Third-party warranty firm SquareTrade has developed their own test to determine the tendency for smartphones and tablets to bend. They have now put the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge through its durability paces. According to a press release, their BendBot joins a suite of testing robots in SquareTrade’s labs that drop, dunk, slide, and now bend smartphones and tablets to determine the device’s overall ability to break.
The BendBot was developed in response to the Apple iPhone 6 Plus Bendgate, a controversy we have already stated is blown out of proportion. It simulates the forces produced in the average person’s back pocket, showing what happens when up to 350 pounds of force is placed on a smartphone.
SquareTrade’s BendBot applies a load in 10-pound increments. Meanwhile, a sensitive probe detects the exact instant when the phone bends. To round out the test, Catastrophic Failure mode increases the load continuously until the phone bends and then breaks into pieces.
According to SquareTrade, the tests found that the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge would deform at 110 pounds, creating a crack in the screen. In Catastrophic Failure mode, the breaking point was 149 pounds, at which point the smartphone no longer functioned.
By way of comparison, the iPhone 6 Plus also deformed at 110 pounds, but continued to function normally and did not suffer a cracked screen. It took an impressive 179 pounds of pressure to break the iPhone 6 Plus in Catastrophic Failure mode.
The tests seem to be fairly scientific in nature, but I cannot help but wonder about SquareTrade’s vested interest in releasing these results. After all, they are in business to sell you a protection plan for your phone. If they can convince you there is more of a chance of your phone breaking, they stand to make more money.
Here’s the bottom line, folks: metal has a breaking point, and so does glass. As you make devices larger and thinner, you are going to get devices that are more susceptible to bending or snapping. If you have a habit of putting your smartphone in your back pocket without a case and then sitting down, you should be prepared for some potential problems to come along.