Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Scratched iPhone 8 and iPhone X Screens

Stephen Hackett:

Unfortunately, the stainless steel band isn’t the only thing that has picked up scratches on my iPhone X. This phone has picked up scratches across the front and back glass in a way no previous iPhone I have owned has. None of them are particularly long, but they are deep enough that I can catch them with the corner of a finger nail if I try.

I’m not sure what’s going on here, but I’ve heard lots of reports like this over the last month or so.

Marco Arment:

I, too, have a scratched-up phone with bizarre-looking fake portrait-photo modes I never use, but that otherwise I absolutely love and I can’t fully believe is real.

Nick Heer:

I’ve been skeptical of claims that the iPhone X has glass that’s more prone to scratching, but there are noticeable marks building up where my thumb scrolls. Dunno if my nail or pocket lint or something is causing that.

Wojtek Pietrusiewicz:

I have now heard numerous reports about people having scratches on the band, front, and back glass. The strange thing is that I use my iPhone X caseless (white model) and it still looks pristine.

Update (2018-01-31): Christopher Pickslay:

My 3-month-old iPhone X has more scratches on the screen than any previous phone I carried for 2 years

Tony Arnold:

Yep, my $1800AUD phone has scratches all over the screen from being on my wooden desk, and in my pocket.

The quality of the glass on my iPhone X is really disappointing.

dan nolan:

mine is scratched to absolute shit from using it the same way I used my scratchless iPhone 7+ so...

Pat Murray:

Yep. 3 months in and my X has way more scratches than the 10year old original iPhone I have on my desk… the kicker of course, my X is in a case 24/7

Andrew Madsen:

My iPhone X screen has scratches I can feel with my nails too, and had them within the first month. Have never had that with any other iPhone, and I treat this one just as well. No idea where they came from.

Update (2018-02-01): Craig Grannell:

My 8 Plus has a scratch. No idea how it happened. Never had one on an iPhone (3G; 3GS; 4s; 5s; 6s) before. No change in usage.

Update (2018-02-05): Adam Clark Estes:

Apple says that the iPhone X features “the most durable glass ever in a smartphone, front and back.” So did I get a different kind of glass by mistake? Did Apple sacrifice some quality control as it was rushing out the first iPhone X orders? Is it just my fault? Sure, I could’ve avoided some of this grief by using a case. But I’ve never used a case, and I’ve never had a screen develop scratches so quickly or so comprehensively in a decade of using iPhones and Android phones.

The stainless steel edge has a couple of nicks but is otherwise good as new since I’ve never dropped the phone. The first scratch appeared on my iPhone X screen just a few days after I bought it. It was small, shallow, but clearly visible in the center of the screen. In the weeks that followed, more and more micro-abrasions appeared as if through sorcery. Then came a fan of deep scratches on the bottom left on the screen, deep enough that I could feel them with my finger and see them when the display was on. The latest scratch is even deeper and mars that cute little slice of screen next to the notch. It’s not like the phone is hard to use or anything. I just feel annoyed and confused that the thing is so fragile.

I’m not the only one. There are countless threads on Reddit and other forums featuring disgruntled iPhone X owners who are similarly perplexed about how easily their screens scratch.

Update (2018-02-17): Accidental Tech Podcast says that Apple semi-officially announced that it was using different glass that is less likely to crack but more likely to scratch. As someone who has never cracked an iPhone screen, I would prefer they not make that trade-off.

Update (2018-02-20): See also: Nick Heer.

Update (2018-03-15): Bob Burrough:

I see that my $800 iPhone's glass is made out of clay.

A $100 plastic phone is probably more durable than this.

OH BY THE WAY. I actually worked on *plastic* faced iPhones back in 2007. Funny thing, that. Steve Jobs made the decision to replace those with *GLASS* because he found that his keys scratched the plastic. In his absence, Apple has found a way to unsolve that problem.

12 Comments RSS · Twitter

I haven't seen anyone talk about iPhone models other than the X. So for what it's worth, I picked up a 5SE last year and it has picked up glass scratches like Stephen Hackett describes. Prior to the 5SE I had a 5S for ~3 years and was impressed by how impervious to scratches it seemed to be. For context, I've never used a case with any of my phones.

I've been wondering if I'm simply paying more attention to the condition of my 5SE, if I have been treating it harsher without realizing, or if it actually scratches more easily.

On the flipside, I dropped my 5S a few times and had to replace the screen once because it shattered. I've dropped my 5SE several times in just the year I've had it and it's survived unscathed so far. Of course this is the epitome of anecdotal, so who knows. But it made me wonder if there's a tradeoff between shatter resistance and scratchability for the glass options currently available. If so I would understand prioritizing shatter resistance.

@Nigel Yeah, I have a bunch of small scratches on my SE that I never got on older phones that I had for munch longer. I still have some them, so I was able to compare and be sure this is not due to a faulty memory.

Whilst I appreciate the X/5SE may have traded hardness for toughness, what's wrong with a good old fashioned screen protector? I used to be dead against them for aesthetic reasons, but now always use them. Saved my Pixel screen a few times and once on I just never notice it.

I used a screen protector with my first iOS device. But if glass scratches easily, screen protectors are far worse. In theory you just replace them, but in practice I found myself walking around with the same increasingly scratch-covered screen protector all the time. I decided I'd rather enjoy the clarity of a bare screen, even if over the long term it accumulates some minor scratches.

The brand of screen protector I use (Zagg HDX), has a "self-healing" property, and scratches go away pretty quickly. I use them on every touch-screen mobile device I own, and my screens look great. Recommended. Maybe(?) other brands have the same feature, not sure.

Also makes a big difference to screens that are already micro-scratched---the scratches disappear because the liquid solution gets trapped between the scratch and the screen protector.

The actual process of applying the screen so that no dust is trapped under the protector is always a major pain though!

[…] aber häufen sich Stimmen von Anwendern, die über feine Kratzer klagen, die sich beidseitig auf ihren iPhone X und teils […]

Badger Buller

My iPhone X is only weeks old & is now covered in screen scratches. Apple are
telling me they have never come across this before & can do nothing. My old
iPhones are perfect, yet the X now looks tatty. Apple are not being honest as they
are too many people with the same issue, yet I am the 1st ? Major BS, Apple you
have a problem here & you know it !!

Big amount of scratches IPHONE X , I am more careful with this model than the iphone 7, but afret 1 month use there is huge amount of scratches!

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[…] is more-or-less the same article Estes wrote last year; except, then, there were loads of reports of scratched iPhone 8 and iPhone X displays. This batch of iPhones doesn’t seem to have the […]

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