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Insurance service Allstate Protection Plans recently conducted its annual durability test that puts unlucky iPhones through a series of drop sequences in the name of science. The latest round evaluates Apple's new iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models.
Following a round of testing designed to simulate common accidental damage scenarios, Allstate Protection Plans determined the durability of iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro is nearly identical to that of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.
The firm used a specialized rig to obtain fairly consistent results when dropping iPhone onto a concrete sidewalk.
Apple's iPhone 13 survived a first face-down fall from six feet, but its Ceramic Shield-protected screen cracked at its corners on a second drop. Scuffs on the handset's aluminum frame were apparent near the impact area. The same test performed on an iPhone 13 Pro found the heavier handset's display crack on the first drop, with the damage raising parts of the glass. Identical results were logged with both iPhone 13 variants in a protective leather case.
By comparison, last year's test saw a single drop result in screen cracking on iPhone 12 and severe display damage to iPhone 12 Pro. The company did not evaluate the efficacy of cases in 2020.
Moving on to back-down drop tests, iPhone 13 survived two drops and displayed camera damage and corner cracks on a third. The iPhone 13 Pro's wide angle and telephoto camera lenses and back glass shattered on the first drop. Interestingly, an iPhone 13 protected with a case made it through two drops before suffering a cracked camera, while a case-covered iPhone 13 Pro took no damage in three consecutive drops.
Last year, iPhone 12 exhibited scuffed corners and edges after one back-down drop, while iPhone 12 Pro shattered in a performance similar to iPhone 13 Pro.
Overall, the new handsets proved to be just as durable as last year's models, which should come as no surprise considering the design was largely unchanged save for a larger camera array on the iPhone 13 Pro and a slight increase in girth and weight.
As with most drop tests, Allstate Protection Plans' findings are more theater than science. Real world performance depends on a multitude of variables, from drop height to impact angle and surface material. That said, using a well-designed case adds an extra layer of protection that could help avoid costly repairs.