Breakability Test Pits iPhone 15 Pro Max Against Galaxy Z Fold5, Pixel Fold and More

Device insurance provider Allstate Protection Plans today shared the results of one of its annual device drop tests, and this time around, the company broke some of the most expensive smartphones on the market, including the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The drop and dunk tests included the $1,200 ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max, the $1,200 Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, the $1,799 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5, and the $1,799 Google Pixel Fold. These are the most expensive smartphone options from Apple, Google, and Samsung, and all of these phones are constructed from glass.

For these tests, Allstate dunked each smartphone in water for 30 minutes and then dropped them onto a sidewalk from six feet up using an apparatus to drop them from the same height and angle.

As all of these smartphones have decent water resistance ratings, they were working fine following the dunk test, but glass and concrete sidewalks don't mix well, so no smartphone fared well on the drop test.

In the front screen-down drop test, the ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max shattered on the first drop and was unusable with shards of raised and loose glass. The same thing happened to the Galaxy S23.

The Z Fold5 and the Google Pixel Fold were able to withstand two screen-down drops with frame damage, screen dents, and scuffing, which Allstate attributes to the raised lip around the interior edge of each display. Screen down in this case refers to the "main" screen visible when the device is opened. When the two smartphones were dropped on their closed outer displays, they both shattered.

In back-down drop tests, the ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra both shattered immediately. The ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max remained functional, but two of the cameras were no longer working because of damage to the camera glass.

Allstate Protection Plans has been doing these tests for years now on each iPhone generation, and there hasn't been a lot of improvement despite Apple's glass upgrades. Apple is using a stronger back glass and a "Ceramic Shield" material for the front, but glass is glass and it continues to break.

Drop tests are variable and the results depend on the angle the smartphone happens to fall at, the material it hits, the speed of the drop, and more. While Allstate Protection Plans uses the same variables for its tests, there's always an element of unpredictability and these experiments don't reflect real-world results.

It should come as no surprise that it's best not to drop a smartphone made of glass onto concrete. Apple sells a range of ‌iPhone‌ cases for customers to choose from, plus it offers AppleCare+, covering two incidents of accidental damage each year for a $29 deductible. ‌AppleCare‌+ is a good idea if you plan to go caseless.

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Top Rated Comments

Wildkraut Avatar
9 months ago
Somebody should test the IQ of all the drop testers.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jz0309 Avatar
9 months ago
so what does Allstate Protection Plans recommend? buy an insurance plan from them?

6ft is quite high, I think it would have been more helpful to see 3 or 4 ft ... but regardless, glass it will continue to be to enable wireless charging
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Motawa Avatar
9 months ago
so glass breaks? Holy crap!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zach-coleman Avatar
9 months ago

"But I don't drop my phone..."
"Not a real-world example..."
"Literally happens with all phones..."
"Just get AppleCare+..."

Typical responses from people who want to diminish or ignore this drawback of smartphones and now more so on the 15 Pro Max, presumably as purchase justification.

It's important to recognize the 15 Pro Max has reduced structural integrity compared to previous models due to the material choices and other physical characteristics, instead of burying the issue and distracting from it. This in turn will hold Apple accountable and fix the issues for the next generation iPhones.

I have an iPhone 15 Pro Max by the way.
Every smartphone in this video looks the exact same level of trashed after the drop test. Is Apple expected to have magic anti concrete technology no one else has? At least you can replace the back glass now without needing total device replacement.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zweigand Avatar
9 months ago

Why would someone drop it from 6 feet?
Indeed ...most drops happen from waist/table height.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
daneoni Avatar
9 months ago
Never dropped my phone to the point of shattering.

Owned almost every generation of iPhone (except 7 and 8)

Long may that continue. *fingers crossed*
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)