Consumer Reports: new iPhones 'not as bendy as believed'

— 6:00 AM on September 29, 2014

On the heels of Apple's response to the bendgate controversy, Consumer Reports has posted the results of its own investigation. Its verdict? The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are "not as bendy as believed."

The magazine gauged bendiness using an Instron compression machine and a "three-point flexural test." Citing the recent press tours of Apple's testing facilities, Consumer Reports says Apple's own bending test is similar and involves roughly 50 lbs of force. That amount of force, the magazine found, is enough to "break three pencils."

Consumer Reports went further than Apple, applying increasing pressure in 10-pound increments until the handsets first deformed, then had their screens come off. Along with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, HTC One (M8), and iPhone 5 were also tested.

The results suggest the iPhone 6 and HTC One (M8) are the bendiest of the bunch, though both still needed about 70 lbs of force to deform. The iPhone 6 Plus needed 90 lbs, while the iPhone 5 required 130 lbs. The plastic-clad phones—LG's G3 and Samsung's Galaxy Note 3—didn't bend, but they did break when subjected to 130 lbs and 150 lbs of force, respectively.

If 50 lbs is what it takes to break three pencils, then these phones are all pretty tough. Apple's assertion that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus shouldn't bend under normal conditions seems accurate. In fairness, though, Consumer Reports' testing does show the latest-gen iPhones are less resilient than their predecessors—and that some plastic phones, like the Galaxy Note 3, can take more punishment.

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