In what is most likely the first drop test of the new titanium iPhone 15 Pro, a reviewer flew to Sydney, Australia, and pitted the handset in a series of drops against the stainless steel iPhone 14 Pro.
It wasn’t pretty. In fact, after doing OK in a few little drops, how the iPhone 15 Pro fared in bigger drops was shocking — even disturbing. The older iPhone won, to say the least.
Early drop tests damage titanium iPhone 15 Pro far more than its stainless steel predecessor
In the YouTube video by AppleTrack’s Sam Kohl, the 6-foot-tall reviewer starts off with some waist-high drops of iPhone 15 Pro and 14 Pro on concrete in front of the Sydney Opera House. Watch it below.
“I flew all the way to Australia to get the iPhone 15 early and drop test it vs the iPhone 14 Pro!” He wrote on the video page. “And as it turns out … the titanium iPhone 15 Pro isn’t as strong as I thought it would be.”
That’s an understatement. In the video, he becomes increasingly flabbergasted at how badly the titanium phone handles the bigger drops.
Low drops did little harm
Both the iPhone 15 Pro and 14 Pro do fine in the first few drops on their edges, glass backs and screens, with barely a nick here and there.
But as the drops get higher, up around face-high, the new handset starts to get into trouble. Spiderweb cracking shows up first on the glass back. The iPhone 14 Pro just shows wear on the edges.
iPhone 14 Pro soon shows its mettle
Before it’s over, the entertaining video shows the iPhone 15 Pro developing cracks all over the front and back while the older handset looks almost perfect.
The reviewer seeks out higher and higher drops, eventually going to a roughly 40-foot drop from a walkway down to a plaza’s pavement. That’s a big drop for any phone, and it finally caused cracking on the iPhone 14 Pro’s front and back.
But the already-trashed iPhone 14 Pro saw its camera assembly pop out on the 40-footer. And its screen already had stopped functioning in the previous drops. Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Pro still worked fine even after the huge drop.
Rounded edges may be a problem
Kohl speculates in the video that iPhone 15 Pro’s rounded titanium edges may actually enable impact to spread cracks to the front and back glass more easily than iPhone 14 Pro’s straight stainless-steel banded edges.
For that or other reasons, the iPhone 14 Pro absorbed or perhaps deflected impact much better than the new handset.
It will be interesting to see what more carefully executed drop testing might reveal about iPhone 15 series handsets’ durability.
In the meantime, let’s just say if you buy a new iPhone 15, now’s not the time to experiment with going without a case.