The iPhone 5 can really take a fall

No sooner had people got their hands on the iPhone 5 did they gleefully chuck it to the ground to see how well it could take a drop. Two impact tests are already showing that the iPhone 5 is a tough little cookie, thanks in no small part by the lack of a glass rear like that on the iPhone 4 and 4S. One test puts the iPhone 5 against Samsung Galaxy S 3, while the other shows the front face of the latest iOS device can handle scratches just as well as drops. It's worth noting that other reports suggest the rear backing is prone to wear and scratching, however. It looks like the only real way to shatter the front glass is by purposefully spiking the iPhone 5 on the ground, though I'm sure it depends entirely on what kind of ground your dealing with and the point of impact.  

Gaze ye upon the wanton destruction of finely-crafted gadgetry, and cringe. 

Have you ever seriously busted up your iPhone from a drop? How satisfied have you been with iPhone build quality up until now?

Source: iFixYouri, Android Authority, MacRumors

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Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

The iPhone 5 can really take a fall


I dropped so many times my Iphone 4, and so many times thought "this time it MUST be broken", but it survived... that I really think "luck" plays a great role on that. Depends too much how you drop it, probably the back glass of ip4 can break, but my survived really "ugly" and "loud" drops withouth any noticiable scratch.

I have owned every iPhone (no 5 yet) and I have dropped them all many times. The first time I dropped the iPhone 4, it was simply because it slipped right out of my hand. Having never used a cover for any phone, I then snapped on my free bumper case. I agree with ChristianTM above, the 4/4S CAN survive a pretty good fall, but the glass back and metal design makes it slippery and terrifying for clumsy people like me. Hoping the 5 will be better in that respect!

I don't care who you are, the f'n impressive. 2nd vid he had to give it a little thrust for it to break the screen!

And even then, it cracked in the corner! I've seen some older iPhones that were cracked throughout the whole screen with less force drops. Pretty damn good if you ask me!

that iFixit Dude had to smash it with fool power for no one knows how many times to get a crack
as U can tell by how happy he was as he finally succeeded ... LOL

"No one really cares about the cover, its cheap plastic anyways!" My favorite line in the whole video! Great videos.

Disappointed that in the first video he didn't do the full-height drop test. I really wanted to see the S3 dropped from 6 feet. My guess is that he didn't have a broom handy to clean up the mess.

LOL. They are the android fans. They wouldn't want to push S3 to the limit and disappoint android users. Apple without saying a word has completely pushed the android fans to bite their own mouths already. Doing that full height drop test will kill them.

Every drop is like a stab to my chest! But I was pretty impressed with the second video. Even after he dropped it by kind of throwing it down, It didn't shatter across the whole screen. I've dropped my iPhone 4 so many times. It's still in near mint condition. Thanks to my speck case. I'm always scared to pick it up and check after it's face down on the floor, but it's always survived. If the iPhone 5 is even the same / more resilient than the 4 I am going to be very happy.


My iPhone 5 arrived this morning from UPS and I refuse to even open up the shipping box until I buy me a good case to protect it in. Going out to Apple store tomorrow to see what cases they have in stock - if they're not all sold out already.

Ack!!! Dont' drop em!!! Why ruin a perfectly good iPhone 5??!! Send it to me instead if you don't really want it!! =P

Funny with my crappy plastic galaxy s3. I dropped it 3 times in the street so far. only damage was on the bottom edge. And since it is plastic(quality plastic) you cant see it at all. with the iphone5 chips away the paint and very noticable

The one and only time I dropped my 4, the entire front shattered. It was only a height of about 1 1/2 feet, but it fell face down on asphalt (no case). I'm very happy to see that the 5 handles falls well.

My i4 survived a cycle crash that nearly killed me....Just before surgery I used it to call work. The fireman were nice enough to return it to me when I was loaded on the ambulance, It was in a Speck case and holster.

I wasn't even surprised when I was shingling my roof last fall and bounced it off from 2 stories up, no damage(Landed in the grass). Plus at least 12 drops over 2 years. May not have survived if not for the thin Speck of the freebies fron Antenna gate. :)

I wonder if I need AppleCare or not. I was told it will cost $299 to replace my phone the first time I break it and then pay the full price the second time I break it. AppleCare costs $99 plus a $50 deductible to repair my damage.

Wow that was pretty awesome how well it took those falls on to a stone sidewalk. Can't wait to get my hands on one.

well obviously if you smash an iphone by on purposely throwing face down that's not surviving a fall that's tech destruction (or at least an attempt of)

Look how he drops the iPhone compared to the S3. He intentionally tries to drop the iPhone on it's corner (the weakest part) while he flips the S3 out to the side, where it has a higher probability of landing flat at the point of impact.

What a turd.

I've dropped my 4S once. I dropped it from approximately 20-30 centimeters, and it was damaged on the white border on the edges of the glass. I have been threating the phone like it was my own child, so I have only gotten that one crack. Otherwise, the screen and back is completely crack and scratch free.

As I mentioned, I have been threating it carefully. I am going to buy the iPhone 5, and I can already tell that I don't have to be that careful with it. It even takes less damage than the Galaxy S3!

Why do I torture myself by watching these. At first it was freakishly thin and light, I can barely tell it's in my pocket, my 4s had a nice presence on my body.

I left my 4s on my car roof after changing a flat tire with it (led at night) launch day... Heard it fly off and saw it bounce off the road in my rearview... It was in a case I got for 2$ shipped from eBay, while the case completely disintegrated, the phone survived. I got some chips in the edge of the glass but other than that it's been fine. My 5 is due next week.

What the f^&k is the matter with you people??!?! LOL I refuse to drop my phone! Hell,I won't even hand it to people until they securely grasp it, then I'll finally release my grip. These are amazing electronic devices people, treat them as such.I recieved my 4S on release day. Now that I have the 5, my wife is getting a "out of the box perfect" 4S to use. :)

Anodized aluminum on the back does not fare so well under scratch tests though... It seems the 4/4S does better.

Although I am extremely careful with my phone, it's reassuring to see what type of durability the 5 has!
I received my 4S two weeks after launch and I never put any case or protective skin on it. My 5 arrived yesterday and I plan on keeping it "naked" as well (I did purchase applecare+ this time though). My wife is getting my 4S and its just like it was the day it came out of the box ( I actually cleaned it off and gave it to her in the original box so she didn't feel as bad about getting a "used" phone)

Any phone would break if you threw it to the ground from shoulder level. What a useless test. Poor iPhone...

I have a sad 3GS which is 5 years old. I am clumsy so I have dropped it many times. I would say its survived about 50 (no joke) with not a problem. However the most recent drop cracked a small part of the screen and now the screen is stuffed, constantly freezing meaning I have to lock and then unlock my phone to get my screen to work again. However, the build of the iPhone 5 seems amazing, so I'll be relieved when my new iPhone comes soon.

I actually did break mine. I was juggling too many things in one hand and it fell out and landed flat on its back. The screen shattered like nothing I've ever seen before. Ironically, when I got home, my new case was sitting in a pretty little box from amazon on my doorstep. On the bright side though, and a total lifesaver, I had just bought AppleCare that morning. :)

My 2 weeks old iPhone 5 slipped my hand while I was sitting, it fell almost 1 feet flat face down to the ground, cracked immediately! Still working, only the fragile thin glass layer has cracked horribly! I live in the UAE, there's no insurance for iPhone here, I went to a repair center and they said Apple does not provide replacement for the LCD, they only provide a refurbished replacement and I must pay another $350!!
iPhone 5 set is as strong as the weakest part of it is, the front and back thin fragile glass layer. That's how much the iPhone 5 is well-built or dare I say, ill-built!
And NO, cracked screen IS NOT a cool thing.

Apple is showing many traits of failure to come, hope someone does something before it's too late.