iPhone 12 mini drop test: Ceramic shield seems indestructible

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Chris Parker/PJDM

The iPhone 12 Mini is a troublesome telephone to crack. We have already drop tested the 6.1-inch iPhone 12, however we determined to do it yet again with the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 Mini to see if the smaller telephone yielded totally different outcomes. Primarily, we needed to see if we may break the display. Spoiler: We did not, however we managed to interrupt different issues within the course of. Lined in Apple’s new ceramic shield glass, the iPhone 12 Mini’s display proved to be just about indestructible in our drop take a look at. It additionally appears to be even higher at dealing with repeated drops than its larger-screened sibling.  

Although it seems precisely the identical as common glass to the bare eye, the ceramic shield on the iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Professional Max isn’t any unusual glass. It is glass that is been infused with ceramic crystals and, in line with Apple, it is the toughest glass ever on a smartphone. As a result of our testing strategies aren’t scientific, we will not know for certain whether or not that assertion is true, however our expertise with the iPhone 12 suggests it has the hardest display of any telephone we have ever examined. The 6.1-inch display on our iPhone 12 ended up just about unscathed after falling on concrete seven occasions at various heights. The again of the telephone, nonetheless, is manufactured from the previous-generation glass and we managed to crack it on the second drop.

The iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Mini share the identical Corning-made glass and aluminum body (the iPhone 12 Professional and 12 Professional Max have chrome steel), so we weren’t anticipating wildly totally different outcomes, however we needed to seek out out if the smaller and lighter telephone would have an effect on the outcomes. 

Corning says that basically, bigger gadgets could also be vulnerable to bending greater than smaller ones, and heavier phones may even see the next power at impression, however they do not essentially predict the efficiency throughout a fall occasion because the design may play an essential half. 

Chris Parker, PJDM senior video producer, dropped a Product Pink iPhone 12 Mini onto the sidewalk for our take a look at. 

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The iPhone 12 Mini is hard to crack


Learn extra: Listed here are PJDM’s opinions of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 ProiPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Drop 1: Three ft, display aspect down

That is roughly the space out of your pocket to the bottom and one of the vital widespread heights from which you would possibly drop your telephone. If the bottom is tough, like within the case of a sidewalk, this drop might be lethal to your telephone display.

The iPhone 12 Mini hit the ground at a little bit of an angle and bounced round earlier than it settled, though Chris dropped it screen-side down. After wiping off some mud from the sidewalk, the display seemed good as new. The steel body, nonetheless, did not look nearly as good. It had a big scrape on the highest proper hand nook the place it landed which rubbed off the pink paint, exposing the steel on the underside. The underside a part of the body suffered the identical seen harm and likewise had just a few small dents. The distinction between the intense pink of the telephone and the aluminum made the harm to the body extra noticeable than what we skilled on our mint inexperienced iPhone 12. This was a pattern that we continued to see all through our drop take a look at. 


The primary drop from hip-height dinged the aluminum body, however the display was high-quality. 

Chris Parker/PJDM

Drop 2: Three ft, again aspect down 

Chris repeated the identical drop, however this time with the again of the telephone dealing with the bottom. This was the drop that cracked the again of the iPhone 12 in our earlier drop take a look at, however the Mini fared higher. 

The telephone hit at a little bit of an angle once more, however this time the aspect of the telephone hit the bottom first, then pivoted on the alternative aspect, which prompted it to bounce up within the air once more after which come crashing down once more with the again dealing with down.  

The harm to the aluminum body was considerably worse and the highest proper nook of the telephone on high of the digicam had dents. However the again of the telephone (and the display itself) nonetheless in excellent situation. 


The second drop from hip-height dented the body, however not the glass. 

Chris Parker/PJDM

Drop 3: 6 ft, 6 inches, display aspect down

Whereas it is much less seemingly you will drop your telephone from this top, it is nonetheless throughout the realm of risk for those who had been taking an image (or perhaps a selfie for taller individuals) from this top. 

Once more, the Mini landed display aspect down, but it surely did not land utterly flat. The highest of the telephone hit first, inflicting it to take flight once more and full a 360-degree flip earlier than touchdown display aspect down on the sidewalk once more. 

The display survived but once more, however the body round it had extra dents. One of many dents within the aluminum body appeared to nearly penetrate the glass the place the 2 met, and I frightened it might compromise the display going ahead. 


The harm to the body nearly appeared to hold over into the glass.

Chris Parker/PJDM

Drop 4: 6 ft, 6 inches, again aspect down

Subsequent we replicated the drop with the again of the telephone dealing with down. 

This time the again of the telephone landed nearly flat on the ground, however the impression made it bounce again up and flip over, touchdown with the display dealing with down as a substitute. 

The again glass was nonetheless intact, however each digicam lenses had been broken. The ultra-wide digicam had a visual crack working by way of the aspect, whereas the body and lens on the primary rear digicam beneath had just a few tiny dents. The crack was not seen by way of the viewfinder after we opened the digicam app, however may probably trigger lens flares and will proceed to interrupt over time. 


The fourth drop from 2 meters broke the highest lens on the digicam module of the iPhone 12 Mini.

Chris Parker/PJDM

Drop 5 and 6: 9 ft, display aspect down

With each the back and front glass on the iPhone 12 Mini nonetheless intact, we determined to boost the stakes and take the telephone to 9 ft. Chris needed to drop them from a step ladder, and getting them to fall flat as supposed turned tougher. 

The primary drop was a wash as a result of the display barely made contact with the ground. The telephone landed on the highest a part of the steel body and bounced round a bit, so we tried it once more. 

The second time it did land with the display dealing with the ground, flipped mid-air and at last ended up display aspect up. The steel body seemed like a conflict zone at this level, however the display was completely high-quality. 

The dent on the highest right-hand aspect of the body continued to develop, however the ceramic protect display had survived but once more. 

Drop 7: 9 ft, again aspect down

We repeated this drop with the again of the telephone dealing with the ground, however from that prime of a drop it did not keep put after the preliminary impression and did quite a few flips within the air earlier than touchdown with the again dealing with the ground.  

This drop lastly did some harm to the again of the telephone. It had three hairline fractures beginning on the backside proper nook: two small ones and one longer one which prolonged upward alongside the body nearly to the highest proper hand nook. 


Although we weren’t capable of break the display, the again of the iPhone 12 Mini lastly cracked after the seventh fall from 9 ft. 

Chris Parker/PJDM

Let’s break it down

Based mostly on our drop assessments of the iPhone 12 and now the iPhone 12 Mini, the ceramic protect is the strongest a part of these telephones.Each the lens and the again of the iPhone 12 Mini cracked in our drop assessments, however the sidewalk was no match for the display, coated within the ceramic protect, surviving consecutive falls from excessive heights.

That mentioned, you should still need to put at the very least a slim case on the telephone to guard the digicam and maintain the body trying like new. A minimum of, that is what Apple advised after we shared the outcomes. 

“The iPhone 12 fashions have gone by way of rigorous real-world testing and are designed to be sturdy, however not indestructible. If anybody is worried about dropping their iPhone and damaging it, we propose utilizing one of many many lovely instances accessible to guard the iPhone.” 

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Vanessa Hand Orellana