Apple’s iPhone 12 series phones are shielded by Ceramic Shield that Apple boldly claims to be the toughest glass on all phones. Ceramic Shield is manufactured by Corning and was initially expected to be a toughened version of Gorilla Glass Victus that was first used on Samsung’s Galaxy Note20 Ultra.
But, as things turned out, Apple is actually using ceramic – something we have till now only heard of in association with camera cover glass or for the back cover. so, exactly how much tougher is the Ceramic Shield than the Gorilla Glass Victus?
What is Ceramic Shield on iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro?
Ceramic Shield, manufactured by Corning in partnership with Apple, is actually glass-ceramic which are partially crystallized glasses that combine a crystalline phase and an amorphous glass phase. In other words, the structure includes nano-ceramic crystals embedded in the glass matrix.
This hybrid between glass and ceramic has applications in dentistry, defense, bone, and musculoskeletal tissue engineering and more, but this is the first time it has been used to shield a phone’s display.
Apple doesn’t reveal the amount of crystalline phase in the iPhone 12’s Ceramic shield and it could be anywhere between 1% and 99%.
The Gorilla Glass Victus, on the other hand, is glass – a glass that has been toughened, but still glass without any Ceramic crystals within.
Also Read: QD-OLED vs OLED vs QLED Displays
Ceramic Shield vs Gorilla Glass Victus: Drop Resistance
Apple claims 4x improvement in drop resistance for iPhone 12 as compared to iPhone 11 (which had a custom Corning glass deemed tougher than Gorilla Glass 6). These improvements should be attributed to both – Ceramic Shield and the design where the glass sits flush with the very solid stainless steel side frame.
Gorilla Glass Victus marginally improves drop resistance to 2-meters as compared to 1.6-meters for the Gorilla Glass 6.
When viewed together, this implies that Ceramic Shield is expected to be significantly more resistant to drops as compared to the next best phone glass, Gorilla Glass Victus.
Many reviewers have been drop-and-stress-testing their iPhone 12’s, and while these tests aren’t very scientific, they unanimously show noticeably improved toughness on the new iPhones.
Ceramic Shield vs Gorilla Glass Victus: Scratch Resistance
Drop resistance, however, isn’t the same as scratch resistance. In fact, as the glass gets more resilient and drop resistant, it tends to get softer or less scratch resistant.
Gorilla Glass Victus claims to be twice as much scratch-resistant compared to Gorilla Glass 6, but light scratches start showing up at level 6 in Zack Nelson’s (Jerryrigseverything) Mohs Hardness Test.
The iPhone 12 also starts scratching at the exact same level as the Gorilla Glass Victus, so, don’t expect a notable improvement in terms of scratch resistance.