iPhone XS And XS Max Get Put Through First Few Drop Tests Following Release

Are Apple's new flagship phones more durable than last year's iPhone X?

iPhone XS And XS Max Get Put Through First Few Drop Tests Following Release
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Are Apple's new flagship phones more durable than last year's iPhone X?

The iPhone XS and XS Max were released on Friday, and it didn’t take long for results of initial third-party drop tests to emerge, as a YouTube channel and tech website have both shared their findings on whether Apple’s two new flagships live up to the company’s claim of having the “most durable glass ever in a smartphone.”

On Thursday, just one day prior to the iPhone XS and XS Max’s release date, YouTube channel TechSmartt performed a drop test on the two new phones, comparing them against last year’s flagship iPhone X and dropping all three devices from varying heights. As recapped by Mashable, the phones were relatively unscathed after being dropped from pocket height, but when dropped from head height, results began to vary, as the iPhone X’s glass got cracked, the iPhone XS Max suffered from “ugly” scratch marks, and the iPhone XS was again undamaged for the most part.

When TechSmartt dropped the three iPhones from 10 feet above the ground onto the concrete, the iPhone X suffered “additional damage” and the XS Max got further cracks in the upper left corner of the front glass panel. The iPhone XS, on the other hand, escaped with very little damage, if any at all, despite the precipitous drop.

Separate from TechSmartt, CNET senior editor Vanessa Hand Orellana subjected the iPhone XS, but not the XS Max and/or the iPhone X, to an extensive drop test, dropping it from four heights as she also referenced Apple marketing head Phil Schiller’s claim that the XS and XS Max have glass panels with unprecedented durability. She did, however, mention that the iPhone X did not do too well in a similar test conducted last year, as the device cracked after being dropped from three feet, or pocket height.

With a brand new iPhone XS in her possession, CNET’s Orellana dropped the device screen side down and screen side up from pocket height, and only found a few scuffs and scrapes on the phone after both drops. The third drop, which was an eye level, or five-foot “free fall,” saw the iPhone XS suffer a few additional dents on the top left corner of the frame, but as Orellana observed, the rest of the device “looked exactly the same,” without any major damage.

Lastly, in the eye level/screen side down drop test, the iPhone XS received even more dents but remained intact and in working condition, with the cement debris on the camera lens easily wiping off.

“Does that mean that the iPhone XS glass is stronger? That’s a tough call to make, given the nature of our tests. But I can tell you it fared significantly better than last year’s iPhone X, which ended up with cracks on both sides and tiny pieces of glass falling off the edges after only two drops from hip height,” Orellana wrote.

With all that in mind, both Mashable and CNET stressed that results of iPhone drop tests may vary, with the latter publication adding that users would still be better off buying a case for their iPhone XS or XS Max, given how screen replacements could cost a few hundreds of dollars without AppleCare+ coverage.