The iPhone 8 is the first iPhone since 2011 to feature a glass back.
iPhones have had aluminium backs since the iPhone 5, but before then, iPhones had glass bodies that were prone to shattering.
Smartphone screens have always been fragile, but worrying about also cracking the back of the phone, in addition to the front, adds an extra layer of stress.
But Apple promised the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are made from the most durable glass ever used on a smartphone — so naturally, it had to be put to the test.
The team at SquareTrade, an insurance company owned by Allstate that specialises in protecting electronics, published a drop test on Monday that compared the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus to the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
The verdict: iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are definitely not very durable (although both phones beat the Note 8).
SquareTade found the iPhone 8 has a medium risk of shattering in its tests, which included a face and back drop test, a slingshot test, and a tumble test. The back sustained several cracks and lost glass in a six-foot drop test, and the screen shattered as well.
The iPhone 8 Plus fared even worse, receiving an overall score of “medium-high risk” of shattering when dropped. The back of the phone shattered almost entirely upon being dropped, and the screen looked significantly worse than the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 after being dropped face-down.
SquareTrade also found that it’s also extremely difficult to repair the back of the iPhone 8 if it does break, which means repair costs could go up as well.
Despite the iPhones’ poor performances in these tests, however, the Galaxy Note 8 performed the worst of all in SquareTrade’s test — the Note 8 received an overall score of “high risk” of shattering. The front and back of the phone shattered completely upon being dropped and the phone became unusable.
In the end, both the Galaxy phone and the iPhones cracked on all sides on their first drop.
You can watch the entire drop test here: