The iPhone 7 is water resistant, but if you drop it, it will probably break

Your new iPhone 7 is water resistant for sure, but if you drop it the screen, it's just as breakable as ever.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
​SquareTrade carrying out a bend test of the iPhone 7.

SquareTrade carrying out a bend test of the iPhone 7. (Image: SquareTrade)

So, just how tough is the iPhone 7?

SquareTrade, extended warranty service provider for consumer electronics, tested the durability and water-resistance claims of the new Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus against the Samsung new Galaxy Note 7.

Four tests were carried out:

  • Water-resistance test: Both the iPhone 7 and Note 7 survived being dunked in water, but they both suffered from some muffled audio afterward.
  • Bend test: In SquareTrade's bend test, the iPhone 7 bent at 170 pounds of pressure, with the iPhone 7 Plus doing a little better, going to 180 pounds. This means that both matched the previous 6s generation for bend resistance. However, Samsung's Note 7 not only bent, but also cracked and became unusable after hitting 180 pounds of pressure.
  • Tumble test: After 30 seconds in SquareTrade's TumbleBot, the iPhone 7 suffered scuffed corners and a cracked camera lens, with the 7 Plus only suffering a small crack. The Note 7 suffered the most damage with cracks on all four corners and across its glass back.
  • Sidewalk drop test: This is where things get ugly. All three smartphones shattered on their first facedown drop. After the second drop, the iPhone 7 wouldn't turn back on. The third drop for the 7 Plus resulted in major screen malfunctioning rendering it unusable. After three corner drops, the iPhone 7 screen cracked and split along its side, while the 7 Plus had a shattered screen, and the Note 7 had a shattered back.

"The iPhone 7 generation is the first to compete with Samsung's water-resistant ratings in its latest smartphones," said Steve Abernethy, executive chairman at SquareTrade.

"After putting them to the test, there's no doubt the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus aren't scared of going for a little swim. Still, when it comes to surviving a sidewalk drop, we saw no improvement. Broken screens are still the leading cause of smartphone damage -- and both Apple and Samsung still have a lot of work to do."

Cool, new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus accessories

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