A respected consumer product test site has weighed in on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus ‘Bendgate’ controversy, and has found that while Apple’s new smartphones aren’t the strongest around, they’re not quite as weak as some are suggesting.
Internet hype would have you believe that you only need to put an iPhone 6 Plus or iPhone 6 in a snug back pocket, and it’ll come out at the end of the day shaped like a banana.
Consumer Reports is widely respected for its rigorous and honest consumer product tests, so many were interested to see what it would have to say on the issue.
This test involves the devices being suspended between to chocks of wood and struck in the unsupported middle with an increasing amount of force.
So how did the two under fire iPhones fare? The iPhone 6 Plus bent under 90 pounds of force, and was completely destroyed under 110. That made it a little tougher than the iPhone 6, which bent under 70 pounds of force and completely came apart at 100 pounds.
Of course, the most important thing is how they compared to the other devices in the test. All but one of the other devices tested were stronger, but there wasn’t a huge amount in it.
The smaller, chunkier iPhone 5 managed stand up to 130 pounds of force before bending, and 150 before coming apart. That made it the second toughest of the group, just behind the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 at 150 for both (in other words, it didn’t bend at all).
Sandwiched in between the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 Plus, the LG G3 came apart at 130 pounds of pressure (again, no bending). That means that the worst handset in the group was the HTC One M8, which bent at 70 pounds and came apart at 90 pounds.
So, while the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are certainly weaker than many of their rivals and predecessors, they’re not unusually weak. Indeed, the HTC One M8, which many consider to be the top example of premium handset design thanks to its solid unibody metal body, proved to be weaker than both – and there was certainly no controversy when that came out.
We imagine Samsung, which has just given in to public pressure to make its phones out of metal, doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.