iPhone SE: Small, but fragile

The new iPhone SE might be much smaller than the iPhone 6S or 6S Plus, but it turns out it's also a lot more vulnerable to some kinds of damage.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

While the iPhone SE may be an iPhone 6S in a smaller body, tests carried out by protection plan firm SquareTrade suggest that it doesn't have the durability of the larger iPhones.

Here are the conclusions drawn from the testing:

  • The iPhone SE is not bendproof: Despite the thicker body, the iPhone SE bent at 160 pounds of pressure. The thinner iPhone 6S took 10 pounds more to start bending. The iPhone SE hit catastrophic failure at only 178 pounds, which is two pounds less than the amount of pressure needed for the iPhone 6S Plus to start to bend.
  • The iPhone SE doesn't like water: Submerged under five feet of water in the Deep Water DunkBot, the iPhone SE permanently shut off in less than a minute. In comparison, the iPhone 6S survived a full 30 minutes and only lost audio. The iPhone 6S Plus started malfunctioning at 10 minutes and eventually died.
  • The iPhone SE doesn't mind going for a tumble: The iPhone SE sustained minor scuffs on its corners after 30 seconds within the TumbleBot. Meanwhile, the iPhone 6S Plus suffered a shattered screen and was completely unusable after its turn. The iPhone 6S with its 7000 series aluminum was the only one to survive unscathed.
  • The iPhone SE, like other iPhones, doesn't like being dropped onto its screen : The iPhone SE shattered after its first facedown drop from six feet high, just like the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.
  • The iPhone SE is particularly vulnerable to corner drops: After five drops on its corner, the iPhone SE started cracking across its screen. By the tenth drop, the phone had completely split along its side. Meanwhile, the bigger 6S and 6S Plus only had minor cosmetic damage after 10 drops.

Here's a video of the testing:

What this means is that the iPhone SE sits between the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus in terms of durability.

So don't drop your new iPhone SE!

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