- The new iPhone 15 Pro series uses Titanium for the side frame and an aluminum mid-frame, while the older iPhone 14 Pro series uses Stainless Steel.
- In extreme drop tests, the iPhone 15 Pro performed worse than the 14 Pro.
- The iPhone 15 Pro Max failed the bend test, shattering its back with a moderate-intensity bend.
The iPhone 15 series went on open sale at the end of last week, and people are finally getting their hands on them. This year, the top two talking points are the shift to USB-C and the switchover to Titanium instead of Stainless Steel as the build material on the Pro phones. Titanium is comparable in strength to Stainless Steel, but it is significantly lighter, which makes a difference in the handling and ergonomics of phones. The first set of durability tests on the Titanium iPhone 15 Pro series have now rolled in, bringing in some surprising results.
One of the first durability tests was performed by AppleTrack on the iPhone 15 Pro, comparing it against the iPhone 14 Pro.
Dropping the two phones on the sides, the Stainless Steel iPhone 14 Pro gets a scuff mark initially, while the Titanium iPhone 15 Pro merely gets a blemish, which was wiped away. But on further drops, both phones picked up damage.
When dropped on the back, the iPhone 15 Pro is the first to get its glass cracked. Note that the back glass on both iPhones is the same, though the 15 series has a slight curve on the edges instead of the sharp edges on the 14 series.
The same situation is for the front, too, as the iPhone 15 Pro is the first to get its display cracked. With increasingly difficult tests (that admittedly are not going to happen too often with most consumers), the newer iPhone 15 Pro starts breaking further. At the same time, the iPhone 14 Pro survives much of the same without cracking.
Towards the end of the extreme tests, the iPhone 15 Pro’s camera lens entirely comes off, though to be fair, the iPhone 14 Pro also gets quite beat up.
Zac from JerryRigEverything performed his litany of durability tests on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, with a cameo appearance from the iPhone 15 Pro.
Zac does confirm that the outer frame of the iPhone 15 Pro series is indeed Titanium and of high quality. The display performs very well in the flame test, but surprisingly, the iPhone 15 Pro Max shatters its back when subjected to a moderate-intensity bend. This makes it the first iPhone that fails Zac’s durability test in a long time.
What makes this even more surprising is that the smaller iPhone 15 Pro survives the same tests and does not crack or shatter.
Zac does find out in the following video that the body of the iPhone 15 Pro series is still aluminum, while Titanium makes up the side frame that our fingers can touch.
As a disclaimer, these aren’t lab-controlled tests, so your mileage may vary. These tests represent some extremities, though we’d still recommend using a case with the iPhone 15 Pro Max.