With today’s official launch of the iPhone 7, some people — particularly those who can afford to deliberately deface, destroy, or otherwise damage an all-new high-end gadget — have taken to putting Apple’s latest smartphone through its paces. One of them is the guy behind the YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, whose hobbies apparently include subjecting smartphones to extreme durability tests, and who has now chosen an unsuspecting matte black 4.7-inch iPhone 7 for its latest target.
JerryRigEverything begins with the scratch test. For this, he uses several mineral test picks that correspond to the levels in the Mohs’ scale of hardness.
First up is the iPhone 7’s screen, which, like most Gorilla Glass smartphone displays, starts showing scratches with a level 6 pick. This means that it is quite resistant to abrasions from such materials as coins and keys. (Of course, you’d still be ill-advised to keep your iPhone 7 in the same pocket as your spare change.)
Over on the back, the matte black iPhone 7’s aluminum chassis appears to be fairly resistant against scratches from keys but unsurprisingly succumbs to scrapes of a utility knife. (It will be interesting to see how it compares with the jet black iPhone 7, whose high-gloss finish, according to an Apple fine print, “may show fine micro-abrasions with use.”)
More easily, the utility knife grazes the earpiece grille, the quad-LED TrueTone flash cover, the metal buttons, and the plastic antenna bands.
But it’s in his conclusions after scratching the new solid-state home button and the iSight camera lens cover where JerryRigEverything has some questionable claims. Both components are unscathed by the utility knife, but are scratched deeply by the level 6 pick. This leads JerryRigEverything to surmise that both are covered in glass and not in sapphire. However, Apple’s official iPhone 7 tech specs webpage says that the lens cover is made of “sapphire crystal” and Apple has long been known to use sapphire on Touch ID-enabled home buttons mainly to avert issues with fingerprint recognition.
In addition to a scratch test, the iPhone 7 screen is also put through a burn test. With this, it’s found that the iPhone 7’s wide-color P3 display can last about 10 seconds in direct contact with flame before the overheated pixels start blacking out. However, the affected pixels make a full recovery over a few seconds — unlike those on Samsung AMOLED screens, which, according to JerryRigEverything, turn white when overheated and stay that way.
Apple can rest assured that Bendgate won’t be making a comeback with the iPhone 7. That much is clear after JerryRigEverything attempts, and fails, to bend the device. It’s worth noting, though, that in the process of applying pressure on the device. the adhesives around the perimeter of the chassis are affected to some extent. (These adhesives are believed to be part of the device’s waterproofing, as noted in iFixit’s iPhone 7 teardown.)
JerryRigEverything also remarks on the potential decline in durability of the Lightning port. He reckons that since it now takes on double duty as an audio socket in the absence of the venerable headphone jack, the Lightning port is likely to experience double the wear and tear.
Be that as it may, and even with the apparent indications of the iPhone 7’s not-so-durableness, JerryRigEverything concludes that, overall, Apple has made another “solid phone.”
Watch JerryRigEverything’s iPhone 7 durability test: