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iPhone XR Dropping Test: How many cases have it taken to break?

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iPhone XS showed that it could take a blow in our drop test, but is the cheaper iPhone XR as strong?

At first glance, the iPhone XR shares many of the same features like its sophisticated siblings: edge to edge display, glass on both sides and a metal bumper, but it’s built slightly differently. For starters, the larger 6.1

-inch screen has a larger fragile surface than the 5.8 inch display on the iPhone XS. It is also enclosed in an aluminum frame instead of the stronger stainless steel that sweeps around the glass in the XS and XS Max.

The glass is also different. The screen is covered in the same glass as XS and XS Max, as Apple says is the “most durable glass ever in a smartphone”, but the backside is different. It’s stronger than last year’s iPhone X – which broke at the first drop of head height – but not as robust as that on the iPhone XS. And it has a single camera on the back with a slightly more pronounced bump.

To find out if and how this would affect the phone’s durability, we took our brand new, light yellow iPhone XR to the sidewalk for some real (non-scientific) drop tests, just like its older siblings before.


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Drop 1: Pitch height, screen down

I started with a drop from pockets, or about 3 meters (0.9 meters), the height at which many accidents occur. Same drop that broke last year’s iPhone X .

I released the iPhone XR screen to test the harder glass first. Unfortunately, it barely dug the screen because it had already landed, and it had already turned and the back broke down in the fall. Right side hit first and then bounced on the camera and turned up in the air for its last landing: the side of the screen down.

 drop1

 drop1

The background broke the case in this case by breaking the camera lens.


James Phellan / CNET

From where I stood it seemed as if he had survived without scratching, but when I picked it up, I noticed that the sapphire glass on the camera had a “C” shaped crack that ran from top to bottom with a white dangling on source. The aluminum frame also had some visible scratches on the side that scraped away the gold coating exposed to the silver below. The screen, on the other hand, did not look worse to wear a few spots around the edge of the screen that scratched off when I ran my fingers.

I took some test pictures with the camera and noticed that most of the shots looked pretty good despite the crack. Where the crack became apparent when recording a video, if the light hit it at the right angle.

With the screen and back glass still intact, I decided to continue with our drop test.

Droplet 2: Height, screen up

Since the screen did not hit the floor first on the last drop, I decided to release it again on the same side as 0.9 meters. This time it holds with both hands to better control the drop.

The upper part of the screen broke down in the fall, then pulled the right edge and bottom up, causing the phone to bounce up and rotate 180 degrees in the air until it landed again on the screen side down with the right right corner that touched the floor first.

 drop2

 drop2

The iPhone XR landed the screen side down on the second drop from 3 meters (1 meter).


James Phellan / CNET

Due to the amount of power that was put on the screen during the fall, I expected it to be harmful. But when I turned it over, the screen was good. It had some white lines around the edges of the glass, but most of them turned out to be cement particles and ripped off. There were still some small bumps in the glass on top of the screen, but nothing too noticeable.

Drop 3: Eye Level, Free Cases

To increase the effort, I took our iPhone XR up to eye level, or 5 feet (1.5 meters). This is about the height it would fall from your hands if you take a picture, another common situation.

I started with the phone on the scenery with my screen, how to keep the phone of course when you take a picture and let it fall.

The rear upper corner of the frame above the camera broke the autumn, then bounced it and hit the other edge of the frame, went back to the air and this time landed with the backside to the floor.

 drop3

 drop3

The aluminum frame on the iPhone XR took the most of the power from the initial fall from eye level.


James Phellan / CNET

There was no visible damage on the screen, but the scratches on the aluminum frame had multiplied, the worst was on the corner above the camera where the phone first hit. The back was still looking good, but a closer look revealed a small fracture in the lower left corner of the glass. Aside from the camera and the framed frame, this phone was still in combat.

Drop 4: Eye Level, Screen Side Down

For the final test, I decided to put the front glass through the ringtone and drop it on the screen down from the eye height (5 feet).

I knew it was bad the moment the phone hit the floor. It released a high dunk and even kicked up a small dust shooter, as it landed almost flat on the screen.

 drop4

 drop4

The iPhone XR landed so hard on the screen of this 5 foot drop that it even kicked some dust on the sidewalk.


James Phellan / CNET

And when I left it, I noticed a cluster of spider webs that stem from the earpiece outward. I could even feel the little glass screens that began to shave off ass, I ran my fingers over the top of the phone.

The back glass was still intact, but it marked the end of our drop test.

Breaken

It took four bad drops on the rough sidewalk to finally break the screen on our iPhone XR. Due to the nature of our tests, it is difficult to tell if the iPhone XS (which survived the fourth and final drop) is more durable than XR. I suspect that even the iPhone XS would have cracked after the face plant at the end. What is clear to me is that Apple has made the glass on its new phones stronger than its predecessors. Both iPhone XR and iPhone XS lasted more than last year’s iPhones 8 and X, and even some of their competitors .

Although iPhone XS has a small advantage in terms of surviving drops, the iPhone XR will cost you at least $ 250 dollars less. It is also cheaper to fix. If you replace the screen without AppleCare +, you get back $ 199 compared to $ 279 in iPhones XS and the $ 329 that costs to repair the 6.5-inch screen at XS Max. (You can find British prices and Australian prices here.)

The change of camera on the other hand does not get that easy. A broken lens falls under “other damage” which means that it will be 399 kronor which you must repair. What’s lonely is enough to put a sufficiently thick case on your iPhone XR to protect the camera.

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