iPhone SE Drop Test: See How Quick the ‘Toughest Glass’ Cracks

iPhone SE Drop Test: See How Quick the ‘Toughest Glass’ Cracks

It truly is a time-honored tradition listed here at CNET to fall new phones on the ground  — on goal. So when Apple proclaimed that the new 5G-enabled Iphone SE is created with “the toughest glass in a smartphone,” the natural way my ears perked up.

The Apple Apple iphone SE is an update to the 2020 version, but most of its adjustments are on the inside of. The cellphone has the exact system layout as the 2020 SE and the Iphone 8, which include the throwback home button.

CNET’s Patrick Holland calls the new Iphone SE a minimal-value way to get an Apple iphone with a common style but get advancements like the tougher glass and the A15 Bionic processor from the Apple iphone 13. But newer characteristics like Confront ID or MagSafe are not integrated in this cell phone.

The unbroken iPhone SE before testing

Remember what it seemed like when we began.

Chris Parker/CNET

The glass may well be the most important adjust for anyone concerned about the toughness of the telephone, even if it really is not particularly new. It is the same glass that’s applied on the back again of the Apple iphone 13 and the Apple iphone 12 lines. But on the SE, it is applied on the entrance and back.

The front glass of the new Apple iphone SE does vary from the Apple iphone 12 and Iphone 13 line, having said that, with Apple deciding upon to use glass from earlier Iphone strains instead of Apple’s Ceramic Shield coating as seen on the Apple iphone 12 and Apple iphone 13. We put that Ceramic Defend glass to the exam for the duration of our Iphone 12 drop examination, in the course of which the monitor emerged almost unscathed when the back again did get a few cracks.

That change in display screen substance became clear fairly speedily as we began testing.

Fall 1

For the to start with fall, I held the Apple iphone SE at close to pocket-peak, or about 3 toes from the ground, and dropped it screen down.

Some could possibly say the exam was around at this point, considering that the glass masking the display endured numerous cracks from major to base. Nevertheless the display screen was nevertheless purposeful, the glass was jagged enough in sites that cutting my finger was a distinct likelihood.

Drop 1 results: The front is looking dangerous, but it's still technically usable.

Chris Parker/CNET

Even though the entrance of the mobile phone was essentially ruined at this issue, the back was continue to pristine, so I pressed forward.

Drop 2

For fall No. 2, I stayed at the exact 3-foot mark and dropped the phone on its shiny Merchandise Purple back again. Or at least I tried.

On my initial try, the mobile phone landed proper on the top edge of the aluminum frame and cartwheeled towards my ft. It only suffered a pair of little scuff marks on the body and no harm to the back glass, so I declared a do-above. My test, my principles.

Drop 2a was relatively a lot more exact, but the aspect of the cellphone absorbed most of the impression. 

Drop 2: Scuffed the corners, some more cracks, but the back is strong still.

Chris Parker/CNET

At this point, the back again of the cellphone only showed a compact crack in the glass up in the vicinity of the digicam lens and some slight scuffing around the edges. Not undesirable, thinking of it experienced been dropped three situations now.

The entrance of the telephone continued to deteriorate. Cracking was important around the overall screen. On the bottom appropriate corner, smaller items of glass ended up starting up to come off totally, however the display screen continued to purpose generally.

The lesson so much seemed to be if you might be going to drop the Apple iphone SE, try and purpose for the again.

Drop 3

Conventional process at this stage is to alter the top to 6 feet and continue on dropping. Considering the fact that the front was this kind of a mess by now, I opted to skip that aspect and fall it on the back side from 6 toes in its place.

What adopted was however a different case of operator error, as the phone landed solidly on the top rated ideal corner of the body as an alternative of flat on its back glass. A further brief inspection confirmed just one thin crack rising on the higher element of the back again glass.

I was positive I had a far better fall in me, so named an audible and went once again.

What we will simply call Drop 3a now (or technically No. 5) was not my ideal work, but I permit it pass. Largely because I couldn’t convey myself to punish this cellphone any more.

Cracked Product Red backing of 2022 iPhone SE: There are spiderwebbed cracks all along the lower back half

Chris Parker/CNET

The bottom half of the back of the cell phone formulated a major established of cracks that cascaded from still left to proper. Two much larger cracks intersected on the upper-ideal corner. Practically nothing a great circumstance could not address up, as extensive as the front was Alright. Of course, it really is not.

Drop 3a or 5, depending on the count: The front looks really bad. You may cut yourself on this phone right now.

Chris Parker/CNET

There was now a gaping hole in the front glass to the ideal of the house button. Comprehensive pieces of glass had fallen out, and I could see instantly into the guts of the cellular phone beneath the black bezel. Astonishingly more than enough, the Retina High definition exhibit was nevertheless working and reacting to touch controls. Finest to preserve swiping to a minimum while.

Invoking the mercy rule

Ordinarily at this point, I would climb up on the stepladder to fall the mobile phone from 9 toes, but I determined there was not much stage. The Apple iphone SE experienced endured adequate. Our Iphone 8 fall exam, which is the very last time we run a drop take a look at on a phone with this design, was in the same way remarkable.

So this was rarely a excellent day for my Apple iphone SE, but does that mean this is not truly “the toughest glass in a smartphone”? I are not able to seriously say a single way or the other. This isn’t really a scientific examination conducted underneath controlled situations. It can be just an experiment to exhibit what might take place if you do what I did. But maybe Apple must have splurged and applied Ceramic Shield immediately after all. 

As normally, the most important takeaway from these experiments is that no make any difference how challenging the glass is meant to be, the best way to shield your expense is to put your telephone in a circumstance. 

And it would appear Apple concurs. When arrived at for remark, an Apple spokesperson said “Iphone SE gives wonderful sturdiness and is secured by the hardest glass in a smartphone on the front and back again. All designs have gone by way of rigorous real-entire world testing and are designed to be durable, but not indestructible. If any person is worried about dropping their Iphone and harmful it, we propose using just one of the quite a few wonderful cases available to protect Apple iphone.”

You can discover the video for this drop check and quite a few more of them on CNET’s YouTube web site.