Here's How Every iPhone 15 Model Fared After 100 Test Drops On A Stone Surface

The release of every new Apple iPhone is often accompanied by a plethora of tests to validate Cupertino’s newest creation. When comparing to the previous model, the question of physical toughness is at the top of the list. Sure, we expect that it is usually a faster model – but can it withstand being dropped 100 times? If you've read about issues such as the iPhone 15 overheating, and even older iPad with the “Bendgate” phenomenon. Forget those issues for now, as the durability question reigns supreme here. Consumer Reports recently asked “How strong is Apple’s new iPhone 15 Pro Max?”

Apparently, it’s very strong - having withstood “110 pounds of pressure” in one of their bend tests. We're dealing with a lighter phone this year for the flagship, which is a boon for usability. The danger of the lighter material being weaker has also been a matter of debate, but we're glad to see it can still handle some stress. 

Consumer Report's Instron Compression Machine Photo: Scott Meadows/Consumer Reports

As someone who bravely carried an iPhone 14 Pro Max without a case for a year – I know that phone could take some hard falls. The new titanium on the iPhone 15 Pro Max has recently raised some questions on durability, as is common with a new approach to the design. With these fairly heavy-duty tests, it seems like you can still go caseless, if you want to live life on the edge. 

How about the glass back? Consumer Reports used an “Instron compression test machine” to test its mettle. While this sounds like something out of Bethesda’s Starfield, the iPhone 15 Pro Max passed with flying colors, without even a single crack.

Interestingly enough, this new design with the glass back makes the iPhone itself easier to repair. This is good news if it happens to be damaged on that 101st attempt in the "Tumbler", after all.

The Consumer Reports “Tumbler” Photo: Consumer Reports

The Consumer Reports "Tumbler", which simulates being dropped onto stone, wasn't enough to damage the iPhone. The new titanium on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max seem strong, with some good resilience. Afterall, what's more disappointing than picking up your freshly dropped phone, and noticing cracks or damage? With improving material science, we may still not be able to avoid dropping these devices - but we can avoid some damage! Being built to withstand such stress is good for both Apple and the consumer. The owner gets a bit more peace of mind on a daily basis, and Apple has to repair less phones due to damage. 


How about the other models in the new Apple iPhone 15 lineup that aren’t the “top of the line” pro variants? Consumer Reports tested them on YouTube and they all passed without any significant damage. That’s good news for these expensive, very mobile devices. The non-pro models are still premium offerings, so it's nice to see the quality level is there. Even the most careful amongst us will drop our phones on occasion, so it’s good to know they’re built well! 

As we saw in the Consumer Reports article, the tests done can replicate some real-world scenarios. They're not the last word in phone ruggedness, however. There are thousands of surfaces and potential points of contact that a phone could have to endure in day-to-day use. Having said that, the ruggedness of the entire lineup is welcomed and it's certainly an area that deserves research for future devices, too.