iPhone 11 is first phone to survive this brutal torture test

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iPhone 11 doesn't mind taking a tumble.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

We know Apple’s new iPhone 11 lineup is its toughest yet. And a number of rudimentary drop tests have already proven that. But what do more scientific torture tests tell us about its strength?

SquareTrade used a series of punishments to simulate real-world incidents that could damage your pricey new phone. It says iPhone 11 is the only handset to survive its brutal tumble test.

What makes the iPhone 11 lineup so strong isn’t completely clear. It uses a familiar aluminum or stainless steel frame sandwiched between two pieces of glass. But it’s near-unbreakable this time.

All Apple tells us is that those glass panels are precision milled from a single sheet of glass, and finished with a dual ion-exchange process for added strength. And, boy, are they impressive.

iPhone 11 torture tests continue

Previous drop tests have revealed it is incredibly difficult to break an iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max. But it’s not impossible. Using more scientific testing, SquareTrade was able to break them down.

Basic drops from 6 feet left all three handsets with shattered glass. Some even suffered cracked camera lenses. Deep dives into water also rendered the 11 and 11 Pro Max with bad audio.

But iPhone 11 Pro really proved its mettle in the tumble test, which sees each handset rolling around inside a rotating box for 60 seconds. It is the only smartphone to survive this test to date.

You should still use a case

“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,” said SquareTrade vice president and global creative director Jason Siciliano.

“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.”

All of these drop tests have confirmed the iPhone 11 isn’t entirely indestructible, however. And while its glass holds up incredibly well, its metal frame still scuffs and bends pretty easily.

You should probably still use a case to protect your pricey investment, then. But we can all be grateful that Apple is working to make our smartphones tougher.