Nexus 4 vs. iPhone 5: Which Is More Durable? World’s First Drop Test For Google’s New Handset Appears Online [VIDEOS]

on November 20 2012 12:05 PM

It wasn’t long ago that Google released its Nexus 4 handset alongside its Nexus 10 tablet to complete its family of Nexus branded devices. When the gadgets became available through the Google Play store last week, both the smartphone and the slate sold out within minutes.

Now, a few daring souls in Germany have decided to see just how durable Google’s new handset truly is. The world’s first drop test for the Nexus 4 has surfaced online, courtesy of Phandroid.

During the first test, the phone was dropped about three feet from the ground. While the plunge appeared to be a brutal blow for the device, the footage shows that there were no noticeable scratches, marks, or dents after the three-foot drop.

The second drop doubled the first, as the tester let the phone fall about six feet to the ground. The results of this test, however, were not as fortunate as the first. A noticeable gash can be seen on the upper corner of the handset, as the device’s outer glass coating appears to be completely cracked in that section. The display, however, was left untouched and the handset performed at a fully functional level after the fall.

Of course, these drop tests are hardly scientific. When it comes to bracing for a fall, there are many factors to keep in mind—velocity, surface material, point of impact, etc. The video can simply be considered a friendly reminder of what can happen to those who are clumsy with their smartphones.

As a point of comparison, Apple’s iPhone 5 survived multiple drops when the iFixYouri team administered their trial. However, it is important to remember that the iPhone may not have been dropped from the same height and it was dropped on a different type of surface.

The iPhone 5 was dropped on what appeared to be a tiled, indoor floor while the Nexus 4 was plunged straight on to outdoor concrete. Still, the iPhone device was dropped about twice as much as the Nexus 4, and yielded some impressive results.

The last iPhone 5 drop does seem to most closely mirror the six-foot fall taken by the Nexus 4, and there appeared to be no visible damage on the device. The iPhone handset, like the Nexus 4, was fully functional after the drop. The tester did not show a close-up of the back of the iPhone 5, so viewers will have to trust his word when he says there was no significant damage.

In this case it’s important to acknowledge that a white iPhone 5 was used during the test. Following the handsets launch, numerous users reported that their black iPhone 5s were scratched and scuffed right out of the box.

Judging by these drop tests, it would appear that the iPhone 5 is more durable. However, as mentioned earlier, viewers should take this with a grain of salt since the tests were not administered under identical conditions.

Google’s Nexus 4 was released on Nov. 13 and boasts a 4.7-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 768. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chip and weighs in at 139 grams.

The Nexus 4 is the first smartphone to ship with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean right out of the box. This brand new version of Android saw its debut with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 tablet.

Check out the two videos below to see how the Nexus 4 and iPhone 5 stack up when it comes to drop tests. 

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