Smartphone Durability Awards 2019!
So here we are, a tad late, with the 2019 smartphone durability awards. But, I do finally have my cast off……and I did end up cutting the cast off myself and let's just say that some things are not a do-it-yourself project. If your doctor says leave it on for 6 weeks, you should probably leave it on for 6 weeks. Today we're going to be talking the durability of smartphones in 2019. I systematically durability test and take apart every new phone that comes out during the year so we can know what to expect over the lifespan of the phone. I did finally upgrade from my 3 year old Galaxy
S8 Plus, and I decided to go with the Galaxy Note 10 Plus. I don't upgrade my phone very often so I'll probably be using this phone for the next 2 or 3 years. This does have one of my transparent skins on the back which makes the phone look clear without actually taking it apart. Let me know down in the comments if I should bring this back with dbrand for more phones. Let's get started.
Let's start with the most repairable smartphone of 2019. This award is going to go to the Pixel 3a. This little guy is made of plastic on the back. And the screen can be taken off in about 5 minutes with just a little bit of heat and 2 screws are all that's holding it in place. It's rather impressive and makes this phone the easiest screen replacement of 2019.
The least repairable phone, however, goes to the Royole Flexpai. You probably saw this coming. But with it's extremely fragile build and no replacement parts, the Royole Flexpai is not repairable in any way, shape, or form. No matter what breaks, it's going to be permanent. Runner up for the least repairable smartphones of 2019 are all of the iPhones. Yeah, the screens can be replaced easy enough. But when you're factoring in, you know, the overall repairability of the phone, you have to factor in the back panels. Apple goes out of their
Way to make repairing their phones more difficult. And permanently attaching glass panels is just something else they do these days, along with proprietary screws and trying to make third party parts incompatible. The iPhones are some of the least repairable phones because of cost. The back glass on the iPhone 11 Pro Max costs about $599 to replace, while the back glass on the iPhone 11 Pro costs about $550. That's rather insane. Yeah, we do have that laser separator tool, but we shouldn't have to go to such futuristic lengths to repair
A piece of glass on the back of a cell phone. It's not that hard to make parts replaceable. It was super difficult to pick the most innovative smartphone of 2019 – there was a lot going on with phones this year. We have the foldable phones of course, with the Royole Flexpai, the Galaxy Fold, or even this flexible Nubia Alpha smart watch. There were a ton of cameras and even a smartphone with an internal cooling fan here in this Red Magic 3. There was even a smartphone with a builtin projector that could project whatever's on the screen onto
The wall in front of you. There's a lot of innovations going on this year. But if I had to pick just one, it would probably be a slightly more realistic innovation and that would be the Nubia Z20, which has a screen on both the front and the back. It has a triple camera setup and a whole lot of screen real estate without sacrificing the durability, like we have on the folding phones with their soft plastic screens. Both sides of the Nubia Z20 are covered in glass.
Runners up, of course, would be the Blackview Max 1 with it's projector in the top. I found that rather amusing. As well as the Galaxy Fold. Not as realistic of course because it's, you know, fragility, but it's still rather impressive that you can fit this much screen in such a small space. The screen is soft and made from plastic and it got recalled once. But the hinge mechanism inside is extremely solid and would not bend backwards when I tried to during the durability test. With another year or so in development and a stronger
Protector over the screen can definitely see folding phones going more mainstream. The best looking smartphone from the inside this year is the Galaxy A80. We've seen plenty of moving parts on smartphones this year with a lot of motorized cameras. But this Galaxy A80 motorizes up and flips around, which makes it one of the more complex units, and the most fun to watch from the inside. So in my opinion, the Galaxy A80 has the best looking guts of this year.
The least durable smartphone of 2019 was a tough decision. We didn't have very many phones snap completely in half this year. The Royole Flexpai did snap in half but that's kind of a given. And we expected that from a first generation folding phone. While the Galaxy Fold didn't snap in half, it definitely didn't like the dust I fed it and did end up breaking during my durability test. We had the OnePlus 7T crack during the durability test. The new iPod didn't make it. But I'm going to have to go with the Redmi Note 7 as the least durable
Smartphone of 2019. This guy broke on the front and the back. The screen is now inoperable. And while most smartphones do pass my durability test, this guy just couldn't take the heat. Redmi Note 7 is the least durable smartphone of 2019. Honorable mention for the least durable smartphone, or least durable flagship has got to be the Pixel 4 XL. This is probably one of the most overpriced smartphones this year, you know, as far as getting what you pay for. The Pixel 4 XL doesn't have a whole lot of specs and
Snapped in 4 places. It's a definite runner up for least durable phone and just doesn't have enough features to validate the price point. There are a lot of really good phones out there that fall into the safe normal range of smartphones. They might be made of glass on both sides, but they fall into the same range of structural integrity and durability. Kind of like the Samsung lineup or the OnePlus 7 Pro.
For the most durable smartphone that I've tested this year, I'm going to once again go with the Pixel 3a. It does have a plastic back on the back. With it's built-in plastic back and easy to replace screen, there's just less that can break. Remember, any smartphone can become the most durable smartphone by just adding a case and a screen protector. I always have a case on my personal phone, and with how good smartphones are, and how long they're lasting, it's always a good idea to protect it and take care of it. Let me
Know what your favorite smartphone of 2019 was, and which phone you actually ended up getting for yourself. Or are you waiting to see what comes out next year? I'll try not to break anymore bones so I can keep up with all the releases coming out in 2020. There's a lot of rumored folding phones coming out and I'm definitely ready for those. Hit that subscribe button if you haven't already. This is the best place to see smartphones physically reviewed and torn apart from the inside. And come hang out with me on Instagram
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