Just how scratch-prone is the jet black iPhone? A video scratch test shows bleak results

This isn’t going to end well.
This isn’t going to end well.
Image: Screenshot
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On the fence about the jet black iPhone because of its scratchiness? You’re not alone.

When Apple debuted the new color on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, it warned people that the jet black’s “high shine may show fine micro-abrasions with use.” But that was a vague statement. How prone to scratches is it actually? What if you plan to be really, really careful?

With the new iPhones now out in the wild, scratch test videos are already emerging online, and they paint a bleak picture. The video below by YouTube user JerryRigEverything, which already has racked up more than 400,000 views, found that even wiping the jet black iPhone with his shirt—bound to be a common action given how easily it smudges—left a small mark on the finish.

He then tested the high-gloss finish against some everyday objects, including a toothpick, penny, keys, and razor blade.

Here’s the verdict:

  • Wiping the iPhone with a shirt: Left a small mark, likely caused by an invisible particle in the cloth. A good lesson to jet black owners: Always use a clean microfiber cloth.
  • Toothpick: No scratches.
  • Penny: After rubbing a penny against the finish for about three seconds, it showed many light scratches. “The copper penny has left circles of permanent love all over your iPhone 7,” he says in the video.
  • Keys: The scratches are “almost as deep as the emotional scars on your ego.”
  • Screw: Yes.
  • Razor: Definitely.

The last three results are certainly expected, but those tests were probably done for sheer cringe factor. After all, most people can’t even get their hands on a jet black iPhone yet. Every single jet black model was sold out during preorder.

The jet black color is especially alluring because the screen seamlessly bleeds into the aluminum body. It really is a shame to have to hide it in a case.