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 Several iPhone cameras back view

iPhone Durability: Which Phone Is Most Durable?

 Several iPhone cameras back view

Source: oasisamuel/

It seems that Apple is always trying to outdo itself when it comes to their device’s durability. Each year a new iPhone is released, there’s a newer, stronger, faster iPhone that tempts you with its strength and power. And if you live a rugged lifestyle and are prone to accidents, you need a durable iPhone.

So when it comes to iPhone durability, which is stronger? Should you go with the iPhone 12, or do you need the latest and greatest iPhone 13 models? Let’s explore the build and materials that go into each. 

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 Materials

When it was released, the iPhone 12 was the most durable iPhone you could find. However, is the iPhone 13 more durable or about the same? And how do both compare to previous models like the iPhone 11 and iPhone X? We’re going to break it down below:

Ceramic Shield Glass Screens

Ceramic Shield was first introduced with the iPhone 12 models as Apple’s answer to Android’s Gorilla Glass Victus. The glass screen of the iPhone 12 and now the iPhone 13 are reinforced with embedded ceramic nanocrystals. The results? A super durable screen that is resistant to cracks, shattered glass and more. In short: It’s one of the strongest screens out there and offers up to four times better drop performance than previous iPhone models (and some even claim other Gorilla Glass-protected Android models). 

While the iPhone 11 features a standard glass front and back and Aerospace-grade aluminum, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13’s Ceramic Shield has been reinforced, making it stronger than even some metals.  

Shop iPhone 12 Cases for Ultimate Phone Protection

Stainless Steel vs. Aluminum 

iPhone 13 mini

Source: Framesira/

There is also one key difference in materials between the standard iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models and the Pro models. The standard models, including the iPhone Mini, feature aerospace-grade anodized aluminum instead of surgical-grade stainless steel. Overall, the steel is considered the premium material of the two (hence why it’s on the iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Max models), especially due to its weightier feel that makes it feel more high-end. But stainless steel also resists corrosion, dings, scratches and more. 

In fact, this steel is very similar to what is offered in the iPhone 11 model series. But that doesn’t mean that the aluminum material should simply be disregarded as inferior. It’s still a pretty hardy material.  

Technically, aluminum is less durable than the stainless steel chassis. It’s true. However, for a smartphone, it does the job. In fact, aluminum is sometimes preferred by phone manufacturers like Apple for its softer material, which makes it easier to manufacture and therefore cheaper and more affordable for consumers. 

Water Ratings

If water resistance is one of your iPhone durability needs, it’s important to know what each can take on. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models each offer an IP68 rating, which means that a phone can be submerged at a six-meter depth for up to 30 minutes. This is slightly better than the iPhone 11, which offered an IP68 rating (two meters up to 30 minutes) and the iPhone 11 Pro (four meters up to 30 minutes). And it far outperforms the iPhone X’s IP67 rating for one meter.

As you can see, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 are much more water-resistant, able to take on more than splashes, dust and even total submersion with the IP68 rating. Others do okay but are not nearly as durable in this fashion.   

Protect Your New Apple Device with an iPhone 13 Case

Want Better iPhone Durability? Get a Protective Case 

holding various phone cases

Your iPhone durability does not make it invincible despite the Ceramic Shield strength, chassis metal and IP rating. So while it offers many strengths, it’s still a good idea to add a bit more protection to ensure your iPhone doesn’t wind up in a landfill sooner.  

Luckily, Pela Case has just the thing! Discover our entire collection of beautiful and sustainable phone cases and phone accessories to help keep your phone close at hand. Find the perfect iPhone 12 case to protect your aluminum or stainless steel chassis case. No matter how durable it may seem, it could use a little help. Have a newer iPhone 13? We have a huge collection of iPhone 13 cases designed to take on drops while offering a soft feel and grip that keeps it from flying out of your hand. Plus, our liquid screen protector will add an extra layer of protection to your iPhone Ceramic Shield or not to prevent a shattered screen.

Cover Your Screen with a Liquid Screen Protector

Pela Case phone cases are designed to help you live a more sustainable life and keep your e-waste out of the trash as long as possible. And our phone cases help you say so long to single-use plastic cases. Made from our plant-based biopolymer and flax shive, our cases can break down on their own in your home compost without leaving harmful chemicals or microplastics in soil and waterways. Now, doesn’t that sound great?