Apple’s most expensive smartphone, the £999 iPhone X, is also its most fragile, according to drop and tumble testing.
Despite Apple’s claims of the iPhone X having “the most durable glass ever in a smartphone”, warranty provider and habitual drop-tester SquareTrade concluded after a series of 61.8-metre drop and tumble tests that the top-end smartphone is the “most breakable, highest-priced, most expensive to repair iPhone ever”.
Dropped on to its side from this height on to concrete, the glass of the screen of the iPhone X survived, but the display malfunctioned and the essential home swipe gesture stopped being recognised. When dropped face down from the same height, the screen’s glass shattered, the display malfunctioned and Face ID stopped working, while a drop on to its back saw the rear glass shatter and splinter.
Tumbled for 60 seconds in a wooden rotating box similarly shattered and splintered the back panel, but also broke the home swipe gesture and Face ID. It’s worth noting thatSquareSpace also found Samsung’s Galaxy S8 glass to be similarly fragile, but that the screen and features continued to work with broken glass.
Technology site Cnet saw similar damage from a three-foot drop test, with glass breaking on the front and back on the iPhone X, but the screen and other bits continued to work. Others found that the iPhone X fared a little better than the larger iPhone 8 Plus in some tests, mainly around the back glass smashing.
Either way, all testers recommended immediately putting the £999 iPhone X in a protective case, particularly given repairs cost more than any other iPhone, with screen repair costing £286.44 and any other damage costing £556.44 to fix.
At the same time display testing outfit DisplayMate looked at the iPhone X’s display – the first OLED screen on an Apple smartphone, and made by Samsung – concluding that not only is it the best performing display on an iPhone, but it beats the competition from Samsung’s own smartphones too.
Dr Raymond M Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies Corporation, said: “Based on our extensive lab tests and measurements, the iPhone X becomes the best performing smartphone display that we have ever tested, earning DisplayMate’s highest ever A+ grade. The iPhone X is an impressive display with close to textbook perfect calibration and performance.”