iPhone SE More Fragile than iPhone 6s in SquareTrade Testing

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SquareTrade released the results of its iPhone SE testing, and it turns out the device was less strong than its larger siblings, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The iPhone SE bent, cracked, shattered, and drowned before the larger models in most of the tests.

As shown in the video below, iPhone SE bent at 160 lbs. of pressure, 10 pounds less force than it took to bend iPhone 6s. It suffered catastrophic failure at 178 lbs. of pressure, a narrower 2 lbs. less than needed to destroy the larger model.

iPhone SE also drowned in 5 feet of water faster than iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. It took just 1 minute of submersion before iPhone SE shut down, whereas iPhone 6s lasted for 30 minutes losing audio.

Other tests include a go with SquareTrade's TumbleBot, where iPhone SE suffered scuffs on the corner at 30 seconds. iPhone 6s was "unscathed" in the same period, and iPhone 6s Plus suffered a shattered screen.

Lastly, the company drop tested the device. All three current iPhone models lost their screens to a face-down drop from 6 feet onto the concrete. On corner drops, iPhone SE began cracking after 5 drops, which is shockingly good to me. 10 drops resulted in iPhone SE splitting down the side. What's fascinating is that iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus both had just cosmetic damage after 10 drops.

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My gut expected the smaller iPhone SE to be sturdier than its larger counterparts. That wasn't the case, which really just makes me respect iPhone 6s all that much more. Mind you, one model or another is likely to be the weakest of the family, I just didn't expect to be the SE.

It also goes to show that you should wrap your iPhone in a case, especially if you're going to be drowning it, dropping it, or letting it have a go in the dryer.

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Some folks seem to think this is some kind of significant problem.

CNET’s apparently alarmed take on this (“iPhone SE takes a step backward in bendability test”) provided a little more specific info:

“Apple’s new iPhone SE is at greater risk of catching the bends than its bigger brethren…
...Although the iPhone SE is thicker than the 6S or 6S Plus, ... SquareTrade said ... it needed only 160 pounds (73 kg) of pressure to bend it—10 pounds less than the 6S and 20 pounds less than the 6S Plus.

So, the iPhone SE needed only 94% (= 160/170 lbs) of the force it took to bend the 6S, & only 89% (= 160/180 lbs) of what it took to bend the 6S Plus.  I just don’t see why 5-10% greater bendability is such a significant problem

Lee Dronick

  I just don’t see why 5-10% greater bendability is such a significant problem

It is if you rely on bait to get clicks.

Paul Goodwin

None of the videos I watched of SquareTrade tests looked scientific at all. I wouldn’t put much faith into any of their results.

Supposedly the iPhone 5 had bend ability issues, but Consumer Reports found them to be among the best. It was higher than the iPhone 6 but I didn’t see numbers for the 6s or SE.

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