They say that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. With the iPhone SE, that’s definitely the case. After all, the phone looks nearly identical to the 5s, which came out more than two years ago. The specs are far closer to those of the 6s, but how does it fare in a battery of tests designed to cause physical harm to the phone?
SquareTrade provides extended warranties to iPhone owners, so they’re the perfect company to test out the physical limits of the various models. Recently they acquired a shiny new iPhone SE and pitted it against the other two current iPhone models, the 6s and 6s Plus.
The first test involved dunking each phone in a tank filled with 5 feet of water. The SE immediately lost audio, and was completely dead inside of a minute. The 6s survived a half hour in the tank with only the audio capabilities affected, and the 6s Plus lasted around 10 minutes before dying.
In their tumble box test the SE only sustained minor scuffing, while the 6s was unscathed, and the 6s Plus suffered spiderweb cracks on the screen. Dropping the phones on their corner really showed the difference between the three. The SE started taking real damage after 5 drops, and was pretty much toast after just 10 drops on its corner from 6 feet in the air. The 6s and Plus both only had minor cosmetic damage after 10 drops each.
Their final test was with their Bend Bot, which applies pressure to the middle of the phone, to see how much it takes to bend a phone. The SE started bending with 160lbs of pressure. By comparison the 6s took 170lbs, and the 6s Plus took 180lbs of pressure.
Overall, the SE performed very similarly to the 5s, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise. SquareTrade still scored it higher than the 6s Plus, which is the easiest phone to break, out of the three.