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Drop test: What is the most difficult case for the iPhone X?



Even if you've never dropped a phone in your life, putting a case on it is almost non-negotiable. Especially if you have glass on both sides, like the iPhone X, the Galaxy Note 8 or almost all the other flagship phones from LG to Samsung .

Is it necessary to convince? Just take a look at some of our fall tests. iPhone X broke in the first drop, from pocket height!

But the cases seem to be a dozen, how do you know which one will prevent your phone from breaking? That's where we went …


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The most difficult cases of the iPhone X fight


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The challenge

We invite the main box manufacturers on the market to participate in a live drop test at CES to find out which one could survive the biggest drop.

And 12 of them joined us in the offer: Caseology, Rokform, Thanotech, BodyGuardz, Tech21, Pelican, PureGear, Zizo, Spigen, RhinoShield, Supcase and OWC were presented on the CNET live stage at the Convention Center Las Vegas at CES 2018. Each brought their new iPhone Xs (still in the box) and its sturdier case to place them on the concrete slabs. Things intensified pretty quickly after that.

Round 1

We begin our first round by testing the claim. This is the maximum fall height that the casing is designed to support according to the manufacturer. The defenses, the cases, the massive cases and the screen protectors were a fair game, as long as they were included in the box.

Each box was dropped with the screen facing down on the concrete slabs. For falls over 6 feet (approximately 1.8 meters) we use a scissor lift and a tape measure. But since we are only human, there was no way to guarantee that each phone fell exactly the same way all the time. So, this does not pretend to be a scientific test and more a scenario of the real world. Here are the results:

iPhone X cases, round 1

Manufacturer Name Price Fall height Survived? (Y / N)
Caseology Legion $ 13.95 4.5 feet Yes
Rokform Reactor $ 99 6 feet Yes
Thanotech K11 bumper $ 34.95 9 feet Yes
BodyGuardz Ace Pro $ 34.95 10 feet Yes
Tech21 Evo Check $ 39.95 10 feet Yes
Pelican Coat $ 59.99 12 feet Yes
Puregear Dualtek $ 34.99 12 feet Yes
Zizo Bolt cover $ 34.95 12 feet Yes
Spigen Pro Guard $ 59.99 16 feet Yes
Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro $ 19.95 16 feet Yes
OWC NuGuard KX $ 49 16 feet No (damaged pixels)
RhinoShield CrashGuard $ 24.99 16 feet No (cracked screen)

Note: Some case makers such as RhinoShield decided to start a claim higher than the maximum drop height in the box.

The OWC phone survived the fall without a scratch, but on closer examination we found that the screen had some damaged and discolored pixels. For the purpose of our competition, we decided that this type of damage was sufficient to disqualify the contestants.

That left us with 10 survivors. The two cases that reached 16 feet (4.9 meters) automatically qualified for the second round, but we gave everyone else the opportunity to compete by dropping their boxes from the same height. And everyone else included us in the offer.

Round 2

All the cases that reached our second round already proved their claim and kept the iPhone X in perfect condition. Even the lowest claim (4.5 feet or 1.4 meters) was higher than the height that our naked iPhone X was able to withstand. From this point, our fall tests were only for our competition, since both phones and boxes had been compromised since the first fall.

Then we dropped the remaining 10 contestants of 16 feet on the scissor lift.

iPhone X cases, round 2

Manufacturer Name Price Height drop Did you survive? (Y / N)
Caseology Legion $ 13.95 16 feet Yes
Rokform Reactor $ 99 16 feet Yes
Thanotech K11 bumper $ 34.95 16 feet No (cracked screen)
BodyGuardz Ace Pro $ 34.95 16 feet No (cracked screen)
Tech21 Evo Check $ 39.95 16 feet Yes
Pelican Coat $ 59.99 16 feet Yes
Puregear Dualtek $ 34.99 16 feet No (cracked screen)
Zizo Bolt cover $ 34.95 16 feet Yes
Spigen Pro Guard $ 59.99 16 feet No (damaged pixels)
Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro $ 19.95 16 feet Yes

That left us with six pending cases: Caseology, Rokform, Tech 21, Zizo, Supcase and Pelican. Which meant we had to take them even higher.

Round 3

To say that these cases had gone further and beyond their duty was an understatement. At this point, we took the scissor lift to 20 feet (6 meters), the maximum possible height without going through the roof over the CNET stage at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The six case manufacturers took the challenge of dropping their cases for the third time from this height.

This wild round left us with Rokform, Zizo, Supcase and Pelican.

Round 4

We still had four cases going and no other place to go, so we turned to our live audience for ideas. The consensus was to throw them for the fourth time from 20 feet, but this time on their side instead of the first face.

The four survived, but the Rokform case fell off on one side when it hit, leaving one of the corners of the exposed phone. This caused a small scratch on the metal edge, which means they were disqualified.

The winners

After four falls (two out of 20 feet), Pelican Shield, Zizo Bolt and Unicorn Beetle Pro from Supcase refused to break. We had found the winners of Best Case Scenario 2018 of CNET.


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