iPhone 12 drop test results: The 'most durable' phone yet

iPhone 12 review
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

With the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, Apple claims to have produced two of the most durable iPhones ever, thanks to the new Ceramic Shield display that's supposed to make the phones four times more likely to survive a drop than previous models. New iPhone 12 drop tests from an insurance provider have found there's a lot of weight behind those claims.

Allstate Protection Plans, which you may recognize by its former name SquareTrade, conducted drop tests on both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, concluding that the iPhone 12 is the most durable smartphone it's tested. The company also called the Ceramic Shield feature "a leap forward for durability, though not indestructible."

Allstate Protection Plans' tests involved dropping the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro face-down, back-down and on its side from 6-foot heights. The phones suffered some damage as seen in a video provided by Allstate Protection Plans — the back-down drop was particularly rough on the iPhone 12 Pro — but for the most part, the phones only suffered minor, cosmetic damage.

In the face-down drop, the iPhone 12 only suffers some small cracks and scuffed edges from landing on the sidewalk. Allstate reports that's much better than how the iPhone 11 and Galaxy S20 fared in the same drop test. 

The heavier iPhone 12 Pro sustained more serious damage when dropped, with a crack across the lower half of the Ceramic Shield screen. However, Allstate said the phone was still able to function, and its result topped the iPhone 11 Pro's face-down drop test.

The iPhone 12 also handled the back-down drop test well, suffering only scuffed edges after its 6-foot drop on a sidewalk. Allstate credits the phone's flat edges for its ability to better withstand the drop.

The iPhone 12 Pro came out looking worse for wear when dropped on its back, with a shattered glass back and a cracked wide angle camera. However, Allstate said the damage "was not catastrophic," with the iPhone 12 Pro continuing to function properly.

Both phones seemed to fare well in the side-drop tests, suffering only scuffed corners.

iphone 12 drop test

(Image credit: Allstate Protection Plans)

Allstate Protection Plans' findings square with other third-party drop tests that have been conducted since the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro started landing in users' hands last week. EverythingApplePro put the new iPhones through a series of drop tests, and while the iPhone 12 did emerge damaged, it took a lot of drops to inflict a hurting on Apple's phones.

The conclusion to draw from these initial tests is that Apple's Ceramic Shield feature delivers increased durability. You'll still want to invest in one of the best iPhone 12 cases or iPhone 12 Pro cases for additional protection, though.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.