Skip to main content

iPhone 13 Pro faces hefty hammer in brutal durability test

Another new iPhone means another brutal durability test from device-destroying YouTuber TechRax.

The star of this particular video is the iPhone 13 Pro, which, like the iPhone 12 Pro, includes a tough Ceramic Shield display, stainless steel sides, and a glass back.

Apple claims its Ceramic Shield display, developed by New York-based Corning, offers an improved drop performance by a factor of four compared to previous versions of the handset.

As TechRax likes to do things a little differently, he decides to forgo the traditional drop test where you release the phone from a particular height to see how it deals with the impact.

Instead, his test involves hitting the display with a 3-pound hammer.

For sure, this is not a real-world scenario, as few people are likely to suddenly drop a hammer onto an iPhone display during the course of a typical day. But it does let you see just how much of a battering the iPhone’s Ceramic Shield display can take before it finally gives in.

TechRax, who according to his YouTube channel has been “smashing technology since 2011,” starts off with relatively gentle single impacts that see the hammer dropped onto the display from a height of several inches. The iPhone 13 Pro’s screen handles each impact comfortably, with no significant marks remaining on the glass.

The test then moves on to repetitive impacts with a little more weight behind them. It’s still the kind of thwack you’d expect your iPhone 13 Pro to be able to handle, although we certainly don’t advise you to give it a go.

With the display still intact, TechRax starts hitting the iPhone 13 Pro with more energy, but Apple’s latest phone takes the beating in its stride. “Wow, super durable, I mean they’re very decent-sized hits at this point,” TechRax comments.

A short while later, however, the phone’s screen finally cracks, and with additional blows, the screen loses power and starts to disintegrate. Not surprisingly, the glass back has also broken, despite not taking any direct hits.

Overall, the handset’s performance is impressive, and should instill confidence in any butter-fingered iPhone 13 owners, or folks with lots of hammers around the house.

Apple is clearly delighted with its partnership with Corning, investing nearly $500 million in the company over the last four years to help it expand its manufacturing capacity in the U.S. and drive research and development for new technologies geared toward durability and long-lasting product life.

For some of the craziest iPhone torture tests we’ve seen over the years, check out this carefully compiled collection on Digital Trends.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
This is what an iPhone looks like after a year with no screen protector
Ceramic Shield on the iPhone 14 Pro, with light to show scratches.

Apple says its Ceramic Shield glass over the iPhone’s screen is “tougher than any smartphone glass,” but how accurate is this statement? The Digital Trends Mobile team has each been using one of the iPhone 14 series models for the last year and two of us haven’t put a separate screen protector on, while the third member of the team has. Here’s how the screens have held up — and what we think about Ceramic Shield.

Ceramic Shield was first introduced by Apple on the iPhone 12, and it claimed it went “beyond glass by adding a new high-temperature crystallization step that grows nano-ceramic crystals within the glass matrix, increasing drop performance by 4x.” Apple worked with Corning, the same company that makes Gorilla Glass, which is used on many smartphones from other manufacturers, to produce Ceramic Shield. It’s found on all iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14, and now all iPhone 15 models.
iPhone 14 Pro — Andy Boxall
No light shows scratches on the iPhone 14 Pro's Ceramic Shield are invisible Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Read more
I tried the iPhone’s new Journal app. Here’s what’s good (and bad)
Apple Journal app on iPhone 15 Pro.

Apple's Journal app in iOS 17 is like a basic notetaking app supercharged with AI. It offers prompts and suggestions based on what you do throughout the day to help you journal your daily entries.

While the app is a basic white screen with a “+” icon, it's what happens after you tap on that icon that sets it apart from Notes or other journaling apps. I've been using the app for a little while now, and while it's not perfect, it is off to a really interesting start.
Using iOS 17's Journal app

Read more
I reviewed 20 phones in 2023. These are my 5 favorites
A person taking a photo with the Apple iPhone 15 Plus.

This has been a fantastic year for smartphones due to the sheer variety of great devices at all prices. In other words, if you wanted a brilliant new phone this year, it didn’t have to be a $1,000-plus flagship.

I’ve used and reviewed a great many phones over the past 12 months, but the following five have left the biggest impression to become what I consider the very best you can get.
iPhone 15 Plus
Apple iPhone 15 Plus Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Read more