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Watch this video before you buy a new iPhone 13

Published Sep 28th, 2021 7:31AM EDT
iPhone 13 Drop Tests
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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The iPhone 13 is out in the hands of millions of buyers, who purchased the handsets early during preorders, or in stores starting Friday. As a result, we’ve already seen plenty of real-life iPhone 13 tests in recent days, including the drop tests that arrive soon after the release date. Like the iPhone 12 series, the iPhone 13 models are very durable, and they will survive accidental drops even without protective accessories. But the higher the fall and the harder the contact surface, the higher the risk of damage is. We saw a couple of iPhone 13 drop tests the other day, which showed exactly what sort of damage to expect if using the iPhone 13 Pro models without cases and screen protectors. But there’s also a new drop test that shows how well a protective case works. Spoiler: You need a good iPhone 13 case.

As we’ve explained before, the four iPhone 13 models feature the same design and build quality as the iPhone 12 series. That includes front Ceramic Shield glass, stainless steel or aluminum frames, and rear glass. The phones are water and dust-resistant.

Two YouTubers put the iPhone 13 Pros through various drop tests a few days ago. They focused on drops against concrete from heights of around five feet. They found that they can sustain significant damage at that height depending on how the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max drop. The front and rear glass can break, and the metal frame will see scuffing. But the handset will still work, regardless of the glass damage.

iPhone 13 Pro drop test with a case

Allstate Protection Plans ran its own drop tests (video below), using both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro in different scenarios. The company ran two series of tests, one including official protection cases, to assess the damage.

The test involved dropping the iPhones from six feet using a robot to trigger the drop.

The iPhone 13 survived the first drop with minor damage in face-down drops, like the iPhone 12. But it cracked on the second try. The iPhone 13 Pro cracked across the bottom after one drop, like the iPhone 12 Pro.

When dropped on the back, the iPhone 13 survived three drops before showing minor cracks on one of the cameras. The iPhone 13 Pro, which is heavier, cracked its glass after one drop — like the iPhone 12 Pro last year.

Using a Silicone Case with MagSafe, Allstate found that the case made a “significant difference” for drops on the back. The iPhone 13 survived 3 drops, scratching a camera in the process. But the iPhone 13 screen shattered on the second drop on the face, just like in the case-lest drop.

The company used a Leather Case with MagSafe on the iPhone 13 Pro, finding that this type of protective case is also a significant durability upgrade. The iPhone 13 Pro survived 3 drops on the back with no damage. But the screen cracked on the first drop.

Allstate concluded that the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro are comparable in durability to their predecessors. But a protective case is still a “must” for the iPhones, so you should definitely get one of the iPhone 13 cases we recommend. While you’re at it, you should also consider using a protective screen to increase the durability of the Ceramic Shield glass.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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