iPhone 12 Mini drop test: Ceramic shield seems indestructible

iPhone 12 Mini drop test: Ceramic shield seems indestructible


Chris Parker / CNET

iphone 12 mini A tough phone to crack. We’ve already tested the 6.1-inch iPhone 12, but we’ve decided to do it again with the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 Mini to see if the smaller phone has different results Returns. Primarily, we wanted to see if we could break the screen. Spoiler: We were not, but we managed to break other things in the process. Wrapped in Apple’s new ceramic shieldThe screen of the iPhone 12 Mini proved almost indestructible in our drop test. It also seems to be better able to handle repeated drops than its big-screen siblings.

Although it looks exactly like the regular glass to the naked eye, ceramic shield on iphone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro And iPhone 12 Pro Max There is no ordinary glass. It is glass that is infused with ceramic crystals and, according to Apple, it is by far the toughest glass on a smartphone. Because our testing methods are not scientific, we can’t know for sure if this statement is true, but our experience with the iPhone 12 shows that it has the toughest screen of any phone we’ve tested. is. The 6.1-inch screen on our iPhone 12 almost ended after falling on concrete seven times at different heights. However, the back of the phone is made of previous generation glass and we managed to crack it on the second fall.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini share the same Corning-built glass and aluminum frame (the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max have stainless steel), so we weren’t expecting wildly different results, but we’d find out Wanted whether a smaller and lighter phone would affect the results.

In general, large devices may be at risk of bending more than smaller ones, Corning says, and heavier phones may see a higher energy effect, but they do not necessarily predict performance during a fall event Because design can also play an important role. Part.

CNET’s senior video producer Chris Parker dropped a product Red iPhone 12 Mini on the sidewalk for our test.

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IPhone 12 Mini is hard to crack


Read more: Here are CNET reviews of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Drop 1: 3 feet, screen down

It is almost the distance from your pocket to the ground and one of the most common highs from where you can leave your phone. If the ground is rough, such as in the case of a pavement, this fall can be fatal to your phone screen.

The iPhone 12 Mini hit the floor at an angle and bounced around before settling down, even as Chris dropped it down the screen-side. After wiping some dust off the pavement, the screen looked as good as new. However, the metal frame did not look as good. It was a large scrape at the top right hand corner where it landed which rubbed the red metal at the bottom, exposing the metal at the bottom. The bottom of the frame suffered similar visual damage and also had some small dents. The contrast between the phone and the bright red of the aluminum made the frame more noticeable the damage we experienced on our mint green iPhone 12. This was a trend we continued to observe during our drop test.


The first drop from hip height was the aluminum frame, but the screen was fine.

Chris Parker / CNET

Drop 2: 3 feet, down

Chris repeated the same drop, but this time the backside of the phone was grounded. This was the drop that cracked the iPhone 12 in our last drop test, but the Mini fared better.

The phone struck again at an angle, but this time the edge of the phone first hit the ground, then began to tap in the opposite direction, causing it to bounce back into the air and then crash again with the rear facing down.

Damage to the aluminum frame was quite bad and there was a dent in the top right corner of the phone at the top of the camera. But the back of the phone (and the screen itself) still looked in perfect condition.


A second drop from the hip-height dented the frame, but not the glass.

Chris Parker / CNET

Drop 3: 6 feet, 6 inches, screen down

While it is unlikely that you will leave your phone from this height, it is still within the scope of possibility if you were taking a picture (or a selfie for tall people) from this height.

Again, the Mini landed down towards the screen, but it was not completely flat. The top of the phone hit first, allowing it to complete a 360 degree flip before flying again and landing again down the screen side on the pavement.

The screen survived again, but the frame around it was more dented. One of the dents in the aluminum frame almost seemed to penetrate the glass where the two met, and I worried that it would compromise the screen going forward.

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The damage to the frame almost seemed to move to the glass.

Chris Parker / CNET

Drop 4: 6 feet, 6 inches, back side down

After that we faced drop with the back of the phone.

This time the back of the phone was almost flat, but the effect bounced it back and overturned, landing on the bottom instead of the screen.

The back glass was still intact, but both camera lenses were damaged. The ultra-wide camera had visible cracks running through the side, while the frame and lens on the bottom main rear camera had a few small cents. Cracks were not visible through the viewfinder when you opened the camera app, but could possibly cause lens flares and continue to break over time.


A fourth drop from 2 meters broke the top lens on the iPhone 12 Mini’s camera module.

Chris Parker / CNET

Drop 5 and 6: 9 feet, screen down

With both front and rear glass still intact on the iPhone 12 Mini, we decided to raise the stakes and move the phone up to nine feet. Chris had to drop them down a ladder, and as intended, they fell flat.

The first drop was a washout as the screen barely made contact with the floor. The phone landed on the top part of the metal frame and rotated a bit, so we tried it again.

The second time it landed with the screen facing the floor, it flipped in mid-air and finally finished the screen side. At this point the metal frame looked like a war zone, but the screen was perfectly fine.

The dent in the top right of the frame continued to grow, but the ceramic shield screen still survived.

Drop 7: 9 feet, back side down

We repeated this drop from the back of the phone facing the floor, but with a high drop it did not last after the initial impact and made several flips in the air before landing with the rear facing the floor.

This drop ultimately caused some damage to the rear of the phone. It had three hairline fractures starting at the lower right corner: two shorter ones and one extended upward with a longer upward frame.

minidrop -5

Although we were not able to break the screen, the iPhone 12 Mini’s back broke after falling nine feet to seventh.

Chris Parker / CNET

Let’s break it down

Based on our drop test of iPhone 12 and now iPhone 12 Mini, the ceramic shield is the strongest part of these phones. In our drop test, the lens and the rear of the iPhone 12 Mini cracked, but the pavement was no match.For the screen, covered in ceramic shield, continuously surviving falls from extreme heights.

That said, you still want to keep at least one thin case on the phone for camera protection and keep the frame like new. At least, that’s what Apple suggested when we shared the results.

“The iPhone 12 models have gone through rigorous real-world testing and are designed to be durable, but not indestructible. If anyone worries about dropping their iPhone and damaging it, we suggest Use one of the many beautiful cases available to protect the iPhone. ”

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