SquareTrade Calls iPhone 11 Pro 'The Most Durable iPhone in Generations'
The 2019 iPhones have officially been unleashed to the world, and the reviews are already starting to roll in. A quick YouTube or Google search of any of the three new iPhones will produce tons of hits about the cameras, battery life, speed, and other important features, but not many people are willing to purposely beat up their new iPhone to test its durability—at least not in the way SquareTrade does with its Breakabilty Score Tests.
Before the Breakability team was able to get their hands on any of the new iPhones, Apple promised the new lineup featured enhanced durability:
“At the core of the iPhone 11 Pro design is a stainless steel structural band and a three dimensional glass back made from the toughest glass in a smartphone. It's sculpted from a single solid sheet, reinforced down to the atomic level, and then brought to life in one of four textured matte finishes. The enclosure is designed to withstand what life can throw at it. Rigorous testing and refining have helped create a durable dust and water resistant iPhone,” said a promotional video during Apple's unveiling of the new iPhones.
Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, reiterated the iPhone 11's “better water resistance and stronger glass.”
But what does that really mean? SquareTrade sought to find out.
The warranty provider put the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max through a set of rigorous tests, and gave them a score based on their performance. Each phone was put through: a tumble test, bend test, dunk test, face-down drop test, back-down drop test, and was then repaired after being put through the ringer. The scores are as follows:
iPhone 11: 73 (medium-high risk). The baseline iPhone 11 cracked during the tumble and drop tests resulting in loose glass and damage to the camera lenses. The iPhone also didn’t fair too well underwater, and suffered audio distortion, even after SquareTrade attempted to dry it out. Repairability was a little tricky too with the phone's difficult battery access and multiple battery pull-tabs, comparable to the iPhone 8. The iPhone 11’s best performance was in the bend test where the smartphone caved at 250lbs of pressure but didn’t crack.
iPhone 11 Pro: 65 (medium risk). Dubbed "the most durable iPhone SquareTrade has seen in generations," the iPhone 11 Pro completely survived the tumble tests with practically no scars. Like the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro also withstood nearly 250lbs of pressure before caving and also didn’t crack at this point. Underwater, the iPhone 11 Pro continued to function as normal, and emerged without any damage. The sidewalk drop tests proved to be the phone's biggest enemy, however. The six-foot drops shattered the phone, impacting the camera lenses and causing the screen to malfunction. SquareTrade faced more difficulty repairing the 11 Pro than they did with the iPhone 11.
iPhone 11 Pro Max: 85 (high risk). The most expensive iPhone of the bunch also turned out to be the most fragile. During the face-down drop test, the iPhone 11 Pro Max shattered, its screen malfunctioned, and it became unusable. The Pro Max bent, cracked, and also became unusable after facing 230lbs of pressure—20lbs less than what bent the 11 and 11 Pro. A back-down drop test shattered the glass and caused damage to the camera lens, and a dunk in five feet of water for 30 minutes caused audio distortion to the phone. Like the iPhone 11 Pro, repairing the Pro Max required more time and effort than other iPhone models.
“After our robots dropped, dunked, tumbled and bent the devices, we found the new iPhone 11Pro to be the most durable iPhone we’ve tested in generations,” said Jason Siciliano, vice president and global creative director at SquareTrade. “It’s the first smartphone to survive our tumble test, which simulates the effects of multiple, random impacts experienced by a smartphone during long-term use. That’s a real achievement when it comes to durability. However, dropping any of the new iPhone 11 models on a sidewalk without a case, face-down or back-down, can still cause serious damage, as we saw with our drop tests.”
As SquareTrade pointed out, durability matters greatly to consumers. In fact, nearly 90 percent of Americans say durability is one of the top factors they consider while shopping for a smartphone.
If you can get past the cringe-worthy feeling of seeing a $1,000+ piece of technology fall to the ground, the SquareTrade Breakability tests are a lot of fun to watch. And if you’re someone that lives pretty recklessly—or if you’re just downright clumsy—this is some vital information to have before deciding on your next smartphone.