Apple made a big point of highlighting how much stronger the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are compared to their predecessor when announcing the handsets. It also boasted that the two could fend off water better than before thanks to reinforced IP68 water resistance.
Warranty firm SquareTrade put both these claims to the test in a series of evaluations. The first was a 6-foot drop test onto a sidewalk. The iPhone XS’ glass back fell apart instantly, with broken glass and splinters everywhere. The iPhone XS Max didn’t fare much better, shattering upon impact and loosening chunks of glass.
The devices were then flipped so that they fell on their face. The iPhone XS’ glass again couldn’t keep it together. The screen even stopped working. The iPhone XS Max performed a bit better, with just hairline fractures and loose glass. The display continued working though, a big plus.
The company also performed a side test to see how the stainless steel frames held up. They did a pretty good job of keeping everything intact. Sadly, nothing could protect the iPhones when they were subjected to a 60-second tumble test. Both suffered from hairline cracks, loose glass, and scratches.
iPhone XS, iPhone XS Beer Test
The iPhone XS was then put through a bend test using a machine which steadily applied pressure to it. It cracked at 250 pounds and the screen failed completely. SquareTrade tried something a bit different for the water resistance test. Instead of using water like it always does, it poured 138 cans of beer into a tank and dunked the phones.
This might sound bizarre, but there’s a good reason behind it. Apple specifically said that the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max could hold their own against beer. Turns out, the firm wasn’t kidding. The duo lived to see another day even after their 30-minute beer bath.
All-in-all, the iPhone XS got a breakability score of 86 (high risk) and the iPhone XS Max a score of 70 (medium risk). SquareTrade says the pair is stronger than the iPhone X, but they can still break because of all the glass at the front and back.