Scientific drop testing shows that iPhone 15 Pro Max glass is no more fragile — or more durable — than other premium phones.
Consumer drop testing for shock value or entertainent after major smartphone releases is a common sight online. While trials by YouTubers may typically be discounted over a lack of scientific rigor, some outlets do actually apply scientific rigor to their approaches.
In the latest publicized test, Allstate Protection Plans put the $1,199 iPhone 15 Pro Max against the $1,199 Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, $1,799 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5, and the $1,799 Google Pixel Fold. The insurer refers to it as the test of the “most expensive phones of the year.”
All four devices survived a dunk test, which involved being kept under six feet of water for 30 minutes.
For the drop test, each was dropped from six feet onto a sidewalk. However, unlike being submerged, all of the devices experienced trouble.
The front screen-down drop test for the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Galaxy S23 Ultra resulted in shattering on their first drops. Both were deemed unusable with raised and loose glass.
The Fold5 and Pixel Fold survived the main screen-down drop tests, handling two similar drops. Minor frame damage was encountered, along with corner scuffing and small screen dents.
For the back-down drop tests, the Pro Max and S23 Ultra again shattered on impact after a single drop. The Ultra was fully functional, but was only safe to do so when a case was used to cover the back panel.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max was also fully functional, barring the Main camera and Ultra Wide camera, which were shattered. Again, a case was needed to cover the rear.
The outer-screen-down drop tests for the Fold5 and Pixel Fold also resulted in shattering, with both displays unusable. The main screens were still fully functional, but were only safe to use when the outer screen panel wasn’t in contact with the skin.
“Even though the most advanced smartphones today are made with space age materials like titanium, Armor Aluminum, and Ceramic Shield screens, they’re still susceptible to damage when dropped on a concrete sidewalk,” said Allstate Protection Plans VP of marketing and global creative officer Jason Siciliano. “That’s especially troubling considering that our most recent survey shows that nearly half of Americans vastly underestimate the cost of smartphone repairs.”
It is reckoned that 93 million Americans damaged a smartphone in the last 12 months, spending a total of $17.4 billion on repairs and replacements. Approximately 47% believe a smartphone repair costs $1450 or less, despite the average cost being $209, with premium models like the Pro Max costing far more.
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