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Moto X Comes Out On Top in Durability Test Against the Galaxy S4, iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C

September 23, 2013 - Written By Jeremiah Nelson

Motorola has done more than build a great device with the Moto X. Features like Touchless Control and Active Notifications set the device apart. Based on a series of durability tests completed by SquareTrade, it’s also the most durable smartphone when compared to the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, and the Galaxy S4.

SquareTrade is a company that offers extended warranty plans for your electronic devices. They release “breakability” scores each year for new smartphones on the market. The score is based on drop tests, slides, and dunks in water. The Moto X is the current king when it comes to durability. The second place winner was the iPhone 5S, then the 5C in third place. The Samsung Galaxy S4 came in last out of these four smartphones. No other devices were tested this year, so we don’t know how devices like the Sony Xperia Z1 would score.

SquareTrade starts by examining the front and back panel designs of the smartphones in its tests. Edge construction, size, weight, materials, friction quotient, water resistance and grip-ability are all taken into account. Then the devices move on to a series of break tests. SquareTrade uses robots to drop the phones onto one of their corners from a height of five feet. They slide the smartphones across a table, and submerge the phones in water for 10 seconds to see how well they hold up. Then they build a total score for each device. Here’s a video of the drop test so you can check it out for yourself:

In this year’s testing, the iPhone 5C ended up with a cracked screen in the drop test, and began responding erratically after being dunked in water. The iPhone 5S ended up with a dented corner but still worked fine after taking a bath. It failed the slide test, though, barely slowing down as it flew off the end of table. The Galaxy S4 was completely broken in both the drop test and dunk test, and it almost slid off the table in the slide test. The Moto X came out on top, with just a small dent in one corner from the drop test. It worked fine at 10 seconds in water.

In general, I’m not a big fan of these types of durability tests. Your mileage may vary; every scenario and potential damage case cannot be accounted for. But it looks like the Moto X is the way to go if you want a smartphone that is going to hold up well. Good job, Motorola.