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The Toughest (And Weakest) Phones Currently On the Market ( 112

New submitter Daneel Olivaw R. shares a report from Tom's Guide: To measure each phone's toughness, [Tom's Guide] dropped it from both 4 and 6 feet onto wood and concrete. After each test, we recorded the damage to the phone. If a phone was rendered unusable -- the screen totally shattered, for instance -- then we stopped dropping it. [More details on the testing process can be found here.] Each drop was worth a maximum of 5 points; if a phone made it through all of the rounds unscathed, it would earn 35 points. The more severe the damage per drop was, the more points were deducted. If a phone was rendered unusable after a given drop, it would earn no points, and would not undergo any subsequent test. In total, there were seven tests. [...] If a phone died in the 6-foot edge drop, it was penalized an extra 10 percent. If it died in the 6-foot face drop, it was penalized 5 percent. And if it died when dropped into the toilet, it lost 2.5 percent. We then divided the total score by 3.5, to put it on a 10-point scale. Here are the scores of each device:

Motorola Moto Z2 Force - Toughness score: 8.5/10
LG X Venture - Toughness score: 6.6/10
Apple iPhone X - Toughness score: 6.2/10
LG V30 - Toughness score: 6/10
Samsung Galaxy S9 - Toughness score: 6/10
Motorola Moto G5 Plus - Toughness score: 5.1/10
Apple iPhone 8 - Toughness score: 4.9/10
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 - Toughness score: 4.3/10
OnePlus 5T - Toughness score: 4.3/10
Huawei Mate 10 Pro - Toughness score: 4.3/10
Google Pixel 2 XL - Toughness score: 4.3/10
iPhone SE - Toughness score: 3.9/10
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The Toughest (And Weakest) Phones Currently On the Market

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's still never leaving it's case.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Please tell me you mean the glass case at the mall kiosk.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22, 2018 @05:56AM (#56651930)

      What a bullshit RNG test this was. They should have performed the same tests on at least twenty of each model for the test to have any meaning.

    • It isn't a surprise it is where I kinda expected it to be.
      Despite the Slashdot hate of all things Apple, and MacRumors undying love of Apple. Apple actually makes a decent competing product that deserves to be in the price range that it is in. However it isn't #1 in any particular measure but near the top in most measures. Normally if there is any few particular aspect that you want out of a phone, there are normally phones better then the iPhone. But as an overall phone Apple tends to keep up with the r

      • by tsa ( 15680 )

        Why? Just because the SE looks a bit like the 4 it doesn't have to be made of the same materials.

      • by epine ( 68316 )

        Apple actually makes a decent competing product that deserves to be in the price range that it is in.

        With Apple, the price of the product includes both the phone and the restrictive walled garden.

        Whether the price is justified or not depends on your attitude toward walled gardens.

        Turns out, walled gardens are very popular among garden gnomes owned by Shire folk, but in truth, some of them have never wandered close enough to the garden boundaries to figure out there's a wall after all. That garden gnomes own

  • Like this for example []. There are others with a 17mm mount over the camera so you can screw on lenses like this. []

    • Metal? Wouldn't it be better to have a rubber or elastic polymer case that can absorb shocks rather than just transmit them?

      • by davecb ( 6526 )
        No, actually. You want a case that doesn't let the phone distort, which breaks stuff. Mere deceleration isn't all that evil for phones (unlike human heads (;-))
      • The one I got has a silicone rubber inner lining. I was too lazy before to find the specific case... This is the one I got. []

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I'd like to see tests with various cases and bumpers. Very few people use their phones without some kind of case.

        Similarly, screens should be tested with protectors applied.

        Kind of benchmarks vs. real world performance.

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      I don't understand why I would want to pay more for a phone to get one that's super thin, then spend more still to get a metal box to put it in rather than buying a more rugged phone in the first place.

      Oddly, rugged phones tend to be cheaper with an otherwise comparable feature set.

    • by dargaud ( 518470 )
      Metal ? Like a faraday cage around your phone ? And then you get 90% signal attenuation and 10 times faster battery drain.... Awesome idea. Wasn't that the problem of the iPhone 2 or 3 that had a metal case and you had to hold just right to maybe have a slight chance of getting a signal with ?
  • Fuck this summary/ad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @09:53PM (#56650778)

    The ten toughest non-ruggedized phones.

    You'd think that would have made the summary.

    No I didn't RTFA....nobody saw me, can't prove anything.

  • Chance... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @09:53PM (#56650780)
    Well not exactly chance, but its all in how the phone hits the ground - a sample size of 1 can hardly be considered meaningful indicator.
    • Re:Chance... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @11:13PM (#56651028)

      ^^^ +1

      You can drop a phone JUST RIGHT only a few feet from soft ground and have it shatter, or the same phone from 5 feet on concrete and it survive fine. A sample size of 1 tells you almost nothing. I would venture it would take at least 10 drops, each test being a NEW phone, before you could get even a slight chance of knowing anything useful. And even then, it would only tell you about that height and that material it was dropped onto. Of course, that would be VERY expensive testing!

      Even discounting the sample sizes of just ONE phone, dropped REPEATEDLY, who actually carries a phone without at least SOME type of case? Nobody I know...

      • by green1 ( 322787 )

        Exactly this.
        I had one phone that I dropped from 25' up on to concrete and it survived just fine, but a month later I dropped the same phone one foot on to packed dirt and the screen shattered. It's all about how it lands

      • idk, we knew nothing before, so it's something. They put some thought into it. Somewhat more thought out than what I did when I was looking at buying a new phone. I'm at the apple dealer, I toss my caseless BB on the ground and it goes bouncing along the carpet. I say to the salesman, "can you do that with your iPhone?". He says yes and does so. In this case it was a "poorly designed test", though, because he didn't take the case off, and he made sure it landed flat on its back.

        So, the trick is to add this

      • Re:Chance... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ericlondaits ( 32714 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2018 @04:28AM (#56651760) Homepage

        I carry my phone without a case, for the same reason I'd carry a baby without one... don't drop it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by fred6666 ( 4718031 )

          so you don't use a car seat for your baby because you don't crash your car, right?

        • by Matheus ( 586080 )

          I also don't use a case (I don't like the extra bulk or any of how it hinders access to phone controls) but have to say shit happens.. I mean I grew up when car seats weren't mandatory and made it out just fine but enough others didn't that they added the regulations.

          That being said: Out of the 10 phones I've had in 23 years I've only ever damaged 2 of them.. the rest died of old age (typically can't hold a charge anymore even with new battery or software updates exceeded the power of the phone making it pa

      • You don't get a sample size of more than one, but you will likely drop your phone more than once. This isn't actually a bad test. They dropped the phones a number of times a number of different ways and assigned a score based on damage.

        who actually carries a phone without at least SOME type of case? Nobody I know...

        And? What are you testing, the quality of the case or the quality of the phone? The base quality of the phone has a lot to do with how well it will survive after you put a case on it. It may even have an affect on which case you chose to buy. In any case this is a baseline t

      • I actually carry my phone without a case. I do, however, have the Motorola Z2 Force, and have the Motorola TurboPower mod stuck on it all the time (in efficiency mode, the battery life is insane).

        I've dropped it, and had the mod and phone fly in separate directions. Outside of a couple minor scratches on the metal frame, there is no evidence this thing hasn't been used gently everywhere I've had it.

    • a sample size of 1 can hardly be considered meaningful indicator.

      Well, please feel free to drop your phone down the toilet and let us all know how well it held up.

    • Well fortunately for you they dropped them a number of times in a number of ways.

  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @09:55PM (#56650784)
    Did their market share sink so low that everyone forgot about them?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Nokia 3210 of course.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Nokia 3595 - Toughness score = 10,000,000/10

      And a better PHONE than any "phone" you can buy today!

  • The way I've gone with modern phones is, I use it mostly without a case until the first time it gets noticeable damage, then I get a case for the remainder of the time I use it.

    I got the iPhone X at launch and so far it's held up pretty well. It's not like I've never dropped it, I've dropped it onto a number of hard surfaces including a pretty high drop onto concrete where it hit the corner. But so far, you really can't even tell it's been dropped.

    If you think about it, it should hold up better than most

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What do I mean by mostly - for hiking I'm not insane, I have a pretty rugged case I break out that is way more than I'd want to deal with with in a city but it helpful around lots of jagged rocks.

      Can you really call it hiking if your cellphone still works?

      It's just a scenic walk.

  • That should have been the question.
    • by AndyMcL ( 65518 )

      I would give you points if I could for the Blendtec reference. Those things rock and are tougher than Chuck Norris (action figures)!

  • I've got an LG something or other with a cheap plastic back. I've dropped it on concrete more than once. It's like a bug hitting a windshield, not enough weight to go splat.
    • It's like a bug hitting a windshield, not enough weight to go splat.

      Q: What’s the last thing that goes through a bug’s mind when it hits a windshield?

      A: Its butt.

    • The weight won't affect the rate it falls in a significant way, and I assume it's similar in size to other phones so the physics is about the same scale. but having a bulky plastic frame that's light gives it great strength to weight and impact resistance. The plastic can deform more than metal giving it more distance to stop and this lowers the forces on internal parts. as long as brittle stuff like the screen is away from the edges it makes for a tough design.
    • I've got my LG in a credit card case... protects the phone and no more wallet
  • I've got a ZeroLemon 10,000mAh TPU battery and case on my Note 3. I scoff at my friends and their cracked displays, and just to prove the point, often toss my phone onto the ground as a demonstration.

    It's possible to engineer rugged devices. It baffles me as to why people don't demand them (and replaceable wear items, such as batteries).

    • I guess people don't demand ruggedized phones because they're bulky. I think your solution is fine: The phone itself is pretty thin but you can always add a strong case if you want it to be tougher.
      Anyway, if something isn't made you can't buy it so that may also explain why people don't buy phones with replaceable batteries or with feature X.
  • Not a single Japanese flip-phone on that list ...

  • Most of this data is irrelevant unless you're a teenage girl who doesn't use a protective case so it'll fit in her back pocket.

  • The Z2 Force is not tough by any sane metric. I bought one to try out t-mobile, and the display literally got scratched sitting on a cluttered desk waiting to be sold. My Note 4 was pristine after three years of being shuffled around my desk, bed, and in the same pocket as my wallet and favorite pen.

  • The Active variants of the Galaxy S line have treated me and my boys well since the S6 Active. I recently upgraded to an S8 Active so my youngest could inherit my old S6 Active. Now they do say they are looking at "nonrugged" phones at the top, but then they call the LG X Venture a "value priced rugged phone", so who knows.

  • If a phone was rendered unusable -- the screen totally shattered, for instance -- then we stopped dropping it

    Then they could determine if it would blend.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun