“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.”
So begins a new report at Consumer Reports describing the results of its tests of the true bend-ability of the iPhone 6. The tests found that the two new iPhones withstood significantly more stress before bending than Apple requires before giving its stamp of approval.
Nor were Apple’s new phones the first to bend and break compared to other popular phones.
A storm of reports emerged this week about the sturdiness of the new devices, as well as a very viral video of some dude bending an iPhone 6 with his bare hands.
Apple said it has received only nine complaints on the issue. Two engineers close to Apple told me they’d be surprised if there was any real problem, but acknowledged that it was an embarrassment for Apple.
Consumer reports is all about hands-on, scientific testing (thats why we love ‘em), and its lab tests suggest that all the hand-wringing over the bendability of the phone may have been a bit trumped up.
The testing firm tested the flex strength of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus against that of four other popular phones — the HTC Once, the LG L3, the iPhone 5, and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3.
Consumer Reports used a flex testing machine very similar to the one Apple uses to test iPhones. Apple’s tests bend the iPhone using 55 pounds of force.
The testers started by applying 55 pounds of stress to the iPhone 6s and the other phones, then increased the pressure in 10-pound increments. It then noted when each phone bent or “deformed,” and when the case separated from the glass screen.
Here’s what CR’s testers found:
The only real way to know if the iPhone 6s are durable enough is the “real-life pocket test,” in which owners of the devices carry them in their pockets for a year or so. I suspect that very few will report bent phones, unless their pocket happens to collide with a moving vehicle. Or would that be Apple’s fault, too?