$18,000 worth of current flagships were gathered by Tom’s Guide for a durability test consisting of multiple drops and water exposure, and while the Lenovo Moto Z2 Force came out on top, the vastly more popular Google Pixel 2 XL was the weakest of the bunch when it came to Android devices. Twelve different flagships took the plunge, all with varying degrees of success. The phones were dropped on corners and face down from four to six feet up, onto concrete and wood, and finally into a full, but unused toilet. The phones were rated on a point scale ranging from ten to one depending on what kind of damage they sustained from each test and whether they were still operable.
The winner of the whole affair came out of the drop tests with no screen damage at all and some slight pockmarks in its metal frame. Dunking Moto’s shatterproof flagship, however, made it turn off. Once it dried out, the phone was completely fine, scoring an 8.5. The ruggedized LG X Venture shattered underneath its physical buttons, but the screen only got a hairline fracture. The water test did away with the microphone, but the phone was otherwise fine, netting a score of 6.6. The Apple iPhone X came in next place despite its fragile design, likely due to advanced strengthening methods employed by Apple. For what it’s worth, the diminutive iPhone SE was the absolute weakest phone in the tests, and the iPhone 8 wasn’t far behind. The LG V30 got a six for failing to spiderweb while picking up small dents and pockmarks in the screen and performing quite well in the water test. Samsung’s Galaxy S9 flagship also got a six for a mostly usable display with a small portion blacked out, since the damage didn’t affect its waterproofing. The Moto G5 Plus didn’t give in until the six-foot face-down drop onto concrete, but it shattered beyond usability and thus skipped the toilet test, netting a score of 5.1.
The Galaxy Note 8 survived drops onto wood, but a face-down drop onto concrete caused major cracks, while the 6-foot face down drop caused unresponsiveness, sparing the tortured device the usual toilet test and earning it a score of 4.3. The OnePlus 5T took corner drops onto wood with no issues, but a four-foot face drop and six-foot edge drop onto concrete were enough to render it inoperable, with a final score of 4.3. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro did well in wood and corner drops, but going face down onto concrete made some of the screen violently fly apart and the rest to become unresponsive, giving it a final score of 4.3. Google’s popular Pixel 2 XL did okay on wood, and edge drops onto concrete didn’t do much to it. Going face-down on the concrete at four feet high cracked the screen to oblivion and blocked the front camera, and the six-foot drop blanked out most of the LCD, tying the phone for the lowest score of the Android bunch at 4.3. A second batch of the same phones was then purchased with the intention of being dropped from a drone, with the results of that experiment being observable below.