Intrigued by reports stating how bendable the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus can be, a team at Consumer Reports decided to test the phones for themselves. The result? These two devices aren't quite as delicate as the earlier "#bendgate," reports stated.
In a report posted on Friday, the team used a "three-point flexural test," which consists of two blocks to hold up the phone on each end and a high-precision Instron compression test machine to apply pressure against the middle of the phone.
"We started light, applying 10 pounds of force for 30 seconds, then releasing the force," Consumer Reports said. "Then we increased the force in 10-pound increments, noted when the phones first started to deform (that's what our engineers call it) and stopped the test for each phone when we saw the screen come loose from the case."
According to the test results, the iPhone 6 Plus began to deform at 90 pounds of pressure and break apart at 110 pounds of pressure. The smaller iPhone 6 wasn't quite as tough, deforming at 70 pounds and coming apart at 100 pounds of force. Keep in mind that around 55 pounds of force can break three stacked pencils.
Consumer Reports also tested other phones for comparison. The HTC One began to deform at 70 pounds and break away from the casing at 90 pounds. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was the toughest of the bunch, deforming and breaking at 150 pounds. The iPhone 5 was even stronger than the new iPhones, with 130 pounds of pressure deforming the gadget and 150 pounds of pressure causing the case to break away.
The test also revealed that the LG G3 began to deform at 130 pounds and break away from the casing at 130 pounds. This phone, along with the Galaxy Note 3, were able to completely recover at each 10 pound increment until the case fractured on the G3 (130 pounds) and the screen splintered on the Note 3 (150 pounds).
"Based on our comparative tests here at Consumer Reports, while not the strongest phones on the market, fears of a serious structural design flaw in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus seem overblown," the Consumer Reports team said.
Reports of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus bending inside of people's pockets began to surface last week, as did a viral video (below) showing Lewis of Unbox Therapy bending the phone with his bare hands. Apple fired back at the reports, stating that a bending iPhone is extremely rare, and that during the first six days of sale, only nine customers contacted Apple about having a bent iPhone 6 Plus.
The company also said that it performs "rigorous" tests throughout the developmental process. This includes user studies, 3-point bending, pressure point cycling, sit and torsion.
"iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus meet or exceed all of our high quality standards to endure every day, real life use," a statement from Apple said.