What will be required to break the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro glass? I ponder this question after these devices have been put on drop test on hard concrete each time through four drop tests and the glass still would not break. But it doesn’t mean that the devices have been innocuous.
Kaiann Drance, Senior Manager of Product Marketing in Apple at the September event confirmed the iPhone 11 glass was “the hardest yet on the front and back of a handset.” We are aware that “Corning”, the firm behind Gorilla Glass, has designed the Glass for the iPhone.
This is not the first time such statements have been made by Apple. Marketing CEO Phil Schiller said last year that the iPhone XS has “the most durable glass.” We dropped the phone onto the pavement four times, and the glass had not broken.
However, unlike iPhone XS the iPhone XR couldn’t handle the drop test. The screen cracked on the fourth fall.
With this year’s drop test, we decided to change things. We developed a system that made each device fall onto the screen and back to keep falls as smooth as possible. Even though the drop-down system did not guarantee that the phones would land every time, it allowed us to experiment in controlled fashion.
Such trials are clearly not conclusive but provide us a glimpse into how the iPhone 11 and 11 pro behave when fall without a cover.
After every fall, we checked:
- If the display still operated.
- Back and camera for cracks or scratches
- The display for cracks or scratches
Drop Test 1: 3 Feet
For the first fall we dropped the iPhone 11 to fall from the screen side. The handset did not cracked at all when it fell from the display side after falling from 3 foot (1 meter) that is about a hip (or pocket) distance in general.
The same result is provided by the iPhone 11 Pro. No noticeable harm was reported and everything operated still as before drop test.
With both devices, we replicated the fall, but devices were dropped on their back this time. No damage was reported.
Drop test 2: 6 Feet
We took the both smartphones at 6 foot~2 m and replicated the same falls for the next round.
The iPhone 11 succeeded in drop test 2 from 6 feet and had no damage at all.
Nevertheless, the tests for the iPhone 11 Pro are slightly different. We could see a small area discolored and distorted pixels at the bottom after the display had fallen down on the first fall from 6 feet. The glass itself, though, had no defects and the display was working normally.
Drop Test 3: 8 Feet
I wanted to take these devices even further, so we set drop test height to the max 8 feet~3 m.
The glass did not crash when the iPhone 11 fell on its display. Nevertheless, it incurred other damages when falling on the backside: a slight scratch on the aluminum bumper and a mark on the upper side of the camera. The good news is, camera worked properly after the fall.
This time up on the screen, the iPhone 11 Pro first dropped on its side and had a couple of more distorted pixels. Like the iPhone 11, the camera housing sustained some minor cosmetic damage.
Although it is doubtful that you would drop the mobile higher than this one, we brought it to the next stage— they were still functional and no indications of cracks were seen from the window.
Drop Test 4 & final: 11 Feet
We agreed to the final drop test as high as we could to make it the final round: 11 feet~4 meters.
Only once from this height, we dropped the iPhone 11 on the display side. The iPhone 11 first fell down in a corner and landed on the side of the screen after a slight flip. The iPhone 11 Pro dropped on its side first, turned around and dropped on back.
On the front or back, the glass did not crash again of iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11. Once we opened the Camera app, the rear camera of the iPhone 11 stopped working and revealed a black screen, while TrueDepth camera was perfect. I restarted the mobile again and the camera showed still a black screen.
The SIM card tray of the iPhone 11 Pro came out when it dropped but we pushed it in later. I traced the hand around the phone’s rim and found a little bulge that wasn’t flat with the stainless steel casing. The back of the mobile also had a discoloring zone.
The Breakdown Overview
Does Apple assembled the strong glass in the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 than on existing iPhones? It is a tough call as our previous tests have not been carried out in the same fashion. But it indicates that devices this year are much more likely than they thought to survive falls before.
Whilst neither device crashed as we saw in previous years, the pixel of the iPhone 11 Pro was broken and the rear camera of the iPhone 11 was stopped working during our final fall.
The company stated:” iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro are all crafted from the finest glass ever supplied to the front and back by the smartphone industry. We also urge you to put a safety case on your mobile for the absolute peace of mind, because compensations for the damages can be expensive: up to $329 for the display and $599 for the back.