Rigorous durability tests prove iPhone SE is inferior to 6s in many ways (video)
While a number of teardowns have shown the just-released iPhone SE to be extremely similar to the larger, much pricier 6s in terms of internal components, the 4-incher still greatly resembles the 2013-unveiled 5s on the outside.
With a bill of materials also estimated at a fraction of iPhone 6s production costs, it’s only natural to expect certain build quality compromises in store for the $400 and up SE. We’re not talking major corner-cutting here, and alarming resulting frailty, but you’ll need to be a little more careful than usual to not drop or harm the device.
According to extended warranty provider SquareTrade, the iPhone SE, 6s and 6s Plus all pose “medium” breakability risks. Then again, the 6s scores 4 out of 10 points on the durability scale (where 1 is the best possible grade), while the SE averages 5.5 after seven different tests, and the 6s Plus hugely disappoints with a 6.5 mark.
Like the 6s Plus, the iPhone SE will instantly kick the bucket when submerged in deep water, which is to be expected for a handheld that’s not marketed as carrying any IP rating, yet it’s different for the 6s.
Dropped on concrete either face down or on its corner, the 4-incher is bound to spectacularly crack, faring even worse than its 5.5-inch cousin, and thus requiring a strong protective cover in everyday use. That shouldn’t be a problem, but darn, is the SE screen feeble!
On the bright side, the occasional tumble won’t harm a hair on the compact flagship’s “head”, which is also predictably rated much higher than both its siblings for gripability and weight. Not bendability, though unless you’re trying hard to abuse the iPhone SE, you’ll be safe, as it withstands a decent amount of pressure before starting to curve.
Overall, Apple could have probably done a little better.