iPhone 12 last-minute leak just revealed killer upgrade

(Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

The iPhone 12’s design should have a pretty different look and feel based on all of the reports we’ve seen. And it could also be significantly more durable than the iPhone 11, based on a new leak.

You may have heard that all four iPhone 12 models will feature a flat-edge design, reminiscent of the iPhone 4. This should make the devices less slippery and easier to grip. However, when these handsets take a tumble, they should be more protected from potential damage. 

According to a report based on noted leaker Kang on Weibo, and picked up by Ice Universe on Twitter, all four models of the iPhone 12 will feature a Ceramic Shield Front Cover for the Super Retina XDR displays. This is apparently “ceramic substrate glass, which increases the hardness and resistance to drop.”

You may recall that Apple boasted that the iPhone 11 featured the “toughest glass ever in a smartphone,” but the phone did not hold up well in our own iPhone 11 drop tests. In fact, the front screen cracked after a single drop from 3.5 feet on concrete. The back of the phone fared better when we dropped it from about hip height.

So will will a Ceramic Shield Front Cover do? Hopefully minimize damage from drops, but we’re also very interested to see how well the “hardness” of this shield holds up to scratches and scuffs. A lot of people invest in iPhone cases, but you also need to invest in a separate screen protector in most cases if you really want to protect your phone.

Ideally, the Ceramic Shield Front Cover would all but obviate the need for a screen protector on the iPhone 12, but we’ll have to see how well the design holds up to various torture tests.

The same Weibo report from Kang spills a lot of other details on the iPhone 12, ranging from the pricing and cameras to the colors. Most of the info lines up to what we’ve heard previously, but there are some new tidbits.

For example, the iPhone 12 series may use a new form of MagSafe wireless charging that leverages magnets on the back of Apple’s new iPhones. And we also learned that the iPhone 12 Pro's camera could have a 4x optical zoom, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max could sport a 5x optical zoom plus a main camera sensor that’s 47% larger than the regular iPhone 12 Pro.

You can also expect a powerful new A14 Bionic processor, 5G connectivity across the board and a LiDAR sensor for the iPhone 12 Pro models that should enhance both photography and iPhone AR apps. 

The iPhone 12 mini is said to start at $699 for 64GB of storage, the iPhone 12 $799 with the same amount and the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will start at $999 and $1,099, respectively. 

With the iPhone 12 event set for Oct. 13, it won’t be long before we learn whether the Ceramic Shield is the real deal and what it can do.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.