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iPhone SE less durable than its older siblings, torture tests show

The iPhone SE is the newest iPhone from Apple, but just how worthy of your dollars is it? SquareTrade decided to test the new iPhone SE to examine its durability up close, and the results may (or may not) surprise you.

The iPhone SE torture tests showed that the iPhone SE couldn’t last in 5 feet of water without losing audio immediately and bricked in less than a minute. The iPhone 6s lasted 30 minutes and lost audio alone, while the iPhone 6s Plus died after just 10 minutes of submersion in 5 feet of water. In the tumbling test, the iPhone SE got some scuffs after about 30 minutes of tumbling in the tumbling chamber.

After these torture tests came the street encounter, where SquareTrade decided to drop the iPhone SE on concrete. The results were not pretty: the iPhone SE cracked with many “spiderwebs” on its first drop from 6 feet high. After some other drop tests, the iPhone SE started coming apart (especially when dropped on its sides). You may not want to drop the iPhone SE from your balcony if you live upstairs in an apartment complex or stay upstairs in a hotel.

Finally, the bending test showed that the iPhone SE bends less than its brethren. The iPhone 6s lasted 10 pounds longer and the iPhone 6s Plus lasted 20 pounds longer — showing that Apple intentionally made the iPhone SE less durable in order to lower the price tag. Turns out that the 7000 series aluminum being used in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus has been designed to last longer (and that you’re paying for the long-term durability).

SquareTrade gave the iPhone SE a score of 5.5, placing the device in the “medium risk” category. Despite the specs and features Apple sells to place its device in the realm of a flagship, the specs and features are not all there is to the story. When it comes to your hard-earned dollars, there should be some other factor that adds up to create a premium device. If it has premium specs and features but low-end durability, then perhaps the iPhone SE deserves to be approached with a less-than-impressed perspective.

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