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iPhone 11 display – reports say it scratches too easily

iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro have been selling surprisingly well since their launch last month, but as usual when a new device drops, we’re starting to see some early complaints about wear and tear. Primary amongst those is a series of users reporting that the displays on their new devices are scratching much easier than their previous models.

Now, we’ve not seen first-hand evidence of this – every iPhone 11 in our office still looks pristine after a few weeks of use – but these reports certainly imply a trend. Apple improves the glass used in its devices each year, even going so far as to run a striking ad campaign showing off its durability, but with every change is an element of compromise.

Unfortunately, basic physics makes it difficult to create a display that’s completely shatter-resistant and scratch-resistant – the two concepts are kind of at odds with one other. Toughen the glass to avoid blemishes and it becomes more brittle; soften the glass to avoid cracking and it becomes easier to scratch. It’s all about finding the right balance for everyday use.

The iPhone 11 range has seemingly prioritized shatter-resistance over scratch-resistance, which as far as we’re concerned is a good choice. It’s much easier to avoid nicks and scratches, and they’re less disastrous than a fully smashed screen if they do happen. Simply applying a basic screen protector works wonders, and barely affects the look of the device – unlike the kind of chunky case you’d need to lower the chances of the display shattering. So our advice is simply to pick up a screen protector for a few bucks for peace of mind.

If you’re still considering whether to upgrade to the iPhone 11 range or wait until next year, see our hands-on review of the iPhone 11 Pro Max.