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iPhone 6 and 6 Plus not as bendy as believed (consumerreports.org)
229 points by eglover on Sept 27, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 175 comments

This test shows a severe lack of understanding of flexural strength testing. This test is a bastardization of the three point bending test that is commonly performed for peak bending strength analysis of materials.

Bending is a result of moments and moments are driven by moment arms. These tests should not be looking at point load required to induce deformation but rather the moment required to induce deformation. Each of these should have been converted into equivalent moments based on the size of the phone.

For example, the M8 is shown as 146.3 mm (5.76 in) H; 70.6 mm (2.78 in) W; 9.4 mm (0.37 in) D and the iPhone 6 is 138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 in) and both are shown to "deform" at 70 lbs.

The M8 has an induced moment of 100 lb-in while the iPhone 6 has an induced moment of 95 lb-in. The resultant bending stress by assuming a linear stress distribution across the section is then 1575 psi for the M8 and 2950 psi for the iPhone 6.

Similar analyses should be undertaken for each of the other phones.

A more accurate test for the failure mode of concern would be a four point load test in which moment is constant across a portion of the phone. The three point load test induces a moment that is maximum at the point of load application. The four point load test is more likely to show you where the point of weakness in the phone is.

So what does this ultimately mean? Seems like you can bend any given modern smartphone, given enough force. Is the iPhone 6 more likely to bend under average conditions? Is there any substance to the hubbub about bending 6's? A lot of jargon in your response, is this lengthy response just to point out that their methodology is flawed or are you making a point about the case at hand?

Sorry if my point was unclear.

The point of my response is that the test performed does not test against the complaint, it is a manipulation of the data (either through ignorance or malice) that presents data that may not truly imply the conclusion drawn by the article.

Phones are composed of many different materials of many different sizes and shapes at different points through its cross section. When looking for a "yield force" or "rupture force," as this article does, the three point test is effective ONLY for materials which are constant along the entirety of the test section or for parts where the loading condition is replicated exactly. When the loading condition may be unknown or the sectional properties may vary along the length of the phone then the four point test is more appropriate as it will show you the bending moment that is required to induce yield/rupture and, more importantly, it will show you WHERE that point is.

Most people elsewhere in this thread note that the point of weakness appears to be at the volume buttons on this phone. The three point bending test where the phone is loaded in the center may or may not reveal this, but a proper four point bending test would. Proper analysis of the testing method, reported failure modes, and the testing data would reveal this.

I also take a little exception with the "70 lbs is what it takes to break four pencils" demonstration they do as it is misleading and not informational at all. Four pencils loaded with 70 lbs at what point? What is the geometry of the four pencils? Is it 2x2 square or 4x1 rectangular? Which direction is it loaded?

The whole article stinks of pseudo-science which is what you get when you have journalists conducting tests without consulting with a proper expert in the field.

The article notes that the three point test is the "standard" that Apple uses for this type of test as if it somehow makes that the appropriate test for this type of analysis. It does not.

The machine and example configurations:




My attempt at a "for dummies" summary of the issue here:

If you look carefully, the Consumer Reports tests involve placing end supports roughly 1/4" from either edge of each phone. Basically, all the phones are different sizes and thus have varying amounts of material and torque being applied between the supports and the part of the machine pressing down. A particularly long phone which yields at 70lb of force has actually performed better than a stubby one which yields at 70lb in this case. Hopefully I didn't just say anything too wrong or confusing, because I'm not going to notice until the morning...

If any phone is going to be subject to the same force at the edges, regardless of length, then that's what you want to be measuring. It doesn't matter if a long phone can handle slightly more torque than a short one, if it's going to be subject to a lot more torque.

I don't know what the stresses applied to a phone in a pocket actually look like, but it's not obvious to me that measuring force rather than torque is unfair.

This isn't a test of the materials though, it's a test of the phones as a whole. When I sit on my iPhablet it's going to have more leverage working against it than an iPhone 5.

Really? Have you seen or heard of ANY other phone that bends THIS easily?


I'm slightly curious how this individual can afford to destroy multiple $600 phones. Will he make that back from 400,000 views?

He'll get the phones replaced under warranty.

If he's partnered, he could get around $2 CPM, so around $800 if the videos at 400,000 views.

Interesting. And looking at his previous video (the one that went viral) it got 40m views. So he could potentially have made $80,000 from that?

Woah, that's pretty amazing. And I think, (strange as it might seem) ultimately more informational than the consumerreports tests. Don't know why you're getting downvoted.

The point is things got worse from iPhone 5 -> 6 .. the case got less resilient. So its a downgrade.

"But it's thinner!" Meanwhile, everyone seems to want a more durable phone / more battery life. The result is cases which can easily double the total thickness of the phone just to protect it. I personally miss the OG Droid / HTC Windows Mobile phones that could take 2 years of beating and still be going strong. I'd gladly take an iPhone 7 twice as thick as the 6 if it was waterproof, droppable from 10ft, and could last 16 hours of heavy use after the battery had been abused for 2 years.

I don't think this is very in-tune with the actual buyers.

iPhones always outperform Androids in battery life in the real world IME (there are exceptions that probably break the rule, but with compromises elsewhere I'm not willing to make so I haven't bought those devices). My 6+ is living up to the "2 days" claim.

I absolutely wouldn't trade thinness, and more importantly, weight, for longer battery life.

The battery life is fine. The weight is good. The thinness allows me to add a case and still only have it be as thick as an iPhone 5.

For me, someone who actually paid for an off contract 6+, they made the right call.

If everyone wanted more durability and better battery life we'd still be using Nokias that were indestructible and lasted 7 days on a charge.

Nope your argument doesn't follow from parent's point.

Parent is saying people want durability and better battery life and would gladly sacrifice thickness for it, not sacrifice all the things that iPhones have and those old Nokia's didn't.

It's a false dichotomy, either an iphone 6 plus or a nokia? Give me a break.

I'd happily take the iphone 6, add 20-40% in thickness and weight, make it more durable and have a bigger battery, and let the phone sit flat on a table (as opposed to the camera sticking out like now) without having to mess with a case.

My HTC hero was pre-bent and more durable than any plastic Nokia... I'd love 40% magnification of it, it'd last a week too.

Actually I want a more reparable phone. I'll sacrifice thickness if it means that the LCD, digitizer, motherboard and chassis could be separated by just undoing screws and cutting a seal (iPhone 3g's I took to repairing bby remaking the seal with polyurethane each time).

Civil Engineering Grad student here. Agreed, four point load test allows for uniform bending moment distribution between the two loading point. Which can expose the weakest point in the phone (in iPhone6+ near the volume buttons). The link below is the moment diagram for both load test. http://images.slideplayer.us/5/1566057/slides/slide_20.jpg

(For others that want to know more) An example of what a four point load test looks like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thd01MjOTeA

With this type of test, it may have been able to show if the volume or SIM card slots create structure weak points.

The Youtube video made by the guy who bends the 6 Plus with his hands shows that the weak point is at the volume slot. I think its a bit disappointing that ConsumerReports didn't go into more detail.

They also didn't respond to the suspected weak spot near the mute and volume buttons at all. I could imagine that this spot was not under a lot of stress the way they bent it.

I completely disagree. This is a case where the size plays a significant role in how it would be bent in real life. Strongest for its thickness isn't worth much. My cheek pressing in the center of a phone while I sit on a soft couch loads the full length, and approximates the 3 point test quite well.

> lb-in

Ugh. What's that in microtonne-millileagues?

My favorite Imperial unit is velocity expressed in furlongs per fortnight. I can't understand why people don't use it more often.

Maybe because not even snails go that slow (They can achieve about 80 furlongs per fortnight, if no lettuce derails their velocity)

Insightful comment, bot those units really make me cringe. How do you do physics with those? Did you know that 1 lb in is 16 oz ft?

Physics is done quite readily by using a consistent unit system of pound inch second or kip feet seconds. All of these units can be converted to metric; however, it appears that one of the key characteristics of metric system champions is an inability to do conversions and so the convertiblity of any units may a moot point.

No it's not quite the same, the fact that all the conversion factors between ft and in and lb and oz are weird numbers rather than power of tens means that if someone gives me a weird compound unit (for example forces and distances in DNA are measured in piconewton and nanometer) I can't do the math in my head.

tl;dr the point it's not the fact that it's metric, but that it's decimal.

What the hell are you even talking about?

"Not it's not quite the same"? What is not the same? Converting between metric units and English units? It's exactly the same if you're doing it right. Contrary to common belief, most engineering and science that is done using the English system doesn't use "eight pounds four ounces per foot per inch" or some other such silly unit. Consistent units are used based on the application. Are there instances where a conversion must be used? Certainly. Are these conversions any more complex than those used in the metric system? No.

Disagree? Then tell me how many liters of water are needed to fill a cubic meter of space without looking it up or writing it down. You can't? Then stop crying about having to divide by 12 to get to feet.

Only an idiot does unit conversions in their head.

> Then tell me how many liters of water are needed to fill a cubic meter of space without looking it up or writing it down.

1000. I had the answer calculated in my head before I finished reading the sentence. I knew that conversion by heart before I was 10. Also as a grown-up my water usage is billed in cubic meters of water used per month.

This video is all you need to see why using imperial for anything is idiotic: http://youtu.be/EUpwa0je6_Y - this is a group of people who use imperial measures daily struggling with a basic arithmetic operation that any second grader could solve in metric.

> Only an idiot does unit conversions in their head.

Or every elementary school kid outside the few countries that still don't use the metric system as it's a pretty common exercise.

I probably shouldn't have answered as I'm pretty sure you're just trolling.

Actually, with metric units it's pretty easy: 1,000 liters of water are needed to fill a cubic meter of space. That's because in the metric system 1 cubic centimeter is equivalent to 1 milliliter.

It's too bad there isn't an educational system that exists to help us learn units throughout childhood so that we can apply them to everyday tasks in our adult lives.

That is a LOT of words

Christ, will the damn thing deform if I keep it in my pocket like I would any other phone or is it just a minuscule percentage of devices that have had photos re-posted in the LOLOMGWTF nature of these inane corporate allegiance squabbles? That is all I care about, I'm not trying to build a damn house out of these things.

Thank you for the first reasonable comment I've seen on this in a while. So much "lol" sensationalism and not much to say how much I, a fairly typical user, have to care about this.

I think that you should just hold off buying it for a bit and wait for apple's response. This is admittedly anecdotal, but I know one person who bought the new 6 (not the 6+), and although it is a great phone in every respect he said that over the weekend he had it, it had bent in his front pocket (not his back). It is nothing egregious like the bend test videos, but when he sets it down on a table now it doesn't lie flat because there is a noticeable bend on the diagonal between the top and the bottom. He is now carrying it in his other pocket to try and get a similar bend the other way to even it out.

I am sure that Apple will not let this issue just stand, although they will definitely work to minimize and downplay it publically, and a few months from now the next batch of iphones will have been stiffened and will be much better. One of the risks of being an early adopter and if you can hold off for a bit I'm sure you'll get a stronger phone.

Probably if you'll not put the 6+ on your back pocket you should be good. Is taller and thinner and so weaker, easier to bend.

The reports came from people putting them in their front pants pockets and sitting. Your thigh is pretty strong.

Almost all the bending reports are for the iPhone 6+ bending & twisting at/close to the volume-down button when placed in pockets etc.

Placing the phone between two flat blocks and applying pressure at the exact center (three-point-test) will NOT test for this specific issue.

Even then it should be pretty suspicious that in the test conducted, the new phones are at the bottom of the stiffness list.

On another front, the Apple response is textbook - Deny, Minimize, (deride the press), then grudgingly make changes even while insisting that none were needed to begin with. Expect the next lot of these phones to experience a sudden stiffening.

All nine reports of the 10,000,000+ who have iPhone 6s. I really think this whole thing has been blown way way out of proportion. If this were any other phone maker we wouldn't be talking about it.

I know my phone will shatter if I drop it. But I'm not going to drop it to prove this point.

All 10,000,000 won't dare to test the bending and would try to avoid conditions (don't keep in pockets, buy thicker cases etc) that will lead to bending..

First off, we don't know how many phones have been bent nor do we know how common that bending is. The fact that there are any reports at all within the first few days of the phone being available is troubling. What matters is the overall rate of bending under "normal" phone handling conditions. Even if that rate is fairly low (say one per million per day) that still results in a huge number of people with bent phones over their expected use lifetime (nearly 1 in 1000 over the standard 2 year upgrade window).

Moreover, the rate of things like phone bending is probably non-linear, because it will happen during the highest amount of applied bending force over the period of use, which probably doesn't happen every day. If the iPhone 6 plus is just enough weaker than other phones such that it bends more commonly under fairly common handling conditions for any phone then the result could be a LOT of bent phones.

I've seen several videos of people bending these phones and to be honest it looks like Apple has a problem. The phone seems to be much weaker than any device designed for that use environment should be.

Considering that Jobs went to great efforts to ensure that the original iPhone was rugged under normal but inadvised handling conditions (i.e. putting it in the same pocket as keys, thus the use of gorrila glass), I can't help but see this bendiness as a decided step backwards in the design philosophy of the iPhone line.

Why would you believe a company that said about the antenna issue on the iPhone 4: "You're holding it wrong". There are way more complaints and pictures to be found on this issue than the ones that Apple reports.

> * a company that said about the antenna issue on the iPhone 4: "You're holding it wrong"*

Yes and... that was correct? Every other phone suffers from the same antenna attenuation if you enclose it completely in your hands. But because it's Apple, some news outlets saw a chance to make some pageviews by creating another scandal.

The "antennagate" crap was roughly equivalent to people complaining that a TV won't show any image at all if you set it up facing the wall, and writing lots of grandiose articles about how Apple TV doesn't deliver on its promise in all sorts of common circumstances, etc.

Actually the iPhone 4 suffered the most from this because of its metal casing (most phones were , and still are, made from plastic). Because this created a sort of faraday cage for the cell signals, part of the design (the metal border) served as an antenna. In fact, as two antennas (seen here (http://jim93277.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/iphone3_1_610x37...). One for WiFi and other cool stuff, the other for Cell tower stuff.

But if you held it with your left hand, you could create a contact between the two antennas and things would freak out a bit. This is 1000% due to the design of the iPhone 4, and not an issue with other phones. It had nothing to do with "covering the entire antenna with your hand".

So who's wrong? Apple, for not considering this? Or a good 10/20% of the world for doing things with their left hands?

IIRC, that wasn't a official response but an off-the-cuff answer from one man, who is now dead.

You mean the then CEO, Steve Jobs?

Who else would I mean?

Steve Jobs was a jerk, yes. It does not follow from this that Apple as a whole will necessarily lie about damage reports.

I think a big factor of this is the number of reports in the time-frame... Nine reports over the course of a year is one thing, nine reports over the course of the premiere week is something else entirely.

It has been blown out of proportion. But so was the iPhone 6 launch. It's the downside of the Apple hype machine, basically.

"You're bending it wrong"

"Just bend it the other way"

That was also my first though -- they'll recommend that concerned iPhone 6 owners buy stiff-back cases.

Is it a coincidence that the silicon cases for the 6 /6+ are stiff and fully wrap the back vs the bumper design they used for previous generations?

Given that Apple also sold "around the back" cases for the last two years' gens of phones, something easily verifiable on the internet, yes, it is a coincidence.

There are enough actual things here to criticize Apple for. No need to create conspiracy theories

I'm pretty sure they only did bumper cases for the 4/4s?

  Phone	                 Deformation	Case Separation
  HTC One (M8)	         70 lbs.	90 lbs.
  Apple iPhone 6	 70 lbs.	100 lbs.
  Apple iPhone 6 Plus	 90 lbs.	110 lbs.
  LG G3	                 130 lbs.	130 lbs.
  Apple iPhone 5	 130 lbs.	150 lbs.
  Samsung Galaxy Note 3	 150 lbs.	150 lbs.
Direct link to the video http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/video-hub/3809044640001/

First off, their own results show that the 6 series is considerable weaker than the 5 series.

Secondly, they applied that force for 30 seconds and got significant deformation. I'm fairly sure that, given more time, they'd reach the less significant deformation reported and shown by others, with less force.

Deformation depends a lot more on the force than on how long the force is applied. There is a critical point where a material will permanently deform rather than springing back. More here:


Your second point is a valid good one to at least consider.

However just playing devil's advocate: 9 returns to Apple (assuming that figure is true) is absolutely trivial relative to the units shipped.

I think it will be interesting to see where we stand in 6 months time. Will we see tons more phones return?

That's really the only meaningful question here. It doesn't matter if it's quantifiably more likely to bend, what matters is if that results in enough phones getting damaged in normal usage to be an actual issue for people. No one will know that for a while.

Non-ECC memory is more likely to get corrupted than ECC memory, but that doesn't mean that every single person who uses a computing device should be using ECC memory. Just because one thing is quantifiably less robust than something else is meaningless without a concept of "how robust does it need to be?"

Obviously the company thinks the phones have sufficient tolerances. A few people on the Internet have posted firsthand accounts that they think proves that the phones are inadequate. A much larger group of people on the Internet who don't like the company that makes the phones practically salivate over these sorts of events, and have been making sure that absolutely everyone who reads any tech forums is HIGHLY AWARE that this is a very important thing that we should all know and care about very, very deeply. Journalists of course will write about this stuff because many of them interpret their job as writing about whatever people are talking about.

Which brings us to the present, in which the only truth that anyone can point to is: no one actually knows if this is actually a problem or not. The only way to answer that question is to wait and see how many returns there are due to breakage. For people who care about truth, well, that's the truth, boring as it may be. In a few months we'll find out if a big company might make less money because somebody should've used a bigger number on a spreadsheet. Exciting! On the other hand, for people who care about arguing about things on the Internet, well, to hell with them, honestly.

The results show that the 6 series is similar in strength to phones of that size from other manufacturers. It stands to reason that a smaller, thicker phone like the iPhone 5 will be more rigid (though it's interesting that it's easier to deform a 6 than a 6+).

No, the results show that there's as much as a 50% difference in the results between top and bottom. That's a huge difference in structural terms.

No, actually what the parent poster wrote was correct. You say no, but then don't make any point. It does indeed show that the iPhone 6 performs similarly to other similar sized phones.

What do you mean I didn't make a point? A 50% difference in strength is pretty tremendous. That's the point. The iPhone 5 to the iPhone 6 is a pretty serious downgrade, from "I can't damage it with my own strength" to "I can break it if I put a little effort into it".

If you count a 50% difference as "performs similarly" I have some dollar bills I'd like to sell you for $1.50 each.

seriously warped command of the english language there. performs similarly to similar sized phones... The iphone5 is much smaller and therefore less likely to get bent in the pocket. It wasn't that hard to understand.

Then even given that clarification, the iPhone 6 plus performed terribly in this particular test against similar sized phones.

Yeah, some of the phones in the test are quite hard to bend, and some are extremely hard to bend. In that sense there's a difference.

It's the difference between "I can bend/break it with my bare hands" to "I can't bend/break it with my bare hands". Things stronger than humans tend to last better under use by humans.

I don't see why whether you can bend the phone with your hands is relevant, unless you actually plan to try to bend your phone with your hands. I could probably break my laptop's screen by bending it with my hands. I can tear the pages out of a book. I can rip apart my clothes. But whether or not I can break these items with my bare hands has almost no bearing on their actual lifespan. I'm much more likely to break my laptop by dropping it, destroy my book by getting it wet, and ruin my clothes by staining them.

Things that are stronger generally tend to last better under use by humans or non-humans, but whether you can bend it with your hands is not a good benchmark. But if it bends in your pocket when you're not intentionally stressing it for the benefit of your YouTube audience, that's more troubling.

It means you can damage it with human scale strength. That's an important durability criteria. If you want something that will outlast cows, you make it stronger than a cow. Likewise for any animal or desired user. Humans are not a special exception in engineering terms. That's why roads aren't made of paper and golf gloves should last more than a couple swings. Likewise a phone should be able to handle reasonable human uses.

I can exert 500lb of force fairly easily. None of the phones can withstand that.

You must be an absolute monster of a man then.

The average human male can't even bench press their own weight. 500lb of force is in elite boxing range. You'd basically have to be an Olympic level boxer to be generating that kind of force "fairly easily".

Can a human generate power easily in that range? Maybe if you jumped on your phone from a 2 story building, or had amazing squats and dropped the weights on the phone. But no sane company would design their daily-use general purpose smartphone for those kinds of circumstances.

To give you an idea of what human strength actually looks like here's a paper on hand strength.


70lbs is just between the grip strength of a woman and a man.

150lbs is over both.

There are entire categories of human-sized movements that can generate over 70lbs of force. There are surprisingly few that can generate at or over 150. You have to really want to be doing it and you have to be body builder strong.

I would guess well over 50 percent of the population can easily get into that range.

Stepping on your phone can easily generate twice your body weight in force. While running a heal strike can easily be three times your body weight. Hopping on one foot can go beyond that. http://thebodymechanic.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/giandol... http://www.barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/4BiomechanicsofFo...

You might argue that's not what we are talking about, but a phone in your back pocket could easily be subjected to more than your body weight when sitting (flopping?) down on a wooden chair.

PS: One of the classic cellphone tests is driving a truck over the thing. For courtiers it's not uncommon for someone to drive over your phone and generally rugged phones can easily service that.

Under those kind of extreme conditions, I'd have no choice but to go with the most rugged possible phone. I think I have an old Nokia around somewhere.

I can choose not to bend/break my phone with my bare hands. That's good enough for me.

Sure, but I think the point is more the "when you have it in the front pocket of your skinny jeans and drunkenly run a bit into the edge of a counter top" case that could very reasonably happen in a 2-year replacement cycle of such a device.

Personally, I'll be getting a rigid case that covers the back and sides.

> Personally, I'll be getting a rigid case that covers the back and sides.

Most cell-phone "rigid" cases are less rigid than the phone's own case, so they only afford protection against scratches and impacts, not bending.

If you run a bit into the edge of a counter top, with 70 lbs of force, I feel, your phone would not be your top concern. Plus I think, people are mostly worried about the phone deforming in your back pocket if you sit down on it. I am not a physics student, but even if you sit down on, say concrete, I think, your ass needs to have some serious muscle tone, such that a metallic object can get deformed without causing you discomfort.

OK, I feel like I have to ask this:

Who puts their phone into their back pocket? Why would you do that? Is it because it doesn't look as good to have it in your front pocket?

Because I sure as hell wouldn't put something that I spent >$200 on, that isn't designed to be sat on, in my back pocket.

70 to 130 lbs is a huge difference.

Sigh. Even that link causes Safari on OS X to display an image saying:

   You need to update your Flash Player
So, by default, the Consumer Reports website is non-functional with those customers who are most likely to have an iPhone. I then visited consumerreports.org using my non-bent iPhone6 and wonder of wonders, the video played.


Wow. glad to know my Note 3, as big as it is, is class leading in this particular test. It's definitely a top-notch piece of hardware in every other way.

From specs to hardware build the iPhone 6 just seems really behind the curve and very "blah".

The iPhone 5 was definitely a class leading phone in the hand before this test, feeling like a beautiful instrument. This test is proving it too is a fantastically put together device from a durability POV.

The 6 is very ho hum and I'm adding this to my list of ho hum things about it. It's not a bad phone, but not a great, class leading one in any way either.

I never really thought I'd see the day that a Korean phone designed by a completely anonymous corporate industrial design drone really beat the socks off of Apple's offering, and yet it appears to have happened this year.

All that being said, #bendgate is seriously overblown, just like antenna-gate. This is most likely a desire to hit Apple where it hurts the most, image, in order to extract free stuff/lower price/whatever like what happened last time with antenna-gate.

> From specs to hardware build the iPhone 6 just seems really behind the curve

Obviously people see what they want to see, but: http://www.anandtech.com/show/8559/iphone-6-and-iphone-6-plu...

Specwise it looks like a top-end phone from last year. RAM, screen, etc.

I'm glad to see it's doing well in the javascript benchmarks at least. Speaks highly of Apple's nitro engine.

No, iPhone's A8 is optimized for single-core performance, which is way more meaningful in real applications than combined multi-core performance. 99% of apps run on single core. Although, A8's combined multi-core performance is also on par with other high-end smartphones.

See comparison to SGS5 in Geekbench 3: http://www.phonesreview.co.uk/wp-content/phoneimages/iPhone-...

> "99% of apps run on single core."

This really isn't true. A rudimentary "Hello World" app, maybe, but all of the common apps that are being run are heavily multithreaded.

Even an app that just uses stock/fairly common libs (like AFNetworking) is going to be multithreaded by virtue of those things alone.

Multi-core performance is critical in the iOS ecosystem, single-core is hardly a concern anymore.

Just because an app is multithreaded doesn't mean it's going to scale to use more than one core on average. It doesn't matter if you can do networking in a background thread if your UI is just going to block until the results come in.

I think the GP's implication is that the A8 can deal we'll with apps that primarily work on the main/UI thread - which most apps do.

For fun compare to a similar sized phone that's come out at the same time as the iPhone 6.


Based on our extensive Lab tests and measurements, the Galaxy Note 4 is the Best performing Smartphone display that we have ever tested. It matches or breaks new records in Smartphone display performance for: Highest Absolute Color Accuracy, Highest Screen Resolution, Infinite Contrast Ratio, Highest Peak Brightness, Highest Contrast Rating in Ambient Light, and the smallest Brightness Variation with Viewing Angle. Its Color Management capability provides multiple Color Gamuts – a major advantage that is not currently provided by any of the other leading Smartphones. The Galaxy Note 4 delivers uniformly consistent all around Top Tier display performance: it is the first Smartphone display to ever get all Green (Very Good to Excellent) Ratings in all test and measurement categories (except one Yellow for a Brightness Variation with Average Picture Level) since we started the Display Technology Shoot-Out article Series in 2006, an impressive achievement for a display. The Galaxy Note 4 has again raised the bar for top display performance up by another notch.

It's not like the iPhone 6 is a bad phone. If it were an Android device it would be considered an above average to a good in the field. But it's not, it's an iPhone and expectations are that it should come out as class leading. Which it isn't along most measures to date.

You haven't shown that it isn't class leading. You've only shown that one phone beats it in one category and not by a lot, two categories if we count pounds to deform.

The Anandtech link above shows the new iPhones basically among the leaders in every category. The displaymate reviews extend that. How you spin that into merly above average and last years quality is beyond me.

What is infinite contrast ratio? Is the phone able to emit zero light from a pixel instructed to show RGB(0,0,0) when another area asks for RGB(255,255,255)?

Multiple color gamuts—does the phone's screen actually extend well past sRGB, or did they just discover perceptual color mapping?

The compact camera market went through a spec-obsessive phase, and it resulted in 14+ megapixel compact cameras that struggled with anything less than direct sunlight. My 12 megapixel dSLR sounds weaker spec-wise, but works better in every lighting situation—even this aging piece of kit gives me pleasing images at ISO 5,000, well past its design limits.

There's a lot more to design than stuffing in faster CPUs, more RAM, and more screen and camera pixels.

Choosing a different android device to trump each separate specification of the iPhone just proves that there is no single android device that is as good overall.

Did you read the iPhone 6 link? It was done after the Note 4, as mentioned in the write-up. Also mentioned in the write-up was

"Based on our extensive Lab tests and measurements, the iPhone 6 Plus is the Best performing Smartphone LCD display that we have ever tested."

Read the two articles again. In several categories the Note 4 comes out ahead, sometimes significantly.

I have a hard time trusting prose with inappropriate capitalization

Not really, it speaks highly of their SOC.

Obviously those tests were rigged.

My biggest issue with Apple's response is they have not revealed their policy on what will happen if I come into apple care with a malformed phone. Will they blame me for putting it in my pocket wrong...or assure me that they can either replace it or give me some kind of case that lessens the risk of curving

If you come to a Genius Bar looking for help with your bent device they will inspect it visually, and if it doesn't look like it bent under extreme conditions they will replace it. The ultimate arbiter of "normal usage" vs. "extreme conditions" is the AppleCare professional, they aren't going to test your device with automated tools for that.

I'm sorry, but I don't want to be at the mercy of the manager of the Apple store. I once questioned the way a Apple manager was treating a Salesperson who was helping me. Well I guess I the Manager was having a bad day-- he wouldn't sell me anything and ordered me to leave the store. Yes--I was banned from a Apple Store. I took a video of the Manager with an Apple phone and posted it on Youtube.(I took it down. I've always had a hard time with guy's who get a little bit of authority and it goes straight to their heads, so maybe I did something to piss him off?) After that incident, I realized there's a hard coded line of command at those stores and if the Manager says no--the other employees don't have any power.

(If anyone from Apple reads this don't let store Managers abuse their position; you lose sales, and employee store moral goes out the window. You can guess which store it is from my name. Don't take my version of the story. Verify the incident with other employees, I don't think anyone would forget--it happened feb 1, 2013, and "The Manager" was Greg?)

You can't get away from people. People will rule your life, whether you let them or not. People are the rule interpreters, enforcers and inventors, so even strict rules won't save you.

And yes, virtually any corporation works somewhat like an army unit. Nothing strange about that.

It's not actually "inspect it visually." It's that they follow the visual inspection guide, which is an Apple procedure. So not as much discretion as it sounds.


They were set on allowing people to believe that a structural defect is only available for out of warranty service until the issue got enough attention.

Wow, a swollen battery is not covered under warranty?! I would understand that if the battery is removable, but how would you prevent this?

(of course, under normal usage it's very unlikely that a modern battery will swell, but it's not impossible)

No, I believe it's saying that any split that was not caused by a swollen battery is out-of-warranty. If it was caused by a swollen battery it would be eligible for an in-warranty repair.

Here's my concern on a quick look at the aftermath photos. They bent the phone in the middle, where it's admittedly not that weak.

If you look at most of the user damage photos the phone bends towards the top end where the button cut-outs weaken it. The phone did fail around the buttons as well but it's still bent in the middle from the tests. It appears their setup didn't stress it where the problems are occurring.

My estimation would be if you placed a load equidistant between the top of the phone and the middle, stressing the buttons area specifically, you would see a large difference in performance between models. The pocket issue seems to be "bending over" the top of the phone, not applying point loads across the length of the body.

The phone will actually perform better being bent this way as the distribution of stresses goes from pure torque (compression on top, stretching on the bottom) in the middle (where the load is applied) to pure shear at the edges where it is supported.

The iPhone6 has a weak spot for torque at about 1/3 of the way from the top where there are some buttons. This test didn't stress that as aggressively as it could have. I suspect that it would perform 20-30% worse if you loaded it at the weak point.

The real issue here is that the phone both grew in length and was reduced in strength at the same time. That means that actions which previously didn't approach the elastic deformation limit of the phone now are. No change in behavior => change in result especially one with negative outcomes is going to get people riled up.

doesn't look like they applied pressure on the spot near the volume rocker where it apparently has the defect.

That doesn't sound right. If you look at their tests of the iPhone 5, the LG G3 and the Galaxy Note 3, they clearly bend off centre, where I assume there is a weak point.

This whole thing is stupid. I have an iPhone 6 and it just barely fit comfortably in my front pocket. If it's just a bit off I find it awkward and uncomfortable.

I would love to see tests involving the real people who are bending their phones in their pockets. a) to measure the forces in their pockets and b) to see how they can stand that sort of discomfort.

Edit: I'll be specific. When I am standing the phone fits fine in my jeans. It's not great when I try and sit. In some positions it's ok. But in my head I was implying that if it's uncomfortable, I take it out of my pocket. The 6 is definitely the limit of any phone I'd buy.

You are complaining that the big phone you bought doesn't fit comfortably in your pocket. I don't even know what to say.

With regard to a weak point, the phone would bend there first in these tests if such a thing existed. That's how weak points work.

I don't think he's complaining nor saying it's unreasonable, just stating.

For him, it's uncomfortable to put his iPhone 6 in his pockets, and he wonders how much discomfort people are putting up with that is causing their phone to bend in their pockets.

Or at least thats how I understood it.

The problem is a bit more subtle than that. If you're highly vested into the iOS ecosystem, and you need a new phone, you want to get the latest and greatest, but the 6 is just too big for some people.

My wife and I stopped in the Apple store today, and she saw the 6 and 6+ for the first time. She has a 4s (4.5") vs the iP6 @ 5.4" is quite large by comparison. "Nope, too big. I want the same size as mine but that thin" was all she had to say about it. It's a bit sad that her 4s is starting to show its age, and instead of a 6 she's likely get a 5s instead.

I think a lot of people are wishing for a 5-sized 6. I'm hoping my 5 will last two more years and that Apple will have a new release by then that's < 5".

The iPhone 4s has a 3.5" screen, not 4.5" ;).

You're right. I was quoting the overall height not just screen size.

yeah, when people try to stuff a quad-core 2.7 GHz computer in their pocket they complain it might bend, duh!!! Treat these things with some respect or get a case.

How much money does an article or a youtube video generate? It seems that this one article alone must have cost thousands of dollars in equipment alone.

And while the iphone 6 bend video on youtube has almost 40 million hits now, the unbox therapy user who uploaded it hits less than 500.000 views on average for their other videos. I'm willing to believe that 40 million views on youtube can be monitized to pay for more than an iphone 6, but I'm not so sure about the 2-300k, so it seems like quite the investment to go around breaking phones.

I have seen youtubers who live off youtube with average video views of 20-30k per upload.

If an ad plays on 1/10 videos, and each ad makes the person 0.1 cent its still (30 million * 0.1 * 0.1) / 100 = 3 thousand dollars. Now take into account the added subscribers this adds which will make all future videos more profitable, and that I'm probably underestimating ad revenue, it is worth it.

Video cpms can be well over $10, a 40M-view video could easily make a few $100k (though, of course, only a % of that ends up in the creator's pocket). 500k views could be a few thousand. Spread your equipment costs out over a bunch of videos and you're making some nice money.

One difference between plastic and aluminium is that the latter tends to retain deformation more than plastic, which flexes and then returns to its original shape. This is exacerbated by the fact that aluminium cases are usually made much thinner than plastic ones to reduce weight and cost. Also the peak force produced by the impact of e.g. bumping against something with the phone in your pocket could be much more than a constant force of the bend test they used, and easily exceed the elastic limit.

If you compare the thickness of the material in an iPhone 5 vs 6 casing, I'd bet on the latter being somewhat thinner. If that picture of the iPhone 5 is after 150lbs were applied to it, I don't see much "case separation", only a slight bend. It could probably take a bit more force before something catastrophic happened. So it is possible that those used to the robustness of an iPhone 5 are the ones bending their new iPhone 6s.

From what I've read most (of the few that there are) bending cases happened with a 6+ in the back pocket. If you stuff a giant phone into your pocket and then sit on it, and then it bends, tough shit. What do you expect?

People are stupid, especially when complaining.

I'd rather see a test with robotic dummy legs (soft, human-like, padding material) wearing pants with various sized pockets and the phones placed inside said pockets (in various positions within pockets) and stress tested by bending the robotic legs over and over to simulate sitting down with a phone in one's pocket over time.

It would be a much more time consuming, expensive and complex test, but I think I'd trust the results much more than what I'm seeing here.

Sorry guys, You did the test backwards.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think most people place the phone with the screen in, so that it would bend toward the screen not away from it. The results could be significantly different in that direction, especially since the major mode of failure was the screen separating from the case.

I think http://www.wired.com/2014/09/curvature-and-strength-empzeal/ ("how Gauss taught us to hold a pizzeria slice"; discussion at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8274529) is relevant here.

The phones most resistent to bending in their length axis have back sides that are curved. That makes the backside contribute to the strength of the phone in the bending direction. Flat backsides will bend easily, so the relatively tiny vertical sides (and any ribs inside the phone, but those are rare due to lack of room) are the main parts contributing to strength. That's why the iPhone's weakest point is near a slot in those sides.

If I remember correctly, in the original iPhone 6+ bend video[1], the force was applied both at the top and bottom. Wouldn't that produce more torque (with respect to centre of mass) and maybe result in quicker bending? The ConsumerReport machine applies force only at the centre.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znK652H6yQM

only applying force at the center would be a push

While I can't discount the possibility that the iPhone 6 may be more susceptible to bending damage, I'm sure that the high profile release and media coverage are pushing this out of proportion.

Reminds me of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_Windshield_Pitting_Epi...

If a media outlet is going to thrive with the modern internet masses, then the one thing it cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion.

Sure it is blown out of proportion, any issue with Apple draws crazy headlines and overwrought debate. Remember the nonsensical antenna gate "death grip"?

So nonsensical Apple wound up firing the engineer in charge of the design, a man no one would have otherwise known the name or job of?

What the man in the viral video did was focusing the force in ONE POINT, not in a line like in this experiment.

He focuses the force on the lateral side of the iPhone in order to bend it.

This is probably not very representative of having your phone in your pocket as Apple says but makes for an impressive video that gives you views(and money).

Do CR consider this a real defense? They've proven that the iPhone6's physical weaknesses pair it with the lowest end of the spectrum (by a wide margin). It is indeed more scientific than the empirical 'viral' story, but their results do not bode well for Apple.

CR isn't presenting a defense. They did a few tests and presented the results. They then suggest the #BENDGATE drama is overblown.

While it's certainly important that apple build a phone that is strong enough to withstand daily use, these "tests" are sensationalist click bait. Maybe it's just me, but I'm going to be careful how I treat 6-800 device. If it doesn't really fit in my pocket, I need to buy bigger pants. If it's too big to fit jammed in somewhere then get the smaller one. There is a level of entitlement here that is thinks every new phone needs to be nuclear capable but also thinner, lighter and more svelte than the previous generation. I have plenty of expensive gear that I have to treat with kid gloves and I'm not making YouTube videos about how it's bullshit...

This is getting fucking ridiculous.

Lol, we actually tested this in the office after seeing this. The glaxaxy and htc one is considerably harder to bend. I sit on my HTC every day in my back pocket, which is a lot mor repetive stress that an iPhone bending in your front pocket.

Didnt the viral stories mention heating as a factor? The heat of the device itself (building up by being contained by a tight pocket) + body heat. Writers of this article did not mention that at all.

If a phone got up to the temperatures where the materials were weakened in any significant way they would be burning the operator and have never passed regulatory testing.

Ok, a comparison to other phones is not that reassuring, because many phones on the market are flimsy. Compare it to the iPhone 5. That thing was built like a tank compared to the competition.

I traded my iPhone 5 in, because I got $200 for it. But I fear that the 5 will turn out to be the pinnacle of iPhone achievement. I wish I could have bought a new phone with the iPhone 5 case design but with useful tweaks like NFC and an improved camera.

The iPhone 4/s was even more solid, and I think very attractive. A stainless steel frame has its advantages (especially since I think weight is a non-issue with devices this small).

More solid but over 20% heavier than the 5. An iPhone4 weighs more than the much larger iPhone6. I think they're all under the maximum weight threshold for how much a device like this should weigh, but every time I pick up my wife's iPhone 4 it subjectively feels heavier than my iPad mini, even though it's less than 1/2 the weight.

Yeah but having a 4oz phone vs a 5oz phone makes literally no difference to me. I'll gladly take a heavier phone if it means it is built more solidly.

why not just use a big metal case then? That way when you want to go super-light, you can.

Please do an image search for "iphone5 bent". An example: http://www.barnorama.com/iphone-5-can-bent/

Anecdotaly I also seen it first hand.

I don't think apple would ever influence online content to say that they are not as bendy. That would be unfair. Give them a break guys! Consumer report isnt making any money on this.

iPhone 6: Now twice as bendy!

Confirms that the new iPhones are much bendier than the old ones.

sounds like apple paid these guys to do this report...

You don't think the bending reports are paid for by someone?

You don't think he got paid to post here? /s

But seriously they didn't do the test properly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ3Ds6uf0Yg

I dunno... 70lbs doesn't seem that much, given some of the backsides I've seen in the US. Just sayin'...

45kg? Put your phone in your back pocket and sit down... if you're a bit more fat than usual, 45kg is easily achieved.

I killed four phones to date simply by accidentally sitting down on them.

Putting your phone in your back pocket and sitting down is in the same class of abuse as jumping into a swimming pool with your phone in your pocket. I would never expect any phone to survive either.

Sony Xperia z2 & z3 are both waterproof. Quite amazing phones. A couple more generations and this could be the standard.

Yep. This was probably the first actually interesting unboxing video I've seen: http://youtu.be/uIf9GdCzY_Y

(unboxing Z3 under water)

Galaxy S5 is as well.

I really think this is a ridiculous statement - or maybe I don't weigh as much as everyone else.

Not until now has putting a phone in your back pocket been "crazy." I recently upgraded from the iPhone 4 (which I had for 3 years) to the 6, and for the life time of iPhone 4 I've sat on it for extended hours and had it my back pocket. I currently do the same with the 6.

What I really think has happened here is this whole thing is being blown out of proportion because 1.) its Apple and 2.) they moved 10M units in a weekend (if they had 1% defect rate, thats 100,000 angry tweets, status, youtube videos and blog posts).

FWIW the only videos I've seen of the phone actually bending are the non-measured ones when someone applies an inane amount of force with their hands trying to destroy the thing (with an Li-On battery inside!)

No, putting your phone in your back pocket has always been crazy. Some people do it, but it doesn't make it any less crazy. The only that's changed recently is that people have been discussing the practice of putting one's phone in a back pocket as a result of this story, to which the only rational response is, "that's crazy!" :) This is not a usage pattern that any handset maker tests for or designs their devices to deal with. If it works for you, great, but that's more a testament to either your relatively light weight or the sturdiness of the iPhone 4. It is most definitely not something the people who make smartphones assume their users are going to do.

I think water + electronics is a well-known bad combination. Apple never claims their products to be submersible, so of course a dip in the pool = death to the device (though I've had a Galaxy S3 survive a dip in the pool -- recovered completely after spending 3 days in a bag of rice). The point here is that an iPhone (or similar) is a device carried along with the person. That implies being stuffed in pockets, being dropped now and then, left in the car from time to time, and being sat on. A consumer device of quality would withstand such stresses. I guess if Apple were to make a car it would be okay if it was 'totaled' after running into a curb? I

> That implies being stuffed in pockets, being dropped now and then, left in the car from time to time, and being sat on.

I think it implies being stuffed in pockets and left in the car (barring perhaps the most extreme climates), and perhaps certain types of drops, but not being sat on.

The only time I consciously put my phone (Galaxy Nexus) in my back pocket while sitting was when we were going on a water ride at the amusement park. I think it was worth the risk because we got soaked of course, but I definitely tried to not put my full weight on it.

There have been other situations where I have unconsciously put my phones through pretty intense pressure, not realizing it was under me where I sit down or sleeping with it and it getting stuck in between mattresses/cushions/pillows whatever (although for other reasons I have been trying to not go to sleep with my phone anymore, leaving it plugged in somewhere else).

Try stacking multiple phones in your back pocket to increase their rigidity.

Bend a phone once, shame on the phone. Bend a phone four times...

Definitely a problem with the phone manufacturers. They should fix this problem ASAP so that you can sit on your phone.

Front pocket man. Always.

Used to have my phone in my front pocket, but the iPhone 4s made ugly "phone marks" on my jeans! So moved it to my back pocket where it appears to not do the same amount of damage.

You're holding it wrong.


Stop sitting on your phone. Would you put your laptop of the edge of a chair and sit on it?

>I killed four phones to date simply by accidentally sitting down on them.


Don't sit on them? Who does this?

People who can afford to buy and mistreat a lot of phones, apparently.

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