IPhone 12 mini drop test: The ceramic shield looks indestructible

Chris Parker / CNET

The IPhone 12 mini It is a difficult phone to crack. we’ve got The drop test is already 6.1 inches iPhone 12, but we decided to do it again with the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 Mini to see if the smaller phone gave different results. Basically, we wanted to see if we could crack the screen. Spoiler: We didn’t, but we managed to break other things in the process. Covered Apple’s new ceramic protective glass, The iPhone 12 Mini’s display proved nearly indestructible in drop test. It also appears to be better at dealing with frequent drops than its bigger screen brother.

Although it looks just like regular glass to the naked eye, the Ceramic Shield on iPhone 12 MiniIPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and IPhone 12 Pro Max Not an ordinary glass. It’s glass filled with ceramic crystals, and according to Apple, it is The strongest glass ever in a smartphone. Since our testing methods are not scientific, we cannot be sure if this statement is correct, but our experience with the iPhone 12 indicates that it has the toughest screen of any phone we have ever tested. The 6.1-inch screen on our iPhone 12 ended up almost unharmed after dropping into concrete seven times at different heights. However, the back of the phone is made of the glass of the previous generation and we were able to break it in the second drop.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini both share the same Corning frame made of glass and aluminum (iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max have stainless steel), so we didn’t expect completely different results, but we wanted to see if a smaller and lighter phone would make a difference. On the results.

Corning says that in general, larger devices may be more prone to bending than smaller devices, and heavier phones may experience higher power on impact, but they don’t necessarily expect performance during a fall event as design can also play an important role. part.

CNET Senior Video Producer Chris Parker threw the Red iPhone 12 Mini onto the sidewalk to do our test.


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Read more: Here are CNET’s reviews for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 ProAnd the IPhone 12 mini And the IPhone 12 Pro Max.

Projection 1: 3 feet, screen side down

This is approximately the distance from your pocket to the ground and is one of the most common spikes your phone may drop from. If the ground is rough, such as in the condition of pavement, then this drop could be fatal for your phone’s screen.

The iPhone 12 Mini hit the ground at a slightly angle and bounced off before settling, even though Chris dropped it the side of the screen down. After wiping some dust from the pavement, the screen looked as good as new. However, the metal frame did not do well. It had a large scratch in the top right corner where it landed which removed the red paint, revealing the metal below. The bottom of the frame suffered the same visual damage and also had some small scratches. The contrast between the phone’s bright red and aluminum made the damage to the frame more noticeable than what we saw on the light green iPhone 12. This was a trend that I continued to see throughout my drop test.

Small drop -1

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

Chris Parker / CNET

Drop 2: 3 feet, back side down

Chris repeated the same drop, but this time the phone showed up, facing the ground. It was the drop that cracked the back of the iPhone 12 in previous drop testing, but the Mini performed better.

The phone hit a little angled again, but this time the side of the phone hit the ground first, then pivoted to the other side, causing it to bounce in the air again and then crash again with the back. Turn face down.

The damage to the aluminum frame was much worse and the upper right corner of the phone above the camera was scratched. But the back of the phone (and the display itself) are still in perfect condition.

Minidrop-2

The second drop from hip height skewed the tire, but not the glass.

Chris Parker / CNET

Projection 3: 6 feet 6 inches with the screen side down

Although it’s unlikely to drop your phone from this height, it’s still within your range of possibility if you’re taking a picture (or even a selfie of taller people) from that height.

Again, the mini screen landed down, but didn’t land completely flat. It hit the top of the phone first, causing it to fly again and complete a 360-degree reflection before landing on the side of the screen down onto the sidewalk again.

The screen survived again, but the bezel around it had more scratches. One of the scratches in the aluminum frame seemed to almost penetrate the glass where the two met, and I was afraid that would endanger the screen.

Small drop 3

The damage to the frame appears to be spreading onto the glass.

Chris Parker / CNET

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

Next, we duplicated the drop with the back of the phone facing down.

This time the back of the phone fell almost flat to the floor, but the effect made it bounce again and flip, landing with the screen facing down instead.

The back glass was still intact, but both camera lenses were damaged. The ultra-wide camera had a visible crack running through the side, while the frame and lens on the main rear camera underneath had some small scratches. The crack was not visible through the viewfinder when we opened the Camera app, but it could potentially cause the lens to flare and could continue to refract over time.

Small drop 4

The fourth fall from two meters broke the upper lens on the iPhone 12 Mini’s camera module.

Chris Parker / CNET

Projection 5 and 6: 9 feet, screen side down

With both the front and back glass of the iPhone 12 Mini continuing, we decided to raise the stakes and raise the phone to nine feet. Chris had to drop them off a step ladder, and getting them to fall flat as intended became even more difficult.

It was the first wash drop because the screen barely made contact with the floor. The phone landed at the top of the metal frame and bounced off a bit, so we tried that again.

The second time, it landed with the screen facing the ground, flipped in the air, and eventually wound up to the side of the screen. The metal frame looked like a war zone at this point, but the screen was perfectly fine.

The curvature of the upper-right side of the frame continued to grow, but the ceramic shield screen again survived.

Drop 7: 9 feet, back side down

We repeated this landing with the back of the phone facing the ground, but from the height of this drop it didn’t stay in place after the initial impact and made several flips in the air before landing with the back facing the ground.

This drop finally caused some damage to the back of the phone. It had three capillary fractures starting at the lower right corner: two small and one longer running up the length of the frame roughly to the top of the right corner.

Minidrop-5

Although we couldn’t break the screen, the back of the iPhone 12 Mini finally cracked after the seventh drop from nine feet.

Chris Parker / CNET

Let’s break it down

Based on our drop tests on the iPhone 12 and now the iPhone 12 Mini, the ceramic shield is the strongest part of these phones, both the lens and the back of the iPhone 12 Mini cracked in drop tests, but the dock was not identical to the screen, covered with a ceramic shield, it survived From successive falls from high altitudes.

However, you might still want a thin case on the phone to protect the camera and keep the frame looking like new. At least, that’s what Apple suggested when we shared the results.

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

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