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ozziegn

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
1,298
832
Central FL Area
I've always had silver colored iPhones which means the sides of the phones have always been the natural finish of either the aluminum or the stainless steel, depending on the phone. This year I ordered another silver phone but I also ordered a pacific blue phone. Both are the iPhone 12 Pro models. My concern is with the colored coating on the side of the pacific blue phone in terms of wear and tear. I always use rubber cases with all my iPhones but somehow the sides always seem to get some scuff marks even though I tend to clean the dust and debris (on a very regular basis) from inside the cases that always seems to occur.

So I'm wondering what'll happen if I decide to keep the pacific blue phone. I wonder if the blue coating will start to look bad with the normal wear and tear from what I mentioned above. So I'm asking what your opinion is......
 

quitepossibly

macrumors newbie
Sep 15, 2014
11
3
I can't say what the iPhone 12 Pro will be like, but the previous colored stainless steel iPhones have had PVD coatings that were more scratch resistant than the bare silver stainless steel models. I had a silver iPhone X that was completely scratched up by the case and I have a gray iPhone 11 Pro that nearly perfect.
 

solo118

macrumors 65816
May 16, 2011
1,316
170
My X in white (bare SS) got KILLED, many scratches inside the case.

My XS in SG has zero scratches on the polished area. Go figure.
 

maerz001

macrumors 68020
Nov 2, 2010
2,437
2,324
Thats my SG XS used 12 months
05B05F81-F780-4C65-AE8B-FC57CAEBC620.jpeg
 
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symphony

macrumors 68020
Aug 25, 2016
2,206
2,591
I can't say what the iPhone 12 Pro will be like, but the previous colored stainless steel iPhones have had PVD coatings that were more scratch resistant than the bare silver stainless steel models. I had a silver iPhone X that was completely scratched up by the case and I have a gray iPhone 11 Pro that nearly perfect.
The way Joz worded it, all stainless steel including the silver has a PVD coating on the stainless steel with the iPhone 12 Pro now ??
 
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Aspyred

macrumors member
Oct 22, 2020
35
22
The way Joz worded it, all stainless steel including the silver has a PVD coating on the stainless steel with the iPhone 12 Pro now ??

Do we know this for sure? Because this will vastly affect which iPhone 12 Pro I buy.

My thinking was if the white is typical stainless steel (can be easily polished) and the other colors have PVD coating - it's better to stick with white. But if my thinking is wrong, I need to change my order quickly.
 

symphony

macrumors 68020
Aug 25, 2016
2,206
2,591
Do we know this for sure? Because this will vastly affect which iPhone 12 Pro I buy.

My thinking was if the white is typical stainless steel (can be easily polished) and the other colors have PVD coating - it's better to stick with white. But if my thinking is wrong, I need to change my order quickly.
I’m sure you can polish stainless steel with a PVD coating

not sure what you’re changing order to if it were the case anyway. They all have PVD
 
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Aspyred

macrumors member
Oct 22, 2020
35
22
I’m sure you can polish stainless steel with a PVD coating

not sure what you’re changing order to if it were the case anyway. They all have PVD

My concern is how easy would it be to polishing it such that it will wear away the coating, revealing the underlayer. I imagine it depends on how thick the coating is, but I don't think we have that info.

If indeed they all have PVD coating, is it better to still stick with silver knowing that I can polish out scratches? Or if it's all the same, should I just go with my heart and get gold, hoping that I can still polish out small scratches before the coating gets too thin?
 

James Godfrey

macrumors 68020
Oct 13, 2011
2,058
1,700
My concern is how easy would it be to polishing it such that it will wear away the coating, revealing the underlayer. I imagine it depends on how thick the coating is, but I don't think we have that info.

If indeed they all have PVD coating, is it better to still stick with silver knowing that I can polish out scratches? Or if it's all the same, should I just go with my heart and get gold, hoping that I can still polish out small scratches before the coating gets too thin?

Dont with a colour if you intend to polish out scratches it will take the colour straight off.

I have always stuck with silver, and then just polish the scuffs and scratches out now and again or when I am due to sell the device.

There are plenty of videos on YouTube which show the end result of polishing the gold, black devices (end result is not good).
 
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maerz001

macrumors 68020
Nov 2, 2010
2,437
2,324
I’m sure you can polish stainless steel with a PVD coating

not sure what you’re changing order to if it were the case anyway. They all have PVD
You can’t polish PVD coated stainless as the coating will come off.
There are a couple of threads with the XS, 11pro and apple watch regarding this issue.
Imho it will be the same for the 12pro
 
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danmart

macrumors 68000
Apr 24, 2015
1,569
1,061
Lancs, UK
Obviously it is early days for the new phones so no one knows for sure. If you look at YouTube videos about PVD watches (and knives commonly use it) then you will see that PVD isn’t a super tough treatment like DLC is. PVD will scratch and, as others have said, you can’t really repair that easily as a consumer.

My Space Grey 11 Pro Max (in an Apple case with an open bottom edge) looks pretty pristine, however, so I personally wouldn’t have any concerns about having a PVD phone. Though I would probably stick with a case personally...
 

Puonti

macrumors 68000
Mar 14, 2011
1,537
1,157
My ~23 month-old Space Grey XS Max is still immaculate, but it's been kept in an Apple leather case the whole time (I removed it for the first time just now to check).
 

ozziegn

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
1,298
832
Central FL Area
My ~23 month-old Space Grey XS Max is still immaculate, but it's been kept in an Apple leather case the whole time (I removed it for the first time just now to check).

Probably because their leather cases have the felt lining inside which helps to protect the phone's finish....
 

utsava

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2004
368
320
My ~23 month-old Space Grey XS Max is still immaculate, but it's been kept in an Apple leather case the whole time (I removed it for the first time just now to check).
I have a space grey XS Max as well, 100% caseless for 2 years and the coating looks immaculate. Like brand new immaculate.
 

Aspyred

macrumors member
Oct 22, 2020
35
22
Dont with a colour if you intend to polish out scratches it will take the colour straight off.

I have always stuck with silver, and then just polish the scuffs and scratches out now and again or when I am due to sell the device.

There are plenty of videos on YouTube which show the end result of polishing the gold, black devices (end result is not good).

Thanks - I ordered the silver iPhone 12 Pro and my hope is that though people say it's ALSO PVD coated, that even if it gets scratched, it will reveal a silver color below that won't look as bad as if it was gold PVD and revealed a silver/grey layer below.

My heart says gold but my brain says silver for the longevity aspect. My brain also says since Apple specifically mentioned a different coating for the gold that maybe it is very resilient too. I'm at two ends of this.
 

maerz001

macrumors 68020
Nov 2, 2010
2,437
2,324
Thanks - I ordered the silver iPhone 12 Pro and my hope is that though people say it's ALSO PVD coated, that even if it gets scratched, it will reveal a silver color below that won't look as bad as if it was gold PVD and revealed a silver/grey layer below.

My heart says gold but my brain says silver for the longevity aspect. My brain also says since Apple specifically mentioned a different coating for the gold that maybe it is very resilient too. I'm at two ends of this.
Of course the silver one will stay silver no matter how many scratches.
what else should stainless steel look like?
It’s not the 1st product on the market using stainless steel ?‍♂️
 

Jimmie Geddes

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2007
656
345
The PVD has certainly made a huge difference in keeping the stainless steel from scratching and chipping the color. My Midnight Green iPhone 11 Pro Max doesn't have a single scratch on it. I use it naked about 50% and in a Totalee thin case. When I had a Black iPhone 5, I would use a sharpie to color in the chipped paint on its sides.

I have shied away from silver because friends of mine and even in Apple stores, it seems to scratch and show more wear like the back of iPods and iPod touch.
 

mbuhlayaw

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2020
8
5

DiCaprioAngel

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2013
589
422
New York
I’ve had my 12 Pro Max Pacific Blue since launch day and I may have taken it off the case (Otterbox Symmetry Glitter Case) maybe 5 times in its life to clean it and such and there is no type of scratches anywhere on the sides of the phone. My 11 Pro Max, however, from doing the same thing (got the 11 Pro Max in Silver) had scratches on the sides from a few tries taking off my case, so I can see the difference between my 12 Pro Max and the 11 Pro Max I had
 
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James Godfrey

macrumors 68020
Oct 13, 2011
2,058
1,700
I’ve had my 12 Pro Max Pacific Blue since launch day and I may have taken it off the case (Otterbox Symmetry Glitter Case) maybe 5 times in its life to clean it and such and there is no type of scratches anywhere on the sides of the phone. My 11 Pro Max, however, from doing the same thing (got the 11 Pro Max in Silver) had scratches on the sides from a few tries taking off my case, so I can see the difference between my 12 Pro Max and the 11 Pro Max I had

It was the same deal with the XS my partners gold XS had no scratches on the metal frame at all, my silver XS had plenty, but they all buffed out on the silver with cape cod prior to selling except for one tiny ding.

The coloured Pros hardly scratch at all due to the coating on them but the silver will scratch quite a lot, but these scratches will buff out on the silver model.

Basically you have two choices... get gold, graphite or blue which has a much more scratch resistant metal, however, if it scratches and the base colour shows through, your screwed.

or

Get the silver which will scratch very easily however these can rectified quite easily using cape cod or something similar.
 

Wmo168

macrumors newbie
Jan 11, 2021
1
0
12 Pro Max Pacific Blue in clear case. All tarnish... looks like the coating worn off as it touch the plastic case. If i wet it, it looks fine. But when it dry it
All tarnish. In black and spot next to the lighting port where the coating worn off. It is not deep scratch, very smooth. Sad!
 

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RRC

macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2020
1,512
2,373
Question for anyone with the issue...

If the finish has worn away from normal usage, how many of you used a genuine case or a cheap third party one? I know it shouldn’t matter... but I’m wondering if some of the non genuine ones are causing an issue with trapped dirt or grit or even dust where as the genuine one might have slightly more room or be a more perfect fit.
 
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