consumer reports bend test

Consumer Reports

It’s not a real “****gate” scandal in the tech world until Consumer Reports weighs in. The respected consumer protection organization did it in 2010, when it confirmed that the iPhone 4 had a “death grip” issue, and now it’s literally weighing in on the new iPhones and several Android smartphones to see exactly how much force is needed to bend one.

Consumer Reports used a standard three points test to see how much force the phones can withstand until they show a permanent deformation. The tests started at 60 pounds of force and continued in 10 pounds increments until deformation. The devices in the test group were the HTC One (M8), LG G3, and Galaxy Note 3, and three iPhones: 5, 6, and 6 Plus.

Here’s the breakdown of the results:

DeformationCase separation
HTC One (M8)70 pounds90 pounds
Apple iPhone 670 pounds100 pounds
Apple iPhone 6 Plus90 pounds110 pounds
LG G3130 pounds130 pounds
Apple iPhone 5130 pounds150 pounds
Samsung Galaxy Note 3150 pounds150 pounds

The beefy Note 3 is, unsurprisingly, at the top of the chart, with more than double the amount of force an iPhone 6 or One (M8) can take. The LG G3, while thin and light for its size, is very strong as well, as is the iPhone 5, with its straight metal edges.

The larger iPhone 6 Plus is actually stronger than the iPhone 6, which seems to contradict numerous reports about Apple’s phablet being easier to bend. The aluminum unibody M8 shares the last place with the iPhone 6.

To get an idea of the kind of forces we’re talking about, Consumer Reports says it takes 80 pounds of force to break four pencils, a feat that many people will find very difficult.

So, what’s going on here? Was Unbox Therapy’s bent iPhone a fluke or a conspiracy to make Apple look bad? Probably not. It’s possible that the Consumer Reports’ test doesn’t reflect the load that Unbox Therapy was able to apply in their tests. In fact, the channel did another bend test, this time shot in a single cut, to proof that there wasn’t any foul play involved in the original video.

The results are exactly the same as: the 6 Plus caves in relatively easily, while the new Moto X doesn’t even creak.

Consumer Reports didn’t test other types of loads that a smartphone can bear, like twisting, and ultimately fails to explain why some people reported that their devices warped or bent after simply sitting in their pockets.

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