Apple has started shipping the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus to pre-order customers. The devices have become available for purchase in stores across major markets around the world. Both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have a glass back to facilitate wireless charging. The rear glass panel should make the new iPhones vulnerable to bending, scratching, and cracking. Zack at the YouTube channel Jerry Rig Everything has conducted an exhaustive iPhone 8 durability test to see how strong its build quality is.
iPhone 8 durability: Survives the bend test
Apple claims the new iPhones feature the most durable glass ever used in a smartphone. That’s a big claim because glass is, you know, glass. It is vulnerable to cracking and it could affect the iPhone 8 durability. However, Zack’s test shows the iPhone 8 is strong enough to withstand bends and the moderate level of scratches. He used a utility knife and other metal objects to punish the phone’s display, camera lens, rear glass, and other parts.
Zack found that the iPhone 8’s display scratched a little at level 6 in Mohs test. It survived the scratches from a razor blade, keys, and coins. The test was designed to simulate everyday activities. It is similar to the last year’s iPhone 7. By comparison, sapphire, which is known for its scratch-resistance, scratches at a level 9 out of 10. The Cupertino company uses sapphire in the Apple Watch Stainless Steel and Edition models.
Apple claims it uses sapphire to cover the iPhone 8’s rear camera system. However, it started showing a gouge when Zack scratched the rear camera using a mineral test pick at level 6 on Mohs test. Jerry Rig Everything points out that the tech giant might be using a lower grade sapphire material rather than “pure sapphire” to protect the rear camera.
Scratching with a utility knife removed the anodized layer of the phone’s aluminum frame, revealing a natural silver interior layer. The iPhone 8 performed incredibly well in the bend test. In fact, it’s even sturdier than the iPhone 7, which had a metal design. The handset’s glass sandwich design showed no signs of separation between its body and the glass. This iPhone 8 durability test should boost the confidence of buyers in the device.
iPhone 8 teardown points to no major internal design changes
Separately, folks at iFixit performed a teardown of the iPhone 8 as soon as they got their hands on the device. The teardown revealed that the new iPhone’s internal layout is similar to the iPhone 7, except for small changes such as a bracket to secure the Taptic Engine module. An X-ray image of the phone’s rear housing shows the wireless charging coil. The Qi-based wireless charging solution obscures the phone’s battery, logic board, and other structures in the X-ray images.
The new iPhone’s wireless charging speed is similar to the 5-watt wall adapter. However, the Cupertino company has promised to improve the charging rate with future software updates. The teardown revealed that Apple had used Phillips screws instead of the tri-point ones to secure the internal cables. The surrounding of the screws is “microscopically sealed” for water-resistance.
Experts at iFixit said the iPhone 8 packs a 1,821mAh battery, which is smaller than the iPhone 7’s 1,960mAh cell. We reported last week that the iPhone 8 Plus’s 2,675mAh battery was also smaller than 2,900mAh battery used in the last year’s iPhone 7 Plus. Apple claims the new phones offer the same battery life as their predecessors despite having a smaller battery. The company has optimized software to make the devices more energy efficient.
The teardown revealed that the iPhone 8 packs an A11 Bionic chip, which is no secret. The device includes a 2GB LPDDR4 RAM made by SK Hynix, a Qualcomm MDM9656 Snapdragon X16 LTE Modem, 64GB of NAND flash memory supplied by Toshiba, NXP secure NFC module, a quad-band GSM power amplifier module from SkyWorks, Broadcom wireless charging IC, and Qualcomm’s Gigabit LTE RF transceiver.
iPhone 8 off to a poor start
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have become available in major markets around the world. However, these devices received a lukewarm response from customers. Pre-orders for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were far below expectations because these handsets have the same years old design and offer only minor upgrades over the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Most consumers are waiting for the iPhone X, a much bigger upgrade, that will hit the store shelves on November 3rd.
The queues in front of Apple Stores usually snake around for several blocks. But this time, there were only a few dozen buyers in front of the Apple Store in Sydney. Of course, the number of buyers queuing up in front of Apple Stores has declined in the last few years as more people choose to pre-order online. But pre-orders for the iPhone 8 were also pathetic at best.