What Does it Take to Bend Your New iPhone? 70–90 Pounds
Hopefully you haven’t spent the last few days freaking out about your brand-new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus purchase. We figure it’s probably tough to maintain composure when you have everyone telling you that looking at your smartphone the wrong way might bend its aluminum shell. Heaven forbid you put it in your pocket, where even the slightest misstep in sitting could crunch your iPhone 6 in half.
Consumer Reports recently put the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and a handful of other competing smartphones to the test—a will-it-blend bit of destruction, if you replace a crazy-powerful blender with a big device that’s designed to test just how much pressure these smartphones can take before they give out. The fancy term for the crunch test is called a “three-point flexural test.” In other words, the phone sits in place on two points, like a bridge between two posts, and a device pushes down into its center from the top.
The results? Apple’s iPhone 6 required less force to ruin than Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, but more force than what Apple itself has been claiming the iPhones can tolerate. According to those who attended a recent press tour of the company’s “torture lab” for its iPhones, an iPhone 6 can handle at least 25 kilograms of weight—around 55 pounds—in a similar three-point flexural test. Apple maintains the iPhone 6 can actually handle more weight than that, but didn’t specify how much.
According to Consumer Reports’s tests, the iPhone 6 only started to deform, warp, or otherwise look different than it normally does once the test applied 70 pounds of weight to the smartphone. The iPhone 6 Plus held out for slightly longer, deforming at around 90 pounds.
The screen began to come lose from the iPhone 6’s case a little bit earlier than the iPhone 6 Plus. At around 100 pounds applied to its center, the iPhone 6 achieved “case separation” status. It took 110 pounds for the same result on the iPhone 6 Plus.
To put these numbers into context, the iPhone 6’s deformation weight tied that of the HTC One (M8), but was quite a bit lower than the LG G3 (130 pounds), iPhone 5(130 pounds), and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (150 pounds)—the latter, seemingly to have been constructed out of adamantium, as it also took 150 pounds to separate the smartphone’s screen from its case. The LG G3 and iPhone 5 were also tougher when it came to screen separation, requiring 130 pounds and 150 pounds, respectively, to reach that point.
“Two days ago, the Internet erupted with photos of bent iPhone 6s, and a very-viral video of a guy creasing an iPhone 6 Plus with his bare hands. It seemed like a serious concern, yet everything about the uproar was highly unscientific. We don’t like unscientific, so we promised then that we would use our lab equipment to find out just how delicate the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus really are. We also promised to run the same tests on comparable smart phones. We’ve done that now, and our tests show that both iPhones seem tougher than the Internet fracas implies,” Consumer Reports concluded.