In its latest series of torture tests, extended warranty specialist SquareTrade decided to find out which sumo-sized smartphone was the toughest.
SquareTrade Labs thoroughly abused five plus-sized mobile phones — the latest three Samsung Galaxies and both Apple iPhone 6s — to identify which ones can take a licking and keep on clicking. The company bent the handsets, dropped them, and dunked them in water.
The Winner: The Samsung Galaxy 6. It survived nearly every test. The phone voted most likely to end up with a shattered screen and a sobbing owner: The Apple iPhone 6 Plus, which was abysmal at nearly every physical test, especially repeated drops.
The test results, on a scale from 1 (best) to 10 (worst). (All images courtesy of SquareTrade)
All of these tests were conducted by Square Trade, which also selected which models to test. (So don’t blame us if you don’t like the results or your favorite megamobile was left out.) Here’s the tale of the tape.
The unbendable Galaxy 6
Square Trade deployed its new “Bend-bot” machine to apply gradually increasing amounts of pressure to the surface of each wide-yet-wafer-thin handset. The Samsung Galaxy 6 survived 110 pounds of pressure before its plastic began to deform, as did the Galaxy 5.
The Edge fared badly, suffering a cracked screen; the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus screens survived, but each handset retained a slight bend afterward, and the iPhone 6′s case had begun to come apart.
(Samsung has disputed the results of SquareTrade’s bendability tests, whose results were released last week, claiming the tests did not represent realistic usage.)
The lesson here? Take your phone out of your back pocket before you sit down, nimrod.
Sliding into home: Samsung Galaxy S5
This test measures the likelihood that tossing your mobile on a conference room table in a manner to convey just how cool you are will result in a cracked screen and one very sad hipster.
The slide is the only torture test in which the Samsung Galaxy 6 did not outperform the competition, due to its smooth glass exterior. (The plastic S5 performed best, thanks to its all-plastic case.)
The good news: The Galaxy 6, 6 Edge, and iPhone 6 Plus are all excellent choices when playing smartphone shuffleboard.
Dunk driving: Samsung has a slight edge
As summer approaches, the odds that you’ll drop that pricey pocket computer into a body of water dramatically increase. Fortunately, all five handsets were able to emerge from a 10-second dip under three inches of water in good working condition. The iPhones, however, did briefly exhibit slight audio problems after being submerged — kind of like having water in your ears.
Even so, we wouldn’t recommend going deep-sea diving with any of these puppies. They’re at best water-resistant, not waterproof.
Drop ‘em like they’re hot
In the final and most important test, SquareTrade dropped each phone six times from a height of six feet. The Galaxy 6, Edge 6, and iPhone 6 all emerged a little scuffed but otherwise no worse for the wear — good news for butter-fingered geeks the world over.
The Galaxy 5 also survived, but its rear plastic cover repeatedly popped off. The iPhone6 Plus’s case came apart on the final drop; 30 minutes after the tests were completed, it stopped working entirely. That earned it a solid 10, the worst possible score on SquareTrade’s scale.
Kids, don’t try this at home.
Reach Dan Tynan here at ModFamily1@yahoo.com.