Is the iPhone X Apple’s most fragile handset yet?

The new iPhone X has been released amid much fanfare, as this seems to have been the most highly anticipated Apple product for some time. While people may have been lining up to purchase it, some have an ulterior motive: to smash it.

This is all in the name of consumer awareness, of course; not many people would pay the nearly £1,000 price tag just to break the iPhone X. The people and organisations in question aim to discover how fragile the new handset is by performing a range of experiments, most commonly a drop test.

This is as it sounds. The user drops the device from a certain height to see how much damage it takes. Several have been performed on the iPhone X already, with a range of different results, but one organisation is calling the handset the most breakable iPhone ever based on their tests.

SquareTrade conducted several tests, but the first – and perhaps most significant – was the drop from six feet in the air. The organisation uses a robot arm to ensure all devices are subject to the same circumstances, and performed drops onto the front, back and side of the device.

None of the results were good, as each drop left the device unresponsive. Landing on the front caused the phone's screen and TrueDepth sensor array to stop working, while the back completely shattered when it landed on its rear. Being dropped onto its side also caused the screen to become unresponsive.

SquareTrade also performed a tumble test, putting the iPhone X in a spinning drum akin to a washing machine for 60 seconds. The result was yet again a broken phone, this time due to the swipe-to-unlock gesture failing to function.

That's not to say the iPhone X failed all of SquareTrade's tests. The device fared well in the company's test of how bendable it was, as well as its waterproofing. In fact, the phone continued to function until it was submerged in water for around 30 minutes. However, its overall breakability led to the organisation dubbing it the most breakable iPhone ever.

Not everyone has arrived at the same conclusions. CNET found the iPhone X was relatively hard to scratch, but its own drop tests – from a height of three feet this time – led to the device's glass cracking severely. However, the phone was still functional after this experiment.

Responding to CNET, an Apple statement read: “The new iPhone is designed to be durable, but not indestructible, and goes through rigorous real world testing. iPhone X is made from the most durable glass ever in a smartphone.

“If anyone is concerned about dropping their iPhone and damaging it, we suggest using one of the many beautiful cases available to protect iPhone.”

There have been several other drop tests performed on the iPhone X. YouTuber EverythingApplePro dropped the device from the height of his head repeatedly and found it suffered only minor superficial damage, although this was not as scientific an experiment as SquareTrade's was.

Another YouTuber going by the name of TechRax performed a similar test, dropping the iPhone X twice. Despite a number of significant cracks in the front and rear of the device, it continued to work after the impacts.

Out of all these tests, SquareTrade's seems to be the most rigorous and consistent. However, it is worth noting that its drop test, from a height of six feet, is relatively unrealistic as few people would hold their iPhone that high above the ground.

Nevertheless, the tests all highlight how important it is to be careful with your new phones. Investing in a protective case seems like a good idea, especially as the cost of a new iPhone screen can easily reach £300. Apple's standard warranty doesn't cover accidental damage either, although AppleCare+ does cover some of the cost.

Written by Mazuma

Mazuma Mobile is the UK's most trusted mobile phone recycling service.

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