iPhone Xs MAX Durability Test How weak is the big iPhone The brand new iPhone Xs Max. Apple’s latest attempt at selling the same thing over and over again is here…this time with a couple of new backgrounds, and slightly larger screen size. Is it worth your money? I’ve systematically durability-tested about100 different flagship phones over the past few years, and it’s time to see if Apple’sgold Xs Max is durable.
Let’s get started. [Intro] So far, things look pretty much the same,just a larger iPhone X, which is cool. Screen real-estate is important. Inside the box we get our usual lightningport headphones, and a short lightning to USB charging cable. But this time around, Apple has decided notto include any dongles in the box. Why though? It’s pretty simple actually.
When comparing 2 dongles side by side, ifI wanted to bulk manufacture a USB-C headphone dongle, it would cost me about $0.39 each– super cheap. It would be pretty safe to assume that theApple dongle costs about the same, since they have the same materials and do basically thesame thing…but, it doesn’t. Apple gets massive royalties from third partymanufacturers because their lightning port is proprietary. So,
why would Apple include a $0.30 accessoryin the box when they can bleed a $5 royalty out of you later…even if you don’t buy fromApple directly? Last year, Apple sold over 2 million iPhones. That’s a lot of potential dongle sales. The reason Apple removed all the ports fromtheir phones and laptops is because the 23 different dongles they sell on their websiteare basically pure profit, and
everyone still needs to buy them. Apple claimed that the iPhone Xs has the mostdurable glass ever in a smartphone. Let’s see if the scratch resistance has changedat all. It’s pretty safe to assume that glass is glass,and glass breaks. My Mohs scale of hardness will let us knowhow scratchable it is. We’ve seen plastic phone screens scratch ata level 3. Glass phones would start scratching at a level6.
And sapphire crystal displays start scratchingat a level 9. No surprises here when the glass starts scratchingat a level 6 with deeper grooves at a level 7. It’s important not to trust Apple’s marketingjargon. This new iPhone screen will scratch just aseasy as your last iPhone. Grab a screen protector. There is a thin layer of plastic between theglass and the metal frame of the phone, which is a nice little impact absorption layer. I’ll do a drop test later, but glass is glass,so I’m pretty sure we all know
how that video’s going to end up. There’s no home button or fingerprint scanneron the phone this time around. The front facing 7 megapixel camera and faceID are both protected by the same front glass. The earpiece grille is made from metal andit’s not going anywhere. It’s pretty secure and won’t fall out on it’sown. One thing I am a huge fan of is Apple’s stainlesssteel frame. Gold coloring might not be your thing
of course,but the weight of stainless steel and the durability that comes with it is impressive. Stainless is harder than aluminum and moredifficult to scratch. It can still get scratched of course, butthe sound, and the damage inflicted will be less on a steel iPhone than an aluminum iPhone…whichis a good thing. Apple has included a dual SIM card tray witha little rubber ring around the top to keep water out for that ip68 rating. Still no expandable memory slot, but Apple’snever had one, so iOS
users don’t know what they’re missing. The buttons are also made from metal and can’tbe removed from the frame. Stainless steel also conducts less heat thanaluminum, so it’ll usually feel cold to the touch every time you grab it. It’s good for that premium external feel,but bad for the internal processor heat dissipation. I’m still a huge fan of the mute switch. I feel like every phone needs one of these.
The volume buttons are also made from metal. Down at the bottom of the phone we still haveno headphone jack. Apple owns both wireless AirPods and Beats,so of course they would prefer if you went wireless. Apple kind of creates a problem and then chargesyou for the solution…incredibly good business plan, but bad news for your wallet. Apple didn’t become the first trillion dollarcompany by being generous. Speaking of lack of generosity, if you crackthe back glass on your iPhone Xs Max,
it will cost a whopping $599 to replace. That risk, for something as fragile as glass,makes Apple’s glass phones the most cosmetically fragile and delicate pieces of technologyon the planet. A replacement back glass for a Samsung phoneis around $30 – huge difference. If you’ve already given Apple all of yourmoney, I’d dbrand the phone with a case. No reason to give them free advertising aswell. Now for my favorite part…Apple says they’reall about those
premium materials, which is great, and for the most part they do a prettygood job. But Apple is still bragging on their websiteabout using sapphire crystal on their camera lens to protect the dual 12 megapixel cameras. Sapphire crystal would be extraordinary ifit was pure sapphire Remember, glass scratches at a level 6. Sapphire should resist scratching until alevel 8 or 9, just shy of diamonds at a level 10. Apple’s impure sapphire, as you can see, startsscratching at a level 6, the same as glass. This Tissot watch though, built with a puresapphire face, does not scratch at a level 6. Back to the iPhone Xs
Max camera lens, wesee more scratching with a level 7 pick. Also in line with what glass would be doing. The sapphire Tissot though, is still scratchproof, even at that same level 7. On the Max camera lens using a level 8 pickwhere sapphire should start scratching, we see another mark. Taking that same level 8 pick back to theTissot, we finally see some face scratching. In my opinion, if Apple’s impure sapphireisn’t doing what sapphire is expected to do, they shouldn’t be calling it “sapphire”. Let me know what you think in the comments. iPhone Xs MAX Durability Test How weak is the big iPhone
At least the Tissot watches are always consistent. As long as Apple keeps using their inferiorsapphire, I’ll keep buying more watches to show what premium actually looks like. Now for the burn test. Apple’s a pretty fascinating company to watch. They get away with making beautiful, yet cosmeticallyfragile and super expensive to repair smartphones, where you have to buy back basic functionalitylike some EA Game Loot Box. You’re like, ‘Whoa, Jerry, tell us how youreally feel.’
Alright. I will. It’s like Tim Cook walked on stage with afully functional Galaxy Note 9, snapped his Thanos fingers to remove half of the coolfeatures, raised the price, and we got left with an iPhone Xs Max. Maybe next year Apple will start leading aninnovation again, but I’m not getting my hopes up. There are better profit margins with dongles. The 6.5 inch super retina display lasted overa minute on my burn test, which is pretty cool – just like the Galaxy S8 a few yearsago.
And now for the bend test. Every phone is not created equally. Some snap in half and end up on my Shelf ofShame. Apple has done an incredibly good job of makingstructurally sound phones the last couple of years. And as much as I would like to see this phonesnap in half…it does not. Apple has once again constructed an incrediblysolid and structurally sound device…unless you end up cracking the back glass of course.
That extra $600 charge will test anyone’ssanity, so be ready. The iPhone Xs Max passes my durability test. But, is it the cure to unhappiness? Probably not. I’d say skip this one and spend your extracash on memories and experiences. Your current phone is probably fine, and it’snot worth the marginal upgrade.
I do have an extra Xs Max though, and I definitely don’t want it for myself. I’ll give it away over on my Twitter, so come hang out with me over there. You can slap a skin on it and pretend it’s Android. Or just sell it to a poor soul who doesn’tknow better things are out there, and keeps the money for yourself.
iPhone Xs MAX Durability Test How weak is the big iPhone