Every year, CES has a Breaking Point demo where various case makers show off their impact resistant cases. It's a fun affair and gives case makers a chance to prove their mettle. This year, protecting the iPhone XR, there were nine cases dropped from six, 10, and 20 feet, plus each one was punched with a two-pound steel ball on a hard tile surface. It's pretty brutal.
The cases involved are from Speigen, PureGear, Griffin, OWC, Skech, Caseology, Gearlock, iBlason, Zizo, Pelican, and Catalyst.
The intense part of the testing was done when CNET dropped a 2lb ball bearing from four feet off the ground, which is similar to the level of impact a phone would receive from dropping it more than 20 feet. The combined ball and pressure were strong enough that it cracked the tile used in the demonstration.
When the ball drops on these iPhones with impact protection cases on them from four feet, you're SURE they are going to break! Amazingly, six impact-resistant cases survived the 4-foot ball-bearing drop. Cases from Zizo, Gearlock, Griffin, Caseology, Catalyst, and OWC made it to the final, brutal round. Zizo won CNET's award in the end because it was the only phone that wasn't completely demolished after having that 2lb ball dropped on it from 20 feet in the air (which is equal to dropping it from more than 100 feet).
Take a look at this clip of the Catalyst Impact Case having the 2lb ball drop on it from four feet at CNET's Breaking Point demo at CES 2019.
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Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books. If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).