The iPhone XR, intentionally, was built of slightly less premium materials including 7000-series aerospace-grade aluminum and ion-strengthened glass on both sides. But the question remains, will it really shatter more easily than the XS?
Apple’s all-new iPhone XR and iPhone XS suffered about the same amount of “serious damage” in the latest drop testing conducted by mobile technology insurance provider, SquareTrade.
In comparison, the more premium-built iPhone XS and XS Max are comprised of a supposedly more durable stainless steel and glass-clad frame that’s touted as Apple’s strongest ever used. Apparently it makes little difference, though, as SquareTrade’s latest testing with the iPhone XR revealed similar results to the firm’s previous testing with iPhone XS.
When iPhone XR was subjected to the firm’s routine ‘face down drop test’ — at whence the device was unclenched to free-fall from a height of six feet onto solid concrete — the handset not only suffered a completely shattered LCD display, but, much like iPhone XS in the firm’s previous testing, the display malfunctioned and became unusable after just the first drop.
A similar test where the iPhone XR was dropped from six-feet on its back panel likewise resulted in complete shattering of the rear-facing glass, with particular emphasis around the handset’s rear-mounted camera lens.
“The LCD screen in the iPhone XR has a similar level of durability as the OLED screen featured in the iPhone XS and XS Max,” said Jason Siciliano, vice president and global creative director at SquareTrade.
“Our tests show that across the board – with both LCD and OLED screens – the all-glass designs of all three new iPhones are susceptible to cracking from drops, which is the most common cause of damage.”
Notably, iPhone XR went on to survive the firm’s stomach-churning bend test, at which the device outperformed the “more durable” iPhone XS, but performed on par with the larger iPhone XS Max. At a heavy 260 pounds of pressure, iPhone XR bent slightly, though it still remained functional.
The good news for iPhone XR owners is that while the device appears to be just as fragile as you’d expect of, essentially, a glass brick, it’s not quite as expensive to fix (out of warranty) as iPhone XS and XS Max are.
Still, if we’re to make anything meaningful of these results, it’s that regardless of the price you paid for your next-generation iPhone flagship, you’d likely be best served keeping it in a protective case as often as possible.