Good News: The Back panel on the Lumia 920/820 Really is Scratchproof

| January 22, 2013 | 20 Replies


One of my greatest issues with the N9/Lumia 800/Lumia 900 was the silver plating on the back that surrounded the camera lens. The fact was that no matter how careful you were with the phone it would end up being scratched in every possible spot; and it honestly hurt to look at. However with the Lumia 920 and 820 that’s no longer the case as the plating as well as the buttons have been replaced with a new material (ceramic I believe? zirconium) which spares us the scratches of the brushed metal on the earlier devices.

After using my Lumia 920 for over a month there isn’t a single scratch on the camera plating (the body does have multiple “microscratches” but the red color hides them well unless you look REALLY close). So thankfully that’s one design flaw that has been fixed; and good riddance.

This got me thinking what was the last phone that had absolutely NO flaws at all (no matter how minor)- of the ones I’ve owned/seen pretty much all have had that one or two flaws that you couldn’t help but notice; for example:

  • N9/800 = back plating + MicroUSB cover flap (not for everyone)
  • 900 = very poor touch sensor/digitizer on the screen, it won’t detect touches of damp fingers, and it would occasionally move on its own + back plating
  • N8= plastic on both ends chipped and broke easily
  • 5800 xpress music= horrible stylus
  • N73= joystick in hte center broke alot

I posed the question on twitter and got some interesting replies; including the N95 and the N900 (I didn’t own either of them so I can’t judge)- but what’s your opinion on the perfectly flawless Nokia phone?

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Category: Lumia, Maemo, MeeGo, Nokia, Nseries, S60, Symbian, Windows Phone

About the Author ()

Hey, my name's Ali- Currently a fifth (and final) year Dental Student from Chicago; studying in Jordan. I love all sorts of gadgets almost as much as I love my cookies! Be sure to follow my Twitter handle @AliQudsi and Subcribe to my Youtube for the latest videos - no pressure. Thanks.
  • Matt

    It might not scratch but it certainly dints, as I found out within 24 hours of owning it. Bif scratch down the screen too.

  • One of my main issues on 800/900 which I’m glad to see is not the case on my 920. Mine’s scratch free at the back. Though the gorilla glass screen does have a hairline scratch from being crushed in bag pocket with keys/metalchain.

    • The screen scratches easily, although that has more to do with the oleophobic coating than the actual screen.

      I’m more miffed aboiut how easy the back scratches. The plate is fine, but the back would need some form of protection to keep scratches of it.


    been using my N8 for two years now without a protective cover. not a single scratch and nothing falling off. I guess mine was from the good batch 😀

    • Had mino for a year, camera bump was damaged very easy and the plastic end caps couldn’t really handle small drops either. Other than it was fine though.

      • Pökö

        Plastic ends you can buy. Those are cheap also, some 14.9€ if I remember correctly.

  • incognito

    I have to report that my precioussss unicorn N9 doesn’t have a single scratch on its back plate thanks to the thin clear varnish coating and the fact that I keep it always on its leather pouch and take very good care of it. After all, once it stops being useful to me it will be a collectors item, a triple rarity so to speak, and I want to keep it in pristine condition.

    Anyway, I’m glad Nokia did something about it, the back plate of the N9 I gave to my girlfriend looks horribly scratched.

  • hectorri
  • Vineet

    They used Zirconium for the backplate as well as the camera/power/volume buttons on the 920. So all of them get the scratch-proof treatment.

    Furthermore, the matte 920s have better scratch resistance compared to the glossy ones thanks to the soft touch finish. This is especially true in the case of minor ‘micro-scratches’.

    I just wish they din’t go backwards from the Lumia 800 in terms of visual design symmetry (placement of flash on the back, Nokia logo and capacitive buttons on the front) and hopefully the next version will have the seamless curved glass blending into the unibody like the N9 and the L800. The 920 is a step up from the 900 but it still has a double lip where the glass meets the polycarbonate.

    • dss

      The symmetry in the front is awful thanks to those lovely windows keys.. the screen is never in the middle of the phone.

      • Pökö

        It is not awful, it convinient. I you ever had used one, you would know it.

    • camera flash placement is not usually about aesthetics, rather strategic placement for it to take the best photos/videos (when the flash is used) – having it on top of the camera (when you hold it in the standard landscape position) helps to fully and more evenly illuminate the target.

  • JGrove303

    My 920 (also Red) has dings on the poly from falling on dorty concrete and I too have micro scratches like those in a cars clearcoat. I also have some deeper scratches. No matter, as it still looks fabulous versus ever iPhone 5 I’ve laid eyes on and ever SGS III that hasn’t been wrapped in Zagg and a huge protector case. One faint scratch in my screen coating from a rivet on my Levis.

    I’ve dumped my 920 no less than 6 times and it still looks fit.

    Perfect device.

  • anders81

    I have accidentally dropped my yellow L920 several times (latest today) and nothing has happened to it. I’m very glad that I’m not holding it wrong as would be the case with…and shattered glass:)

  • Guider

    Haven’t even had mine(black) for a month. Have various micro-scratches in the chassis AND screen from setting on various plastics(in my car), desks, and from scraping the little button in the corner of my pocket.. The camera-piece and buttons are flawless though. And I swear they put an oleophobic coating on the lens, GENIUS and super easy to clean! But I’m really surprised at the hardness(or lack of) in the polycarbonate. As much as I like the feel and wireless abilities of poly(ridiculous WiFi and Bluetooth range), it’s just not as strong(maybe I should say hard?) as people had me to believe. I haven’t even dropped it and it looks worn in already..

    • JGrove303

      The strength of polycarbonate is in it’s ability to disperse the energy from impacts as opposed to taking a hit and cracking at the impact site.

      it is a softer material, more likely to mushroom than shatter.

      If you have ever looked at the walls in a hockey rink, they are scratched up, but never fractures from 500lbs slamming into it over and over. That’s the Lumia 920.

      most modern headlights are made of polycarbonate too. You get stone nicks, but it doesn’t break until something clearly exceeds its strength, like a baseball bat or gun shot. Those, the Lumia 920’s shell is much thicker than the headlight.

  • JGrove303

    Hell, I’ll do a demo video of using Plastix plastic polish to eliminate the swirls scratches. Won’t do much for my dings of course.

    • I can imagine that would make it a little slippier as well?

      • JGrove303

        No more slippery than when new. Which was slippery as all hell until you got some body oils and moisture from your hands on the back. Then it sticks like slicks on an Formula 1 car.

        Now waxing the poly, that’s asking for trouble! But it would be a bit less prone to scratching for about 3 months.

  • Party in the back

    I think you mean “scratch resistant” nothing is scratchproof