iPhone 11 and 11 Professional drop take a look at: We could not crack these telephones, however we broke the digital camera

What’s going to it take to crack the glass on the iPhone 11 and 11 Professional? That is the query I am asking myself after placing these phones by means of eight totally different drop exams, every time onto arduous concrete. Attempt as I would, the glass on these telephones simply would not crack. However that does not imply the telephones have been damage-free.

At Apple’s September occasion, Kaiann Drance, senior director of product advertising stated the iPhone 11 glass is the “hardest ever in a smartphone, on the back and front.” We all know that tumbler is custom-made for the iPhone by Corning, the corporate behind Gorilla Glass.


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iPhone 11: How robust is the glass?


It is not the primary time Apple has made such claims. Final 12 months, advertising chief Phil Schiller stated the iPhone XS had “probably the most sturdy glass ever constructed right into a smartphone.” We dropped the phone four times onto the sidewalk and the screen didn’t crack.

The iPhone XR, nevertheless, wasn’t so fortunate. On the fourth drop, the screen cracked

We determined to vary issues up with this 12 months’s drop take a look at. Our take a look at zone was a concrete flooring and to make the drops as constant as doable, CNET Managing Producer Chris Parker constructed a system that helped every telephone fall instantly on the display or on the again. Whereas the drop machine did not assure the telephones would land within the desired place each time, it did assist us take a look at in a managed approach.


The iPhone 11 Professional in mid-air on its last drop.

Screenshot by Lexy Savvides/CNET

After all, these exams weren’t scientific, however they do give us an thought of how the iPhone 11 and 11 Professional fare when dropped with no case.

After every drop, I checked:

  • The display for scratches or cracks
  • The again and digital camera for scratches or cracks
  • If the display nonetheless labored
  • If the digital camera nonetheless labored

This is what occurred.

Drop 1: Three ft on the display and the again

For the primary drop I positioned the iPhone 11 to land display facet down. Falling from Three ft, which is about hip (or pocket) top, the telephone was not broken in any respect when it landed on the display.

The iPhone 11 Professional gave the identical end result. There was no seen injury and every thing nonetheless labored as anticipated.

I repeated the drop with each telephones, besides this time they fell on their backs. Similar as once they fell screen-side down, there was no injury to report.

Drop 2: 6 ft on the display and the again

For the subsequent spherical of drops we took the machine to six ft and repeated the identical drops. 

The iPhone 11 had no injury in any respect when dropped on the display or the again.

However the outcomes have been a little bit totally different for the iPhone 11 Professional. After it fell display down on the primary drop, I may see a small space of discolored or broken pixels in the direction of the underside of the display. There have been no cracks on the glass itself, nevertheless, and the display nonetheless labored as regular.


The broken pixels on the iPhone 11 Professional display.

Angela Lang/CNET

Drop 3: eight ft on the display and again

I wished to take these telephones even greater, so we set our machine to its restrict: eight ft and 7 inches.

Dropping the iPhone 11 on its display, the glass once more didn’t crack. However when dropping it on its again, it sustained some injury: a minor scuff on the aluminum bumper and a beauty scratch on the highest lens housing. The digital camera itself nonetheless labored.

The iPhone 11 Professional fell on its display first and added a couple of extra small broken pixels, this time greater up on the display. Just like the iPhone 11, it had some minor beauty injury to the digital camera housing.


Beauty injury to the lens housing on the iPhone 11 Professional.

Angela Lang/CNET

Whereas it is unlikely that you’d drop your telephone any greater than this, we took it to the subsequent stage — these telephones have been nonetheless usable and the glass did not present any indicators of cracking.

Remaining drop: 11 ft

For the ultimate spherical, we dismantled the machine and reassembled it as excessive as we may take it: 11 ft. 

I solely dropped the telephones as soon as from this top, screen-side down. The iPhone 11 fell first on a nook, flipped, then landed display facet down. The iPhone 11 Professional fell first on its facet, flipped and landed on its again.

Once more, the glass didn’t break on both of the 2 telephones — on the entrance or again. The iPhone 11’s rear digital camera stopped working altogether and simply confirmed a black display once I opened the Digital camera app, though the TrueDepth digital camera was high-quality. I restarted the telephone simply to double-check and the digital camera nonetheless confirmed a black display.

The iPhone 11 Professional’s SIM card tray popped out when it landed however I used to be capable of push it again in. Then, I ran my finger across the fringe of the telephone and felt a small bulge the place the display didn’t sit completely flush with the stainless-steel body. There was additionally an space of discoloration in the back of the telephone (click on to enlarge the picture under).

After the ultimate drop.

Angela Lang/CNET

The breakdown

Does that imply the iPhone 11 and 11 Professional glass is stronger than earlier iPhones? That is a troublesome name to make provided that our earlier exams weren’t performed in the identical approach. But it surely does present that this 12 months’s telephones can face up to much more drops onto concrete than we have been anticipating.

Whereas neither of the telephones cracked like we have seen in earlier years, they did not emerge completely unscathed: the iPhone 11 Professional had some broken pixels and the iPhone 11’s rear digital camera stopped working after our last drop.

I reached out to Apple for extra data and the corporate offered the next assertion: “iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Professional each are created from the hardest glass ever shipped within the smartphone trade on the back and front. iPhone 11 options an aerospace-grade aluminum band and iPhone 11 Professional options a chrome steel structural band. All undergo rigorous real-world testing and are designed to be sturdy, however not indestructible. If anybody is worried about dropping their iPhone and damaging it, we propose utilizing one of many many stunning circumstances accessible to guard iPhone.”

I wasn’t the one one who examined out the iPhone 11 Professional and located the glass did not break when dropped from excessive heights. EverythingApplePro bought related outcomes when dropping the telephones from 10ft. Nonetheless, the glass did break on his last drop, probably as a result of one telephone landed on prime of the opposite.

For the final word peace of thoughts, we nonetheless suggest placing a case in your telephone, as getting it repaired if the glass does crack will be costly: up to $329 for the screen or $599 for the back if you do not have AppleCare+ protection. 

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