The big picture: Launch weekend is in the books for Apple’s new iPhone 11 family of smartphones and right on schedule, we’re starting to see the first batch of third-party durability tests hit the web. While there aren't any major surprises either way, Apple's rear glass does seem to be as durable as the company touted.
Zack from JerryRigEverything performs his usual battery of tests on the iPhone 11 Pro Max, starting with the scratch test. As you can see, the iPhone’s screen exhibits scratching at a level six on the Mohs’ hardness test. It should be strong enough to avoid scratches from keys, coins and razor blades, however.
Apple’s new iPhone 11 Pro Max carries an IP68 rating against liquid but as Zack highlights, Apple takes it a step further by guaranteeing the phone should withstand a depth of four meters for up to 30 minutes. Most phones with an IP68 rating are only good to a depth of two meters.
The rear glass on the new handset is also rated at a level six meaning a standard razor blade isn’t going to damage it. Coins, keys and other pieces of metal appear to scratch the glass but in actuality, the glass back is wearing down the materials and leaving behind a dusty residue that wipes away clean.
SquareTrade, meanwhile, starts off by drop testing the new iPhone 11 from a distance of six feet onto concrete face-first. Unsurprisingly, the front glass shatters on the first drop. The iPhone 11 Pro fared worse, as the screen not only cracked, but malfunctioned – and the camera broke. The 11 Pro Max met a similar fate with a busted and malfunctioning screen, proving that glass still breaks like glass despite years of research into hardening.
Going back-first at a height of six feet wrecked all three iPhones as well.
When testing the liquid repelling capabilities of the new iPhones, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro Max exhibited audio distortion after a 30 minute soak at a depth of five feet, calling into question Apple’s claim that the phones could withstand being submerged in up to four meters of liquid for half an hour (the base model iPhone 11 is only rated to two meters for 30 minutes). The 11 Pro suffered no damage in this test.
In the 60-second tumble test, the iPhone 11 sustained a cracked back while the 11 Pro only had minimal corner scuffs. It is the first iPhone ever to survive the tumble test, SquareTrade said. The larger 11 Pro Max suffered from a cracked back and loose glass. And in the bend test, the 11 bent at 240 pounds of pressure, the 11 Pro gave way at 251 pounds and the 11 Pro Max caved at 232 pounds, not surprising considering it is the longest of the three.
All things told, the iPhone 11 received a breakability score of 73 (medium-high risk), the iPhone 11 Pro got a 65 (medium risk) and the iPhone 11 Pro Max a score of 85 (high risk).