In just ten short years, we’ve seen a groundbreaking advancement in Apple iPhone technology, including an immense focus on the camera. But those cameras seem awfully exposed, especially since they jut out from the phone. Does iPhone need a lens protector?
There is no need for a protective lens over your iPhone camera glass unless you tend to drop your iPhone a lot. The glass that goes into iPhone cameras is sapphire crystal, which is harder than Gorilla Glass DX+.
Not only is it harder, but it’s also extremely scratch-resistant. You would have to place the glass of the camera on concrete, press down hard, to scratch it up, and even that wouldn’t be as successful as you might think.
Table of Contents
- Is iPhone Lens Protection Necessary?
- Do iPhone Lens Protectors Affect Quality?
- Does Apple Make Lens Protectors?
- How Else Can I Protect My iPhone Lens?
- All Things Considered
Is iPhone Lens Protection Necessary?
While it’s not exactly necessary, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t use the extra protection. Some people are just more prone to dropping their phones than others. Sapphire crystal holds up better than Gorilla Glass DX+.
So it will require a pretty specific angle of impact when your iPhone hits the ground or bounces off an object. The Mohs rating for sapphire glass is 9.0. An Mohs rating is a “hardness” scale that was named after Carl Friedrich Christian Mohs of 1773 fame.
The scale runs from 1 to 10, meaning a 9 is considered to be pretty hard. It’s certainly much harder than the Gorilla Glass Apple uses on the rest of its iPhone models. The problem is the expense. Sapphire crystal is far more expensive, otherwise, it would cover the entire phone.
Fortunately, Gorilla Glass technology is improving, and, as of right now, it rates just below sapphire glass in terms of hardness. The biggest reason Gorilla Glass isn’t used to protect cameras is that it has nowhere near the same level of scratch resistance as sapphire crystal.
Do iPhone Lens Protectors Affect Quality?
If you install a lens protector properly, it won’t affect the quality of the pictures you take at all. The problem that most people have is purchasing lens protectors made of inferior glass. Gorilla Glass is inferior in terms of scratch resistance.
If you want to buy the best lens protectors for iPhone cameras, you need to find sapphire crystal lens protectors since scratch resistance is arguably more important than impact protection.
Impacts aren’t likely to affect the sapphire glass in iPhone camera lenses unless the impact is very hard and at a very specific angle. However, scratches across the lens are another matter entirely. A single, small scratch can easily affect the quality of your pictures.
So much so, that it could render your iPhone camera useless. In a sane world, there is no reason to place an inferior glass over a superior glass unless you’re looking for the comfort of dual impact protection.
Does Apple Make Lens Protectors?
Apple doesn’t manufacture its own line of lens protectors. They make plenty of phone protectors, mostly focusing on MagSafe technology. The benefit Apple phone cases/protectors offer is that the case is more elevated than the lens.
On Apple iPhones, the camera groups of lenses extend out from the phone’s shell. This means that dropping the iPhone directly on its back will have a more severe impact on the camera grouping than anything else.
While the camera group is protected by sapphire glass, the remainder of the phone is not. The newer Apple iPhone models (iPhone 12 through iPhone 14) feature frosted glass backs, which resemble and even feel like aluminium.
These backs are far more likely to shatter before one of the camera lenses in the group. However, you shouldn’t test the theory unless your iPhone is truly disposable. If you want a good camera lens protector, you need to look at some third-party options.
Fortunately, there are a lot of them. But like we mentioned above, there is no reason to get a camera lens or snap-on protector if the material is weaker than the sapphire crystal in the lenses themselves.
How Else Can I Protect My iPhone Lens?
The best way to protect your iPhone lens is by keeping your iPhone in a protective case. It’s not like the prices of new iPhones will drop anytime soon. A standard iPhone, with the storage, kept to a minimum, will still cost $550 to $900.
There’s no reason to walk around with that kind of money completely unprotected. A decent phone case is more than enough to protect your iPhone from typical drops and spills.
If you are really concerned about your camera lens (it is completely understandable considering how far they stick out), plenty of sapphire crystal lenses are on the market. You can even grab Gorilla Glass lens protectors if you’re worried that an impact will damage the phone.
Gorilla glass lens protectors will have to be replaced far more often, however, because they are a magnet for scratches. Scratches on a Gorilla Glass screen protector are no big deal. But over the top of your camera lens, it will ruin your photos until you remove it.
There are two types of camera lens protectors available, and it’s all a matter of preference. The first are the individual rings that snap onto the two or three lenses on your iPhone. The other is a single piece that contains three protective rings.
The latter snape onto the upraised square, protecting all three at once. There’s no inherent advantage of one over the other. The only thing you get with the individual rings is a choice of colors or alternating aesthetics.
All Things Considered
The camera lenses on an Apple iPhone happen to be the most well-protected parts. Since the glass is manufactured from sapphire crystal, it has a much higher scratch resistance, with a slightly improved impact resistance over Gorilla Glass DX+.