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7 cell phones that have stopped bullets (literally)

We’ve all heard stories of lucky hip flasks, cigarette cases, and bibles being in the right place at the right time, and fortuitously saving their owner’s life by deflecting a bullet. Well, screw those guys! Phones have been selflessly stopping flying bullets for years, and we have the evidence to prove it. Here are a few of our favorite phone heroes.

Updated on 08-01-2014 by Williams Pelegrin: Added the Samsung Galaxy Mega smartphone to the list.

It was the Lumia 520’s turn to protect and serve

A Lumia 520 a day keeps the bullets away.

The Nokia Lumia 520 is mostly known for how inexpensive, yet functional, it is. From now on though, it’ll be known as a butt saver. A Brazil military police officer was shot at by robbers looting his mother’s home. While one bullet missed him entirely, the other one hit his Lumia 520.

While the bullet might not have killed the officer, seeing as it would have hit his buttock, it could have prevented a safe getaway and would have given the robbers incentive to inflict more harm. Fortunately, the officer was able to get away unscathed, though the robbers were able to make a successful getaway.

The Evo 3D proves it can still serve a purpose

This HTC Evo 3D could see the bullet coming in three dimensions
This HTC Evo 3D could see the bullet coming in three dimensions Image used with permission by copyright holder

Our Evo 3D couldn’t handle a 3-foot drop on concrete without shattering, but HTC’s old 3D phone surprised us this week. Following the attempted robbery of a gas station in Florida this week, a failed thief shot at a clerk as he left the store, with the bullet catching the man in the chest. Thankfully, he was only slightly injured because the Evo 3D absorbed the majority of the impact. While the man survived, the phone, sadly, didn’t make it. We’re happy for the man, but sad that he’s had to live with an Evo 3D for so long.

HTC phones have seen action in the past too. An HTC Evo contributed to John Garber’s survival in 2011, when the battery stopped a bullet that randomly fired outside a nightclub in Atlanta.

Given the Evo and Evo 3D are loosely related, we’d say that’s two people who’re still walking around thanks to owning one.

Bullet dodgin’ BlackBerry

BlackBerry Curve proved it can take a hit
BlackBerry Curve proved it can take a hit Image used with permission by copyright holder

Way back in 2010 when people used to own BlackBerry phones, an unnamed woman who was accidentally shot in the leg by her boyfriend, escaped injury thanks to a BlackBerry in her jeans. The phone, which looks like a Curve in a video of the incident, did a good job of protecting her at close range. Things may have been very different if she was foolish enough to buy a Pearl.

Apparently, BlackBerry knew its phones were tough, too. Though we thought it was a silly pot-shot at Apple years ago, this 2009 video clearly shows the secondary benefit to owning a BlackBerry.

If only Nokia could deflect declining market share

Nokia X2 Shot
This Nokia X2 saved a man’s life in Syria Image used with permission by copyright holder

We’ve all seen the memes about the Nokia 3310’s legendary toughness, but here’s two stories which could indicate many other examples of older Nokia hardware is strong enough to stop (or at least, deflect) bullets. The first image comes from Syria, and shows the remains of a Nokia X2 (remember them?) after it tangled with hot lead. Apparently, it saved the life of someone recording just how unstable Syria was at the time.

The second video show what looks like a Nokia 5800 XpressMusic keeping a stray bullet away from the owner’s um, gentleman’s area. Supposedly shot (the video and the bullet) in Yemen in 2011, the phone’s owner appears unharmed.

iPhone doesn’t need an app for that

If you shoot an iPhone, this is what it looks like
If you shoot an iPhone, this is what it looks like Image used with permission by copyright holder

You didn’t think an Apple phone would miss out on being the center of attention did you? No, of course not. A report from February 2012 says an iPhone sufficiently slowed a bullet to stop it reaching the owner’s heart. Although it does seem the bullet had already smashed through a car’s windshield first, which likely helped stop it. But whatever, let’s credit the iPhone with saving this guy’s life. It’s the way Apple would spin it, after all.

Additionally, in a similar story from 2007, a bullet ended up buried in a soldier’s iPod while he was in Iraq, effectively saving his life. Well done iPod? Well, no. Again, the soldier was also wearing body armor, making the music player’s life-saving role slightly less decisive. Apple, you get to brag enough. Definitively save some lives and we’ll talk.

Razr saves a gardener

Motorola Razr Shot
This Razr saved a gardener after he was shot Image used with permission by copyright holder

In 2008, there so many millions of Motorola Razr’s around, odds are that at least one of them would accidentally do something selfless. When an unsuspecting Louisiana gardener was shot by a stray bullet, it was his Razr that ensured he felt almost nothing at all when it struck. The phone fell apart when he took it out of his pocket, but hey, Razr’s have been known to do that from time to time anyway.

Motorola has used kevlar in the construction of its phones for some time, but sadly, as this fan-made video proves, it isn’t stopping anything real.

Samsung Galaxy did this guy a Mega favor

This Galaxy Mega smartphone prevented a bullet from entering Han’s chest. Image used with permission by copyright holder

According to The Shanghaiist, a Taiwanese man named Han, who had a sickle in hand, entered into a fight with another man named Xu, who opted for a modified gun. Even though the bullet went cleanly through Han’s arm, it did not enter his chest, thanks to the Galaxy Mega handset that was in his chest pocket.

Since he suffered no bone injury due to the bullet, Han should make a full recovery soon. As for Xu, he eventually turned himself in to the authorities, who said that Xu had intended to kill Han. Thanks to the modified nature of his gun, though, the gun was not as powerful as it could have been, limiting the damage done to Han.

So, three cheers for the mobile phone! They’ve been taking bullets for many years without the recognition they (possibly) deserve. Just, uh, don’t go shooting yourselves in the phone. We’re not taking submissions for the next phone bullet roundup.


Updated on 5-2-2014 by Williams Pelegrin: We’ve added the Lumia 520 to this list for saving a Brazilian police officer.

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Andy Boxall
Senior Mobile Writer
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
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