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SquareTrade: iPhone 11 Pro lives up to Apple’s improved durability claims

When Apple unveiled three new iPhone 11 models, it boasted their designs would deliver superior durability and water resistance.

SquareTrade, an Allstate company and highly rated protection plan provider, tested these iPhones, finding one model performed better than its predecessors on SquareTrade’s Breakability Score. The full Breakability Score video can be found here and reveals:

  • Tumble Tests: iPhone 11 Pro is the first smartphone to survive the SquareTrade tumble test with virtually no damage. The glass back panels of both the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro Max cracked during the test. Loose glass was visible on the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

  • Bend Tests: iPhone 11 and 11 Pro bent at around 250lbs of pressure, a similar bending point to the iPhone X. However, neither iPhone 11 or 11 Pro cracked while bending, showing added durability. The larger iPhone 11 Pro Max cracked at 230 pounds of pressure and was unusable.

  • Dunk Test: iPhone 11 Pro survived 30 minutes in five feet of water with no damage. The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro Max suffered audio distortion issues after the test, which continued after drying out.

  • Face-Down Drop Tests: All three iPhone 11 models cracked on their first face-down sidewalk drop test. The iPhone 11 shattered, resulting in loose glass. The iPhone 11 Pro shattered and its screen malfunctioned. The iPhone 11 Pro Max shattered, its screen malfunctioned, and it became unusable.

  • Back-Down Drop Tests: All three iPhone 11 models cracked on their first back-down sidewalk drop test. iPhone 11 shattered causing damage to its camera lenses. iPhone 11 Pro shattered resulting in severe damage around the camera lenses and loose glass to appear. iPhone 11 Pro Max cracked causing damage to the camera lens. The camera continued to function on all models.

  • Repairability: SquareTrade’s Master Technician found that repair efforts for the Phone 11 are similar to iPhone 8. However, with additional battery connections, pull tabs and screws, iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max may require more time to repair than other iPhone models.

“After our robots dropped, dunked, tumbled and bent the devices, we found the new iPhone 11 Pro to be the most durable iPhone we’ve tested in generations,” says Jason Siciliano, vice president and global creative director at SquareTrade. “It’s the first smartphone to survive our tumble test, which simulates the effects of multiple, random impacts experienced by a smartphone during long-term use. That’s a real achievement when it comes to durability. However, dropping any of the new iPhone 11 models on a sidewalk without a case, face-down or back-down, can still cause serious damage, as we saw with our drop tests.”

The SquareTrade Breakability Score, introduced in 2013, gives consumers an unbiased view of smart devices’ durability and how they live up to the rigor of our everyday lives. It considers physical characteristics of devices, such as size, components and the materials that effect repairability, as well as how they perform in robotic tests. Consumers gain confidence knowing that their device can handle life’s everyday hardships.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.