What would happen if you left an Apple iPhone 5 in the refrigerator or baked it in the oven? Would a Samsung Galaxy S3 break if you gave it a spin in the washing machine or dropped it in your fish tank?
Curiosity has gotten the better of some folk who have put their devices on the line to test just how strong modern smartphones really are. A series of “Torture Tests” undergone by the American IT site CNET and uploaded to YouTube on the 29th are becoming quite popular with YouTube’s audience, who are able to view the entire test process and their intriguing results online.
The “iPhone 5 Torture Test” uploaded 3 days ago has achieved 63,000 hits so far, and the “Galaxy S3 Torture Test” uploaded on July 10th has already hit a record of 360,000 hits. The tests in question included placing the devices for over 2 hours in a refrigerator and baking them in an oven for over an hour at over 200 degrees.
Surprisingly, both devices successfully survived both extremes of hot and cold. The iPhone 5 displayed a ‘temperature warning’ message which advised the user to ‘wait until the device has cooled down before using’; however after cooling down, the device continued to work perfectly. Not only this, but both devices even managed to survive a swim in the depths of a fish tank in the Water Test – a test devised to confirm whether or not the phones would be usable if ever accidentally dropped in a toilet. This test was performed by momentarily immersing the devices in a fish tank then drying them out again in a vinyl bag laced with dehumidifying agent for 1-3 days, after which the devices worked perfectly.
A split in the road came for the two competitors during the Washing Machine Test and the Scratch test, as the Unibody design of the iPhone proved to be its Achilles heel.
In another set of videos, the team tested both devices by placing them one at a time into a drum washing machine and giving them a spin before removing them. The iPhone 4S failed this test and would not turn on afterwards, however the Galaxy S3 was saved by taking out the battery, wiping it down, and then placing it in a dehumidifying vinyl bag for a day – after which the device was fully usable again. The team noted that the Unibody design of the iPhone made it difficult to dry out after the test and ultimately led to its demise.
Finally the Scratch Test took place by dropping the devices onto the floor from hand height, shoulder height, and eye height. After enduring these freefalls, the Galaxy S showed no significant damage in the front glass or back plastic cover. Scraping the front glass with a sharp key did not lead to any remaining scratches either.
The iPhone 5 on the other hand, did not take so kindly to this test, and suffered significant scratching on both the sides and back of the device. After dropping the device, either the sides became scratched or the glass partially fractured. When dropping onto concrete, significant scratching was found to occur on the back of the device. As the device itself was still usable after the affair, the team bestowed a very generous passing grade on the phone, but did advise users unwilling to use a protective case to reconsider purchasing the iPhone 5.