Nothing causes a smartphone owner to cringe more than when he or she accidentally drops their brand-new iPhone.
In a video published to YouTube on Monday, SquareTrade put Apple’s new handsets through a variety of tests — using a “scientific robot” — to see how they’d hold up.
The tests include a face-down drop test, a side and back drop test, an underwater dunk test, and a bend test. Putting Apple’s own comments to the test, SquareTrade decided to also test the new IP68 rating for the iPhone XS and XS Max by dunking the new phones in 138 cans-worth of beer.
So did they? Forget “the most durable glass ever in a smartphone” and just slap a protective case on one of these bad boys if you don’t want to spend a (second) fortune on replacing its screen or fragile back.
The first test involved dropping both the new iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max from a height of six feet (1.82m) on both the front and back panels. In every case, the glass protecting the iPhones shattered completely. In the case of the iPhone XS, the screen malfunctioned.
The second test involved putting the new iPhones through what SquareTrade calls a “tumble test.” The iPhones were placed in a rotating cube for 60 seconds to simulate tumbling (think an automatic dryer). Both iPhones again were damaged and suffered serious cracks, loose and raised glass, and more. In a pressure-based bend test, the iPhone XS cracked at 250 pounds of pressure and the screen failed entirely.
Finally, SquareTrade put Apple’s words to the test by dunking the iPhone in five feet (or 138 cans-worth) of beer for five minutes. As expected, both iPhones emerged from the liquid completely functional and unscathed. You may recall iFixit did the same, but the iPhone XS lasted nearly five hours.
SquareTrade gave the iPhone XS a breakability score of 86 out of 100, calling it a “high risk.” The iPhone XS Max fared a bit better with a score of 70, or “medium risk.”
“We were super impressed with the iPhone XS Max, which is much stronger than its discontinued predecessor, the iPhone X. However, as with the iPhone X, our tests show the all-glass design of the iPhone XS and XS Max make them highly susceptible to cracking, particularly from drops, the most common cause of damage,” said Jason Siciliano, vice president global creative director at SquareTrade.
“Repair costs for the new iPhones are expected to be around $399 [USD] to replace a front screen and $599 to fix a shattered back. Considering $599 [USD] was the cost of the most expensive version of the very first iPhone, repair costs are now something to consider when buying a new iPhone. They’re beautiful phones. Just hang on tight.”