iPhone 11 Pro Max Durability Test – Back Glass Scratches?
The iPhone 11 Pro Max is definitely one of the most anticipated phone launches of the
year. Apple has launched three different versions of the phone this time: the 11, the 11 Pro,
and the 11 Pro Max. So I figured I'd durability test the most expensive of the three. Apple's
done some pretty interesting stuff with this new version. There's a lot to check out and
take in. Let's get started.
So iPhones have been able to fast charge for a few years now. But even though the iPhones
could charge fast, Apple only included a slow 5 watt charger in the box, which I don't think
was very fair. This year though, that's changed with the Pros. Apple has included an 18 watt
fast charger in the box, which is a plus one for Apple for not making their customers go
out and buy extra accessories to utilize their phone at full potential. It's definitely a
step in the right direction.
This 11 Pro Max is the Midnight Green version, and has the same frosty finish that we saw
in the Pixel 3 and the OnePlus 7. It helps keep fingerprints to a minimum. Let's jump
into the scratch test.
Apple claims that this year they have the toughest glass ever in a smart phone, which,
you know, sounds like a very “Apple” thing to say. Even if this is the toughest glass
of all time, it's still made of, you know, glass. Glass is glass, and glass breaks.
If anyone ever comes up with something stronger than glass, they'll definitely be calling
it something different. Until then, we see scratches at a level 6 with deeper grooves
at a level 7. The screen still definitely won't be scratched up by keys, coins, or razor
blades. But it'll also still crack if you drop it. We'll talk more about that in a second.
Up here at the top notch we have a metal speaker grill – pretty solid. Won't be falling out
on its own. Another fairly substantial improvement this year is with the selfie camera. Of course
numbers aren't everything, but with 4K and slow motion on the front camera, Apple is
actually competing with other flagships. I personally won't be posting any flowing hair
selfies on Instagram any time soon. But still, it's definitely a step in the right direction.
There is the same plastic edge around the glass screen, which is a good impact layer
between the two extremely hard materials: glass and stainless steel. The vast majority
of smartphones these days are made from aluminum. It's lighter, cheaper and more malleable than
most of the metals so it's fairly easy and inexpensive to form into a phone. The sound
you hear though is stainless steel. Steel is a much stronger metal than aluminum. So
strong, in fact, it's difficult for my razor blade to get a bite on the metal. Steel is
a 5 ½ on Mohs scale of hardness, which is about the same level as my razor blade. Aluminum
would be a 3 or 3 ½ , which makes it much easier to scratch than stainless steel. Apple
has taken their perceived premium branding and actually used a premium material to match.
The phone is still plenty expensive of course, but the price tag is a little more justified
by the materials being used. It's a step in the right direction. There's still no expandable
memory card slot which is good since it leaves me with something to complain about. But there's
also something extremely good about this port that not many people have caught.
This phone is ip68 water resistant. And you're probably thinking to yourself, 'What's cool
about that? Most flagships these days are 68 water resistant.' And yeah, you're right,
but instead of doing the same basic 1 and ½ or 2 meters deep for 30 minutes of submersion
that every phone manufacturer does to get that ip rating. Apple went above and beyond
and doubled the depth to 4 meters for 30 meters. I'll explain more during the teardown, but
the takeaway is the iPhone 11 Pro is by far the most water resistant phone on the market
right now. That's a huge step in the right direction. Apple has actually innovated, and
I think that deserves a thumbs up. Yeah, Apple still has the dumb proprietary screws and
no headphone jack. But with jacks being lost from every phone faster than Thanos can snap
his fingers, it's hard to keep calling it a negative when everyone is doing it.
Let's talk about the back glass for a bit. Remember, my razor blade is about 5 ½ on
Mohs scale of hardness. The glass is a 6. So my razor blade isn't doing any damage to
the surface of the glass. The glass is actually damaging my razor blade, like sandpaper on
wood. But it's only the rough parts of the glass that's causing the abrasion. The smooth
Apple logo does nothing. But let's say you happen to have the copper cooling vapor chamber
from a Galaxy Note 10 in your pocket. It looks like that hurts. What if your phone rubbed
up against a piece of plastic. Would that hurt the glass? Visually it looks like the
answer is yes. But actually the answer is no. The etched surface of the level 6 glass
s microscopically rough and is literally taking tiny chunks off of the softer materials as
they brush up against the surface of the glass. But this material transfer dust can easily
be brushed off leaving the phone looking just like new. There might be a tiny bit of residue
left over still, but it's good to know that these marks aren't permanent. Coins leave
pretty hefty marks on the glass. Quarters leave a residue. Even Abraham Lincoln, you
know, from back when presidents were respected, leaves his mark on the glass. The cloudy surface
of the glass is slowly wearing away at all my coins and the dust is being left behind
on the surface. This random screw leaves a mark. And, of course, keys which are also
usually made of soft metals. They leave some pretty major residue behind.
To solidify the point a little further, we can take my Mohs scale of hardness picks and
we can very clearly see that every level of pick leaves material behind on the glass until
we get to level 6 and 7 whose tips are hard enough to finally wear down the surface of
the glass instead. Science. We'll see if all these marks come off or not in a minute.
Let's chat about this camera unit. Apple has carved this camera hump out of the back glass
slab itself, which is very unique. It has a subtle raised lip about half as thick as
a penny. My worry with the raised glass surface is that it has 4 extra edges around the square
for chips or cracks to occur. The good new is, the circular cameras inside the square
stick up further than the glass itself. So it offers a little protection for the back
glass panel and raises it off whatever surface it's resting on.
Like we've seen on several Android phones, the iPhone 11 Pro Max now has the perfect
trifecta of cameras: a 12 megapixel 2x telephoto camera at the bottom, a 12 megapixel wide-angle
camera in the middle, and a normal 12 megapixel camera up top. Since my razor blade is doing
no damage, we can tell it's protected by a scratch resistant material. Up until now Apple
has always claimed this material is sapphire. This year though they didn't. There's no mention
of sapphire anywhere on the iPhone spec list. It looks as though Apple is using the same
hybrid material that they've always used for the camera lenses. Still seeing the weird
fracture scratch things at levels 6, 7, and 8. Apple's hybrid camera lens material is
just as good and probably better than glass, and there should be a category for it. But
at least now there's no misleading vernacular on the website. I think that's a step in the
right direction. If the back glass of the iPhone does crack, cracks won't affect the
camera lenses or the cameras themselves since each of them has their own little individual
metal housing. The cracks will work their way through the glass panel, but not affect
the lenses. Smart move on Apple's part, so if that lip ever does chip, the camera units
will be unaffected.
If you're still worried about scratches or getting reside caught up inside the textured
iPhone surface, you can always add a skin like this limited edition Robot skin. Or if
you're like me and always rock a case, dbrand's got you covered with the Grip Case. It's got
some super clicky buttons, and the skin on the case is interchangeable. I'll leave a
link down in the video description. And huge thanks to dbrand for sponsoring this video.
I know a lot of you, when deciding what phone to buy, ask yourself 'Yeah, but can it withstand
fire?' And don't you worry, I have that covered. The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.5 inch 1242
x 2688 resolution screen. And that super retina XDR OLED withstood the heat from my lighter
for a full 60 seconds without leaving a mark. Remember, the invisible oleophobic coating
evaporates and that covering is kind of important, so don't try this at home. But at least for
now we know that, you know, fire is…hot.
So you might have noticed over the course of this video the heavy marks I made on the
back panel with different metals have already started to rub off when my hand brushes up
against the phone. The dust falls away leaving the phone glass looking almost as good as
new. It really is rather impressive.
I've never had an iPhone fail my durability test before. And I might not always see eye
to eye with the iPhone lineup, but Apple does make very structural and solid smartphones.
And this iPhone 11 Pro Max is no different. There's zero flex. These premium materials
are combined to make an extremely solid build. Apple has used recyclable stainless steel
on this phone and is currently using 100% recycled aluminum to build the MacBook Air,
the Mac Mini, the Apple Watch, and the new 7th Generation iPad, which is something to
be super proud of. There has been a shift over at Apple. Yeah, Androids can still do
more, but Apple has taken so many steps in the right direction with this new iPhone 11
Pro that I'm running low on things to complain about, and that's definitely a good thing
There's a lot more to talk about when we review this from the inside so hit that subscribe
button so you don't miss the teardown. It's free. And come hang out with me on Instagram
Thanks a ton for watching. I'll see you around.