Bendgate Bends Back: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Fails the Test, Too
Bendgate continues, but this time, it’s not the iPhone 6 Plus at the center of the controversy.
Lewis Hilsenteger — the YouTube user behind the original video that showed how the iPhone 6 Plus is bendable under a certain amount of pressure — posted another clip this week of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 up against the same test.
And just like the iPhone, it certainly bends when strong pressure is applied with both hands. “But it’s nowhere near as severe [as the iPhone 6 Plus],” Hilsenteger says in the video on his Unbox Therapy channel.
After receiving complaints from Apple fans that testing only the iPhone 6 Plus was unfair, he took on the Note 3 and Note 4. While the previous model held up well against the bending pressure of his hands (thanks to an internal chassis and a plastic exterior), the Note 4 (with its metal exterior) bends in the same spot as the iPhone 6 Plus.
“I had to put a lot of pressure into it to achieve it [with the Note 4], but even still, the Galaxy Note 3 was completely fine,” he says.
Samsung has tried to exploit the iPhone 6 Bendgate by releasing its own bending tests and poking fun at its rival; perhaps it will have to rethink that strategy now.
While one might argue that every phone can bend — which is likely true with a certain amount of applied pressure — the question is how easily and how often it will do so. The purpose of the tests, Hilsenteger notes, is to put the devices in intense conditions to see how they hold up over time.
“The conversation here is, why are other devices engineered to a specification higher than others? If no phones ever bend, why can the Note 3 withstand 150 pounds of force, whereas other devices are less than half of that?” he says.
He is referring to a Consumer Reports article that revealed the Galaxy Note 3 could withstand 150 pounds of force before giving in — the iPhone 6 came in with less than half of that at 70 pounds.
“The bend tests are not the be-all and end-all of durability testing on a phone; they are the far end of the spectrum,” Hilsenteger says. “I can’t possibility replicate six months, a year or two years of ownership in a video that comes out two weeks after the phone is out. In some circumstances, we have to push the boundaries because you are going to be the owner of the device for two years, maybe more, and it’s a significant investment.”
It’s not a matter of manufacturers putting more money into durability; it’s because everyone’s perception of what makes a durable phone is different. But perhaps these types of videos will help companies think more about how to make devices more durable — and not bendable — in the future.