After putting the iPhone SE through hell, torture test concludes it has some growing up to do

Shawn Knight

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Apple’s new iPhone SE recently spent some time with the warranty experts over at SquareTrade for some torture testing. The results? The handset has some growing up to do.

In the deep water dunk test, the iPhone SE lost audio immediately and bricked in less than a minute. In comparison, the iPhone 6s survived a full 30 minutes (although it did lose audio) while the larger iPhone 6s Plus succumbed to the elements around the 10-minute mark.

After a 30-second stint in SquareTrade’s tumble bot, the SE sustained only minor scuffing on its corners. The iPhone 6s survived without damage while the larger 6s Plus came out with a shattered display.

Taking the testing outdoors, the team dropped Apple’s smartphone lineup face-down from a height of six feet. The screens on all three phones shattered on the first drop.

When dropped on its side from the same height, the iPhone SE’s screen started cracking and splitting after five drops. By the 10th and final drop, the screen’s right side had completely separated from the chassis. After 10 drops, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus had only cosmetic damage when dropped on their sides.

Despite being thicker, the iPhone SE wasn’t very sturdy in the bend test. The new phone bent at 160 pounds of pressure which is 10 pounds less than the 6s and 20 pounds less than the 6s Plus. It reached catastrophic failure at 178 pounds.

All things considered, the iPhone SE earned a 5.5 medium risk rating, slotting between the iPhone 6s with a score of four and the iPhone 6s Plus with a score of 6.5 (the higher the score, the riskier the device).

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What a series of useless metrics and wasteful destruction. Evaluating objects on their durability against forces they were never designed to withstand provides absolutely no useful data. It's like crashing two SUVs into one another at 240mph each (480mph combined forces) and claiming they're unsafe despite going nearly twice the upper speed limit.

Realistic tests against puddles/sinks/toilets, and drops from table or waist height onto tile/concrete/tarmac, and crushing them against planar surfaces at bodyweight (200lbs?) would be much more insightful. How many people are losing iPhone into 6ft depths of water, dropping them from head height?
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