Boxy doesn't mean less bendy. That's one of the conclusions of the iPhone SE versus its flagship counterparts, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
Apple's newest (and smallest) iPhone promises the guts and brains of the iPhone 6s in the shrunken form factor of the iPhone 5s. But it turns out the iPhone SE just isn't as tough.
In a video published by warranty provider SquareTrade, the iPhone SE performed poorly in a deep water dunk test, a tumbling test, a face-down drop test, a corner drop test and a bend test compared to the 6s and 6s Plus.
"While it holds its own against the much bigger iPhone 6s Plus, the new iPhone SE still has some growing up to do before it can compete with the durable iPhone 6s," SquareTrade concludes in the YouTube video's description.
Previous tests of the iPhone SE in a few inches of water show that the device can hold its own against the 6s. Unfortunately for the SE, SquareTrade's labs took it to the next level by dunking it into 5 feet of water.
As the SE was lowered into a tank, SquareTrade reveals that the phone lost audio immediately and completely broke down in less than 60 seconds. In contrast, the iPhone 6s survived up to 30 minutes in 5 feet of water and lost only its audio capabilities. As for the 6s Plus, it turned into an expensive underwater brick in just 10 minutes.
In terms of being thrown around in a tumbling metal box, it's the iPhone 6s Plus that fared the worst. Its screen gave in and showed signs of spiderweb cracks. The 6s with its 7000-series aluminum appeared to take the beating without any signs of being beat at all. And, out of all the tests, the iPhone SE did best here, with just some scuffing on the corners.
Facedown and corners up against a sidewalk, however, there was no scenario in which the iPhone SE came out unscathed. To its benefit, all three devices had their screens cracked on the first drop of a face-down drop test. After five corner drops, the SE's screen started splitting. On the 10th corner drop, the screen started falling apart. Surprisingly, however, it looked like the screen still stayed on.
In the final bend test, the iPhone SE performed the worst yet again. Based on its boxy design, one would think the SE would at least compete against the 6s and 6s Plus in a bend test, but turned out to be quite untrue. The SE began bending at just 160 pounds of pressure. That's 10 pounds less than the slimmer 6s and a whole 20 pounds less than the 6s Plus. At 178 pounds of pressure, the iPhone SE completely and literally gave in.
Watch for yourselves in the video below.