The iPhone SE uses the same general design as the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S, and it certainly looks like a strong phone with its aluminum body. Despite this, the bend tests conducted by SquareTrade suggest that the iPhone 6S is actually quite a bit stronger than Apple’s new 4-inch phone.
Although the iPhone SE is thicker than the iPhone 6S, it’s not as strong. Whether that’s because the iPhone 6S has stronger aluminum or not is unclear, but the results are in. According to SquareTrade, the iPhone SE only needed 160 pounds of pressure before it bent. That’s a full 10 pounds less than the 170 pounds needed to bend the iPhone 6S. It took 178 pounds for the iPhone SE to reach “catastrophic failure,” or the point at which the phone is completely ruined and unusable.
Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the iPhone’s strength put to the test. When the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were first released, customers found that they bent a lot more easily than previous iPhones. The incident quickly became known as Bendgate, and prompted Apple to up the ante for the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, both of which can withstand much more pressure than their predecessors.
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The iPhone 6S is also able to handle water better than the new iPhone SE. When dunked in water, the iPhone SE permanently turned off in less than one minute. The iPhone 6S, however, stayed on for a full 30 minutes, and even then, only the phone’s audio was damaged.
Regardless of your opinion of the iPhone SE in general, one thing is clear — if you need a phone that can withstand some abuse, then perhaps look into a more durable phone, instead.