While the Apple AirTag sports a pristine white plastic and metal finish, you'll be lucky if it stays looking that way for long.
YouTuber Zack Nelson, a.k.a. JerryRigsEverything (opens in new tab), is known for his smartphone durability tests and teardowns. This time he took his array of mineral picks to some freshly unboxed AirTags in a recent video (opens in new tab). And it turns out it doesn't take much to give an AirTag a DIY engraving.
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Nelson is able to scratch the stainless steel side of the AirTag using a copper pick, but says it didn't damage the metal itself, only the shiny finish.
The white plastic is also easily scratched with a stainless steel knife blade, but since it has a glossy finish rather than a reflective one, the damage is harder to spot. The video then goes on to break open the AirTag to reveal the battery, circular circuit board and speaker within. Fortunately, that takes a lot of effort, so at least you don't have to worry about the AirTag breaking in two, even if it is easy to damage.
This isn't surprising information. It's already been noted by early adopters that it doesn't take much to scuff the AirTag, even just by accident.
Even if you buy one of Apple's keyring or luggage loops designed to fit the AirTag, the center of both sides is still exposed.
Arguably, the fact AirTags are easy to damage is kind of irrelevant, since AirTags don't need to remain in pristine condition to fulfill their purpose of helping you find misplaced items. On the other hand, this tracker is $30, which is quite expensive among key finders, so perhaps it's fair to expect premium features like a tougher exterior.
In our review of the AirTag however, its functionality can't be faulted. If you're an iPhone user, the simple set-up and precision locating features mean it beats out the competition, although Android users will definitely be better off looking elsewhere.