SquareTrade Tests Prove Protective Cases a Wise Choice for iPhone 8s

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SquareTrade Tests Prove Protective Cases a Wise Choice for iPhone 8s

Apple’s new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus come with a similar design to last year’s iPhone 7 line. But with the addition of wireless charging, Apple was forced to shift from a sturdy metal case in favor of one with a glass back panel. While that panel adds an element of beauty, a new study from extended warranty service provider SquareTrade indicates that it can break if the iPhone is dropped. This is a problem for iPhone 8 users who don't want to use a protective case. It can cost as much as $99 to replace the iPhone 8’s back panel, even under warranty. Just how fragile is the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus compared to earlier models? SquareTrade tested the handsets to learn how durable they really are. This slide show summarizes the results.

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Watch Out for That Display

The face of the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus is especially fragile. In the SquareTrade face-down drop test, both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus screens shattered on impact, rendering them useless. The iPhone 8 earned a risk score of 70 out of 100, and the iPhone 8 Plus’ damage risk score topped 90.

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The Rear Glass Panel Is Vulnerable

SquareTrade also determined how much damage could be done to the iPhones’ back panels. The back panel of the iPhone 8, which earned a risk score of 90 on this test, shattered and large chunks of glass were shaken loose. The iPhone 8 did a bit better, only losing one chunk of glass at the corner. It scored a 40.

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Apple’s ‘Aerospace-Grade Band’ Holds Up

In the side drop, SquareTrade tested how well the iPhone 8 line’s “aerospace-grade band” would hold up on impact. Both devices held up quite well with only minor damage, but the cosmetic damage was a problem. The iPhone 8’s breakability risk rated 80 in that test, compared to 30 for the iPhone 8 Plus.

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Don't Leave Your iPhone 8 on the Car Roof

SquareTrade’s "Shot Test," which is “meant to simulate a phone flying off the roof of a car,” wasn’t so bad for Apple. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus both suffered significant damage, but their breakability scores were 50 for the iPhone 8 and 40 for the iPhone 8 Plus.

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iPhone 8s Are Water Resistant, but Not for 30 Minutes

Both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus come with water and dust resistance. SquareTrade submerged them both in water for 30 minutes. Both iPhone models suffered “significant muffling and distortion.” They each scored a 30 in the test.

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There Was a Moderate Risk of Bending

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus both withstood some pressure from being bent in the middle. However, under the right amount of pressure, they both started to fail. The iPhone 8’s risk score on breakability was a 30, compared to 60 for the larger iPhone 8 Plus.

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Keep Your iPhone 8s Out of the Dryer

SquareTrade tested to see how the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus might hold up if tumbled, such as in a dryer. It was bad news for the iPhone 8, which suffered cracked and loose glass during the 60-second test, earning a damage risk score of 80. The iPhone 8 Plus also had some cracked and loose glass, but its damage was not nearly as bad, earning a score of 60.

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Exposure to Various Materials Will Damage These Handsets

Materials can be a problem for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, as well. When exposed to different materials that could damage the device, the iPhone 8 Plus had problems and suffered a risk score of 90 out of 100. The iPhone 8 fared better, with a score of 50.

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Their Repairability Score Was Disappointing

How easy is it to repair the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus? According to SquareTrade, it’s feasible to make some repairs, but the costs can quickly mount depending on the extent of the damage. The smartphone earned repairability scores of 70 out of a possible 100—a disappointing result.

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Just How Breakable Are the iPhone 8s?

Ultimately, SquareTrade rated how breakable the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are. It found the iPhone 8 has a “medium risk” of breaking, with a score of 67 out of 100. The iPhone 8 Plus had a “medium high risk” and scoring 74 out of 100. They both beat their arch-rival, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which has a “high risk” and score of 80.

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iPhone 8 Users Praise Handsets' Performance, Report Nagging Glitches

Early users of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are reporting some hardware and software issues with the smartphones. Other users say they are pleased with the handsets' processing power and the wireless charging.
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