms of scratch protection is similar to the ‌iPhone 11‌. Screen is a little more scratch resistant.”

Get a Ladder to Break 

Seething about the fact that nearly 4% of California burned to a crisp this year? You might want to get some altitude to take out your angst on your iPhone 12. Reviewers at EverythingApplePro did just that, scaling a 10-foot ladder and dropping it to the ground.

When it flopped on the side, the camera stopped working on the Pro and a drop on the back broke the glass. It’s not all positive though for those who want to take their frustrations out on their phones as the screen stayed in one piece.

Politics were a doozy this year. If you are a Trump supporter gnashing your teeth over Joe Biden’s victory, there may be no more fitting way than bashing your iPhone 12. Unfortunately, YouTube channel PhoneBuff dropped an iPhone 12 Pro Max onto a concrete block from 5 feet and it sustained no visible damage beyond some scuffs on the frame.

All is not lost, however. “The screen will certainly break if you try,” Greg Suskin, web and procurement manager at the film production company Syntax and Motion, said in an email interview.

“No matter the gains Corning has made in shatter-proofing over the years, I’d still recommend a tempered glass screen protector. They’re very easy to install, and very cheap (less than $15 for a three-pack these days). Even with Apple’s promised and delivered toughness, a 6-foot drop is still a lot for any phone to take.”

Apple’s new iPhone screen may indeed be tougher than ever. There are ways to break it, though, if you’ve got a ladder and some concrete handy.

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