iPhone X represented Apples first move into uncharted waters. The company is known to be very conservative in design changes and even in implementing new features (hence all the memes comparing the new iPhone to the three year old Samsung Galaxy S6).
Despite the drastic manufacturing move Apple made with the iPhone X, it got some features right, Face ID, for instance, seems spot on and the new portrait-lighting camera features are a work of art. However, not every change was so lucky. During the launch event, Apple praised the iPhone X to be “most durable glass ever in a smartphone, front and back” something that couldn’t be further from the truth.
According to tests done by a company called Square Trade, a drop test from a height of 6 feet left the display not only broken but also completely unusable since a third of the screen went blank and unresponsive. Breaking the rear glass occurs just as easy but does not affect usability.
I thought that maybe this was an isolated case, so I went hunting around, apparently CNET did a test of their own and were met by the same misfortune: shattered glass on first drop.
What makes this revelation so worrying? Two things: Apple’s assurance that the glass is the most durable out there and secondly, this $1000 device costs $279 to fix a cracked front display, breaking both the front and back costs you a whopping $550, that is more than half the entire cost of the device and enough money to buy you most high end devices today like One Plus 5, HTC U11 just to mention a few.
Even worse, the cheaper iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have been reported to hold up better on drop tests. Square Trade ranks the iPhone 8 at 67/100 (the lesser the better) which means medium risk, iPhone 8 Plus at 74/100 which is medium-high risk of breaking, the iPhone X is at a record high risk of 90/100. For comparison with other brands, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 which has a huge 6.3 inch screen (iPhone X is 5.8), which is also curved at the edges handles drops better with a rating of 80/100.
As you buy that expensive shiny iPhone X, remember to invest in a cover…maybe also add an extended warranty and a phone insurance policy as well, they might collectively cost you less than repairing that first-drop screen crack.