Bottom Line: Phone durability put to the test

Published: Oct. 24, 2023 at 8:33 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - I think we can all agree that smartphones are expensive.

So you want one that can handle everyday use and abuse without having to be repaired or replaced.

That’s why Consumer Reports puts every phone in its ratings through some pretty tough durability testing.

CR recently made headlines when it tested Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max to see if online claims that it broke easily were true.

Testers did CR’s updated bend test and standard drop test but found no structural problems with the 15 Pro Max. The other three iPhone 15 models passed the drop test as well.

As it does with every phone it tests, CR dropped them 100 times in a tumbler lined with stone at each end to simulate waist-high falls onto concrete.

All phones also go through a rain test, and those that manufacturers claim to be water-resistant go through a dunk test in a meter or more of water for 30 minutes, depending on the claim.

Phones that fold are put through a test that opens and closes them 30,000 times.

Along with choosing a phone that does well in CR’s durability tests, there are things you can do to help protect your pricey device.

With phones costing more than $1,000, it may make sense to get a case or a screen protector to protect your investment. You don’t have to pay a lot to get a great one.

Here’s what you want to look for:

  • A raised edge around the screen to protect the glass from a face-down flop.
  • Raised edges around the rear camera housing to protect the lenses.
  • Padded corners, preferably with an “air gap” to protect the phone from impact.
  • Consider a case with texture or grip so your phone is less likely to slip from your hands.
  • Remember that “military grade” may just be a marketing ploy for some cases.
  • Look for a case with a warranty. OtterBox, LifeProof, and Speck offer them.

If you’re still worried about your phone getting damaged, you could consider insurance like AppleCare Plus or one from your carrier.

CR says the higher the price of your device, the more it might make sense to pay for a little piece of mind.

“Consumer Reports TV News” is published by Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization that does not accept advertising and does not have any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter!

Click here to report a spelling or grammar error. Please include the headline.