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Xperia Z1 drop test: the glass, the metal, and the concrete

We are drop testing the Sony Xperia Z1 to see if the phone's glass surfaces can withstand shocks that are inevitable in every day life. Will the Xperia Z1 survive?
October 4, 2013
sony xperia z1 black drop test aa (4)

We’ve heard you loud and clear, folks. You wanted us to drop test a Sony device, we are drop testing a Sony device. And not just any device, but arguably the most premium Android phone out there, the new Xperia Z1.

With its sturdy metal chassis and two uninterrupted slabs of chemically strengthened Dragontrail glass, the Sony Xperia Z1 sure feels like it’s worth every penny. It’s a marvelous piece of tech, neatly packaged in a seamless assembly of metal and glass. But will that beautiful glass be the Z1’s undoing?

Sony claims the screen protector on the Xperia Z1 is “shatterproof”, though we were not sure a plastic film could make a difference. Fortunately, our Josh Vergara was able to verify Sony’s claims in a drop test. As usual, he dropped the Xperia Z1 from the same height in three positions: on the side, on the back, and on the front.

There you have it. The Xperia Z1 survived our three drops intact. On the outside that is. We were disappointed to discover that the phone’s display only showed random noise.

We’re not sure what really happened, but we can speculate that the rigid chassis transmitted the energy of the impact to the phone’s innards. It’s possible that a less sturdy frame would absorb more energy and better protect the internal components, similarly to the crumple zones built into automobiles. Take the Note 3, for instance – while its screen glass shattered completely, the display remained functional after our drop test.

The fact that the Xperia Z1 remained in one piece is very encouraging and a testimony to Sony’s engineering prowess, but ultimately, that may not be enough. Sadly, we’re nowhere near having truly shockproof devices, and until then, our best protection is to case them up.

Does our Xperia Z1 drop test change your plans in any way? Are you still buying the Z1? Sound off in the comments.