June 16, 2024
iPhone 14 Pro showing the Moon always-on screen, held in a man's hand.
Andy Boxall / Digital Traits

Apple says its Ceramic Defend glass over the iPhone’s display is “more durable than any smartphone glass,” however how correct is that this assertion? The Digital Traits Cell workforce has every been utilizing one of many iPhone 14 sequence fashions for the final 12 months and two of us haven’t put a separate display protector on, whereas the third member of the workforce has. Right here’s how the screens have held up — and what we take into consideration Ceramic Defend.

Ceramic Defend was first launched by Apple on the iPhone 12, and it claimed it went “past glass by including a brand new high-temperature crystallization step that grows nano-ceramic crystals throughout the glass matrix, rising drop efficiency by 4x.” Apple labored with Corning, the identical firm that makes Gorilla Glass, which is used on many smartphones from different producers, to supply Ceramic Defend. It’s discovered on all iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14, and now all iPhone 15 fashions.

iPhone 14 Professional — Andy Boxall

Ceramic Shield on the iPhone 14 Pro, with light to show scratches.
No gentle reveals scratches on the iPhone 14 Professional’s Ceramic Defend are invisible Andy Boxall / Digital Traits

I carried out the same take a look at with my iPhone 13 Professional, through which it spent a 12 months with me with no display protector and did a good job of avoiding deep scratches. That’s to not say it didn’t scratch; it’s simply the vast majority of those that it did collect couldn’t be felt and had been solely noticeable when the display was off and in sure gentle. Its efficiency didn’t push me into utilizing a display protector on my iPhone 14 Professional.

I’ve handled the iPhone 14 Professional in the identical approach as all the time. It lives in a case, however I put it all over the place from in my pocket or a bag, within the heart console in my automobile, on tables, and all over the place else. It will get used daily in every kind of conditions, and though I deal with it, I don’t child it. I haven’t dropped the telephone onto any exhausting surfaces, so I haven’t been capable of assess its means to resist shock, however I’m impressed with how Ceramic Defend has protected it from scratches it could choose up every day.

After greater than 360 days, the display has only a few marks, and I can’t really feel any of those it does have with my finger or my nail. It has positively survived a 12 months in my possession higher than the iPhone 13 Professional did, suggesting Corning and Apple have continued to enhance the method and efficiency. What’s extra, if I didn’t intentionally spotlight the marks within the photographs utilizing a light-weight, you wouldn’t see them. I’ve included two further photographs exhibiting the display in regular gentle and with a light-weight to the facet, emphasizing you actually need to work to identify the scratches.

I’m okay with the way in which Ceramic Defend has protected the display. I don’t remorse not placing a display protector over it, as I’ve loved the wonderful tactility of the glass, averted the annoyance of placing a protector on correctly, and didn’t have to observe it get messy over time and spoil the look of my telephone both. I’m not utilizing a display protector on my iPhone 15 Professional Max, both.

iPhone 14 Professional — Christine Romero-Chan

Christine's iPhone 14 Pro display after taking off a screen protector.
Christine’s iPhone 14 Professional show after taking off a display protector. Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Traits

When Apple first launched Ceramic Defend on the iPhone 12 lineup, it was touted as being more durable than every other smartphone glass, so naturally, I figured I wouldn’t want a display protector as I had largely been doing as much as that time. Nevertheless, after I put my iPhone 12 Professional face-down on a placemat to take some footage of the attractive Pacific Blue coloration of the again glass, I seen some small, fine-line scratches on the entrance glass proper after. I assumed the placemat was clear of particles, however apparently, I missed a tiny speck, and now my iPhone 12 Professional show was ruined.

Since then, I’ve placed on a display protector with my iPhone 13 Professional and iPhone 14 Professional. I additionally are inclined to have butterfingers, so I all the time use a case, despite the fact that the iPhone 14 Professional seems to be glorious with out it. I shattered my first unique iPhone display, so I’ve all the time used a case since.

As you possibly can see from my photographs, the display protector that I used for the previous 12 months has picked up fairly just a few microabrasions and scratches over the course of a 12 months. Even a number of the coating on the protector has come off, making it seem like I’ve specks of particles on the display after I used the telephone. I attempted a number of occasions to wipe them away to no avail. The scratches look like so much, however once you’re really utilizing the telephone, it’s not as simple to note as a result of lighting. Provided that you’re holding it at a sure angle may you discover the scratches, however how a lot that may trouble you depends upon your degree of OCD.

After I took the display protector off, the iPhone 14 Professional show was fairly pristine — just like the day I bought the telephone. The photographs I took of the show after taking off the protector appear to indicate some scratches, however these are literally simply specks of mud. There aren’t actually any scratches on the Ceramic Defend after utilizing a display protector as a result of the display protector took all of the scratches as an alternative, because it was meant to do.

Now that I’ve an iPhone 15 Professional, I instantly put a display protector on it and can preserve utilizing it till it both shatters from a drop and I want to exchange it — or till I improve my telephone once more

iPhone 14 Professional — Joe Maring

A picture of an iPhone 14 Pro, showing various scratches on its screen.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Traits

Just like Andy, I additionally used my iPhone 14 Professional with no display protector. Nevertheless, I didn’t use my 14 Professional for a full 360+ days like Andy did. I initially began utilizing the bigger iPhone 14 Professional Max in September 2022, however I then shifted to the 14 Professional in March.

That makes it all of the extra stunning that my iPhone 14 Professional seems to be as unhealthy because it does. It doesn’t look too horrible within the picture above, however the minute you shine a light-weight instantly on the display, you see simply what number of scratches are all around the factor. Search for your self within the gallery beneath; it isn’t fairly.

What triggered my iPhone 14 Professional to get so badly scratched? I’m actually unsure! I don’t recall ever dropping the telephone or placing it in a scenario the place the display was in hurt’s approach past common use. Even so, the display tells a special story.

To Apple’s credit score, most of those scratches are barely seen when the display is on, and I’m utilizing the telephone usually. However there are occasions after I could make the scratches out even after I’m not looking for them, and as soon as I do know they’re there, it’s exhausting to not discover them.

Has this pushed me to make use of a display protector on my iPhone 15 Professional Max? It has not! And to date, it seems to be holding up higher than my iPhone 14 Professional. I’m clearly nonetheless early into my time with the 15 Professional Max, nevertheless it seems to be like Apple remains to be enhancing year-over-year — even when simply barely — and that’s nice to see.

Do you have to use a display protector in your iPhone?

An iPhone 15 Pro Max, lying on a wood floor with its display on.
Joe Maring / Digital Traits

So, what does all of this imply for you? Do you have to be utilizing a display protector in your iPhone? That’s finally as much as you to resolve.

In the event you use your iPhone with no display protector, you are going to get scratches on the display; there’s no avoiding it. However the finish end result might not be as unhealthy as you’re anticipating. In the event you can dwell with some beauty imperfections, it’s potential to make use of your iPhone for a complete 12 months with no display protector and be simply fantastic.

But when these scratches are going to trouble you — or when you don’t belief your self to not recurrently drop your telephone — investing in a display protector remains to be a smart thought. They’re reasonably priced, simple to put in, and add additional peace of thoughts.

In the event you simply purchased a brand new iPhone (or are planning on getting one quickly), it doesn’t damage to take a look at our picks for iPhone 15 display protectors, iPhone 15 Plus display protectors, iPhone 15 Professional display protectors, and iPhone 15 Professional Max display protectors. Irrespective of which mannequin you get, we’ve bought you lined.

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