There’s nothing like a little controversy when a new smartphone is launched to get people debating online. Whether that’s an iPhone that scratches or bends too easily, or a stylus that gets jammed inside a phone when placed the wrong way around. The Nexus 6P is the latest pure Android phone from Google, and is about to come under some new scrutiny from prospective buyers thanks to a video from Jerry Rig Everything on YouTube…
In the video, Jerry takes the Nexus 6P, made by Huawei, through a series of tests to see how durable it is. He tests its ability to withstand scratching, overheating and bending. Sadly, the phone didn’t do so well in any of the three tests:
Testing nine different materials with increasing hardness against the display reveals that it will start to scratch from friction with any product that has a rating of 6 or higher on Mohs scale of hardness. What’s perhaps worse is that having scratched the screen, a light tap on the front glass panel made a long crack appear along the surface. He scratched the back metal too and noted how incredibly easy the anodized finish was to mark permanently, even with some keys.
To test the display’s performance against extreme heat, he took a flame to the panel and, again, it doesn’t do so well. The flame caused a white spot to burn in to the display panel which didn’t go away.
Then came the bend test. And to quote Jerry, his “little sister could have bent this phone in half with her hands”. In the comments section in response to a question, he even said the phone bent easier than an iPhone 6 Plus. So it’s practically made from paper… or not.
There’s a lot of doubt surrounding the credibility of this video. Since the phone has been subjected to heat, and the screen has cracked, the structure of the phone has already been compromised before the bend test begins. As shown in this attempted bend-test, the Nexus 6P in new, unscathed form, is almost impossible to bend.
One commenter in a growing thread on reddit puts it like this:
Can confirm, this is the reason right here. Cracked glass means that you no longer have a boxed structure – you’re effectively bending a flat sheet of aluminum now.
In automotive and aerospace engineering, we call this a “body in white”, compared to a fully assembled vehicle. In a car, the front and rear windshield alone increase the stiffness of the frame by a factor of 2x. This is why crash testing is done with a fully assembled car, rather than just the frame and restraint system.
Should you worry about it? Not really. I’d personally give the same advice I give with any phone: Don’t put it in a bag/pocket where you have keys or metal coins. Don’t set it on fire, and don’t deliberately bend it. Apply a screen protector, and buy a case.
Perhaps the only reason to worry is if you know that you’re generally very rough with your phones, or work in an environment where you know it’ll suffer some abuse. In which case, you’re probably already looking at the DROID Turbo 2 (Moto X Force) and not the elegant, metal Huawei flagship Nexus phone.