Apple’s latest iPhone 11 series devices are flying off the shelves, even though they don’t bring any major upgrades except the camera. During the unveiling event, Apple claimed that the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max feature the “toughest glass ever” used in a smartphone. The new iPhones are certainly more durable than their predecessors. But can they withstand accidental drops, dunks, and tumbles? Electronics warranty firm SquareTrade conducted an exhaustive iPhone 11 durability test to find out if the new iPhones live up to Apple’s claims.
SquareTrade used scientific robots to drop, dunk, tumble, and bend the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max. The purpose of the test was to see if the new iPhones can withstand accidental damages better than previous generations. The new models have a more durable glass. They handled small drops better than last year’s flagship iPhones. But they are still vulnerable to serious damages.
Results of the iPhone 11 durability test
Overall, the iPhone 11 received a Breakability score of 73, which makes it a “medium-high risk” device. The iPhone 11 Pro received a score of 65, which is “medium risk.” The larger 11 Pro Max scored 85 points in SquareTrade’s Breakability tests, meaning it’s a “high risk” device.
A lower score indicates higher durability. By comparison, last year’s iPhone XS had a Breakability score of 86 while the iPhone XS Max had scored 70 points. All the new models have tougher glass on the front and back, but the iPhone 11 Pro emerged the best of the lot.
The iPhone 11 Pro is the first-ever iPhone to survive SquareTrade’s tumble test undamaged. The rear glass of the other two models cracked in the tumble test. In the tumble test, the devices are tossed around in a metal cylinder for 60 seconds to simulate the effects of random impacts that a smartphone experiences during the long-term use.
In drop tests, SquareTrade dropped the new iPhones face up and face down onto a sidewalk from a height of 6 feet. When dropped back-first, all three models suffered damage to varying degrees. The iPhone 11 Pro’s glass back shattered around the camera lenses. The other two models also suffered damage on the camera lenses. But the cameras on all three models continued to function without any issues.
In the bend test, the iPhone 11 Pro started bending at 251 pounds of pressure, but didn’t crack. The iPhone 11 bent at 240 pounds of pressure while the iPhone 11 Pro Max bent a little earlier at 232 pounds. The Pro Max cracked to the point that it became unusable, unlike the other two models.
All three models come with water-resistance, so you’d expect them to pass the dunk test with flying colors. When SquareTrade dunked the three iPhones in 5 feet deep water for 30 minutes, only the iPhone 11 Pro came out without any issues. The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro Max suffered audio distortion after the dunk test.
According to Apple, the iPhone 11 is supposed to withstand being submerged in up to 6.5 feet deep water for up to 30 minutes. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are designed to survive being submerged into 13 feet deep water. But in the dunk test, only the iPhone 11 Pro proved to live up to the claims.
New iPhones still need protection
SquareTrade’s tests show that the new iPhones are more durable than their predecessors. But you’ll still need a good quality case to add some protection to your iPhone.
The cost of iPhone repairs is ridiculously high. So, you might also want to take Apple’s AppleCare+ plan for new iPhones. The AppleCare+ covers two incidents of accidental damage for just $29. But the AppleCare+ itself is pretty expensive at $149 for the iPhone 11 and $199 for the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max.