OEMs’ move to covering smartphones with glass may be a double-edged sword in terms of durability. Glass is often sturdier, giving the phone better structural integrity. But it’s also less malleable and often more prone to getting cracked on impact. So how strong is the glass on the faces and backs of our phones? Phonebuff took the two latest kings of the market, the Pixel 2 XL and the iPhone 8 Plus, and put them through an excruciating series of drop tests to find out.
First a few words of clarification. The drop tests performed in the video may be considered scientific in that they happened with a controlled environment with limited variables. Accident that happen in real-life, however, are rarely as clear-cut. It also be noted that the structural integrity of the phones may have already been compromised on the first drops, so, it might not exactly be that conclusive.
The first drop test performed was one where both Pixel 2 XL and iPhone 8 XL were dropped flat on their backs. Google’s phablet survived with just a nick, but it had a bit of an unfair advantage. The iPhone 8 Plus’ entire back was covered in glass in the first place, while the Pixel 2 XL only had a small fraction.
The two really faced off in the front-facing drop test. Both ended up with cracked faces, but the Pixel 2 XL fared a lot worse. And while the screen remained functional, the front camera was rendered unusable because of the cracks in front.
Just by sheer numbers, the Pixel 2 XL wins by a very small lead of 1. Regardless of the impressive, or unimpressive, results, the moral is really the same. If you’re the type of person who accidentally drops things, including phones, and especially extra slippery things like glass-covered phones, just get the prettiest case you can aesthetically stomach, no matter what the scientific drop tests say.