Contradictory iPhone 11 Pro drop tests reveal easily breakable/highly durable glass

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 20
A pair of drop tests conducted hours after iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max launched on Friday reveal very different results concerning handset durability, with one evaluation seeing the 5.8-inch version's front glass crack from about three feet off the ground.


Source: Tom's Guide


In a video produced by Tom's Guide -- dramatically shot in front of customers standing in line outside of Apple's Fifth Avenue store -- a brand new iPhone 11 Pro's screen cracked after being dropped onto a New York City sidewalk from hip height.

The phone landed nearly parallel to the ground, but its bottom-right corner touched pavement first, causing the top left corner to slap violently onto the hard surface. As a result, the glass shattered in more than three spots and left hairline cracks running across the top third of the screen down to the bottom right corner.

That same iPhone fared well when dropped on its back from the same height. No cracks or scratches were observed after two drops, a result more in line with Apple's claim of "toughest glass in any smartphone." The rear material, which goes through a dual ion-exchange process for added durability, finally succumbed to a shoulder level drop that exacerbated cracking on the phone's face.

A second drop test performed by YouTube channel EverythingApplePro was more promising. Both iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max withstood multiple front, back and side drops from waist and shoulder height. In fact, the stainless steel chassis on both handsets warped during testing. The back glass on the 11 Pro and the screen of the 11 Pro Max finally shattered in a ten-foot fall.

It should be noted that the test was conducted indoors, likely on a different material or concrete mix than what iPhone was exposed to in the Tom's Guide analysis.





As drop tests are inherently expensive, most are conducted from preset heights starting at a low point around waist level, roughly where a user might fumble their phone when taking it out of a pants pocket. From there, evaluations typically move to ear height, simulating a drop while on a call, to inordinate elevations of ten feet and above.

For a closer look at iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, check out AppleInsider's in-depth review.
applesnoranges
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    DeathDeath Posts: 7unconfirmed, member
    I wonder what do these youtubers do with the broken phones after drop tests?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 56
    Nowhere does Apple say their new stronger glass will prevent breakage when dropped from particular heights. Try toughness tests based on scratching from sitting in your pocket with keys, heating from sitting in the sun in your car etc.  When Apple puts a suspension system with patented digital shock absorbers in their phone THEN start dropping it.  It’d be a whole lot less expensive to do the tests too! Fancy dropping $1000+ phones to get them to smash.  Do they make false insurance claims afterwards? <insert deep sigh here>
    mwhitelenny491gilly33watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 56
    The thing about glass is it all depends on how it hits. I've had regular glass jars land on concrete and bounce several times without cracking. I've also dropped the same jars from a few inches and had them seem to explode. Gorilla Glass might be more resistant to shattering, but the same rule applies. It all depends on how it hits. That's why I keep my phone in a case.
    fh-acetmayboltsfan17lkruppbonobobrazorpitbaconstangberndogpscooter63mwhite
  • Reply 4 of 56
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,719member
    DAalseth said:
    The thing about glass is it all depends on how it hits. I've had regular glass jars land on concrete and bounce several times without cracking. I've also dropped the same jars from a few inches and had them seem to explode. Gorilla Glass might be more resistant to shattering, but the same rule applies. It all depends on how it hits. That's why I keep my phone in a case.
    This. 
    My brother in law had an iPhone in a case that fell from a height of about 3 feet onto a carpeted surface and cracked the screen. If the phone hits just right and stresses the glass in the right way it will crack. Very small differences in how the phone hits can make the difference between totally shattering the screen and no damage at all. 

    No matter how they try to run these tests, there’s always enough variability to make them meaningless. 

    Bottom line - get a decent case for your phone!
    CloudTalkinmuthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMacgilly33hodarwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 56
    Is there such a thing as an adjustable case that can fit different size phones? That would make me feel better spending the money on one.
    berndog
  • Reply 6 of 56
    “You’re dropping it wrong. “
    bonobobwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 7 of 56
    Seriously who’s not going to put their 2400 Aud phone in a case ? My iPhones have always been in a case and I’ve never broken one in years.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 56
    If they conducted such a drop test in front of me as I were standing in line waiting for one, odds are I'd not be able to withhold slinging some expletives their way.
    edited September 20 king editor the grategilly33watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 56
    idreyidrey Posts: 643member
    Contrary to the title, the video shows that the iPhone 11 is pretty durable. At least is what I saw, did we not watch the same video as the writer of the title? It took many falls unprotected for it to brake and from a very high place. Apple said it was durable not unbreakable.
  • Reply 10 of 56
    This is unbelievable to me... you drop glass on concrete or pavement and it breaks? What the hell is Apple thinking? Such a mess.. buy a Samscum instead. Their phones are virtually indestructible they are perfect. God apple ugh so horrible ugh. I should be able to throw my phone all over the place and it shouldn’t break. Like why do I have to have personal responsibility for anything?
    idreyberndogmwhiteMplsPlenny491gilly33badmonkwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 11 of 56
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,495member
    12 years since iPhone 1, and billions of dollars of research later, the screen still cracks from a 3-foot drop?
    rinosaur
  • Reply 12 of 56
    ajlajl Posts: 113member
    Why Apple doesn't use sapphire glass? I know it is expensive, but really one has to have a 1000+ US$ iPhone with cracked screen after a simple drop and being charged for 329 US$ if one is not covered with Apple Care+?
    rinosaur
  • Reply 13 of 56
    The iPhone 11 seems like a step backwards in durability.  I watched the iPhone XS drop tests and walked away thinking it didn’t really need a case.

    Why more glass?  If it’s for a better wireless signal, I’m on board.  But, if it’s for wireless charging... I’d rather have durability.
    baconstangtrumptman
  • Reply 14 of 56
    DAalseth said:
    The thing about glass is it all depends on how it hits. I've had regular glass jars land on concrete and bounce several times without cracking. I've also dropped the same jars from a few inches and had them seem to explode. Gorilla Glass might be more resistant to shattering, but the same rule applies. It all depends on how it hits. That's why I keep my phone in a case.
    So true. I've dropped my phone several times on a tile floor and nothing happened. I dropped my iPad on the same floor and the whole screen shattered. I was watching another durability test on Youtube and someone took a 2-3 lb hammer to the screen on a 11 Pro Max. It didn't crack until the 4th hit I believe. The scratch test they did on the back, the iPhone held up really well. 
    lkruppwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 56
    ajl said:
    Why Apple doesn't use sapphire glass? I know it is expensive, but really one has to have a 1000+ US$ iPhone with cracked screen after a simple drop and being charged for 329 US$ if one is not covered with Apple Care+?
    Sapphire wouldn't perform any better in a drop test. It's harder, so less prone to scratching, but no more resilient.
    pscooter63bageljoeygilly33StrangeDaysjmc54bigpicswatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 56
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,738member
    These drop tests are so dumb, just click bait garbage, imo.

    And why do they only test one phone?

    They should buy at least 100 iPhones and then drop them all. Maybe I'd bother to click on that video.

    Even with more durable glass, glass is going to sometimes break when dropped. What a shocker.

    If somebody is worried about their phone dropping and if certain people are more careless and accident prone than others, then go put your phone in a case maybe.

    I don't have the newest iPhone, but if I did, I'd use it naked, like I always have done with my previous phones. I wouldn't want to cover up the nice design and feel of it. I've had my current iPhone for a couple of years now and it's still going strong. I have never dropped it once, either intentionally or accidentally.


    edited September 20 pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 56
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,429member
    It all boils down to the laws of physics. How it hits, where it hits, momentum,  what angle it hits at, lines of force, force vectors and a few more. Even a super computer couldn’t calculate all the variables and possibilities. But hey, if it means clicks and views and an opportunity to drag Apple’s name in the mud then why not. How stupid does one need to be to actually think you can drop a sophisticated device made of metal and steel and nothing could possibly happen to it? How stupid does one need to be to think “tougher glass” means it can’t break?
    bigpicswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 56
    Death said:
    I wonder what do these youtubers do with the broken phones after drop tests?
    Use Apple Care to get the screen replaced cheap. Eat the cost of the back panel, or cover it with a case.
    edited September 20 bigpicswatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 56
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,429member
    Even though these YouTubers have conclusively proved that Apple products are garbage I’m still going to buy an iPhone Pro. Call me stupid. /s
    williamlondongilly33watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 56
    Is there such a thing as an adjustable case that can fit different size phones? That would make me feel better spending the money on one.
    I don’t know if there are any nowadays, but from prior experience I can tell you that you wouldn’t want one. Just keep the phone for a few years to amortize the cost.   Buy a cheap one online. 
    ricmacbigpics
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