Do New iPhones Break More Easily?

Photo (cc) by William Hook

They just don’t make them like they used to — which is weird, since it’s only been a year.

The newest iPhone (the 5s) isn’t as durable as the previous iPhone 5, according to tests by SquareTrade, The Associated Press says. Maybe the “s” is for squishy.

The tests involve dropping the phones from 5 feet up, dunking the phones in water, and sliding them across a table. Those tests helped SquareTrade develop a “breakability score” for each device, which can then be compared with previous models.

Also tested with the 5s were the iPhone 5c (a more colorful, plastic version that sells for less), Samsung’s Galaxy S4, and Google’s Moto X. You can see the tests yourself below.

While the 5s was less durable than its predecessor, it mostly held up as well or better than the competition. After the drop, the S4’s screen came loose and the device wouldn’t function, while the 5c’s screen was shattered but functional. The Moto X and the 5s both had some corner scuffing or nicks, but came out fine.

Not squishy, then. Maybe the “s” is for slick? In the sliding test, the 5s shot right off the end of the table, more than 4 feet away. The other devices slid between 3 and 4 feet. The original iPhone 5 slid only 2 feet, the AP says.

The “s” could also be for submersible. After being underwater for 10 seconds, the S4 shut off. The other phones, including the 5s, were fine.

Apple phones have until now been successively more sturdy, SquareTrade told the AP. But that seems to have stopped with the 5s and 5c. On a breakability scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst rating, the scores fell out like this:

  • Samsung’s Galaxy S4 — 7.
  • Apple iPhone 5c — 6.
  • Apple iPhone 5s — 5.5.
  • Apple iPhone 5 — 5.
  • Google’s Moto X — 4.5.

Do durability tests factor into your phone purchasing decisions? Let us know on Facebook.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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