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Consumer Reports tests iPhone 6 Plus amid #bendgate fiasco, concludes that it’s not that bendy

By April Taylor , Sep 28, 2014 08:39 AM EDT

Following the whole #Bendgate fiasco surrounding Apple's new iPhone 6 Plus, Consumer Reports claims that the smartphone is in fact not as bendy as it would seem.

For those unfamiliar with this whole situation, earlier this week reports started to pile up regarding a bending/warping issue affecting the 5.5-inch iPhone. Several people took to forums and posted images of bent iPhone 6 Plus units, claiming that the devices became distorted from normal pressure such as being kept in a pants pocket. A video also went viral in no time, showing a guy badly deforming the iPhone 6 Plus with his bare hands. The Internet went wild over the whole thing, and the media has been buzzing like crazy.

Apple said that such instances of bent iPhone 6 Plus smartphones are extremely rare, and suggested that the media and the Internet have greatly exaggerated everything. Consumer Reports now bolsters Apple's claim. The publication has tested the iPhone 6 Plus, as well as several other smartphones, and concluded that the 5.5-inch iPhone is not nearly as bendy as it was portrayed.

More specifically, Consumer Reports subjected the iPhone 6 Plus to a "three-point flexural test," in which a machine grips the phone at either end and applies force to the top.

"We applied and measured the force using a high-precision Instron compression test machine. Along with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, we tested the LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and HTC One (M8), and for those wondering about their old iPhones, we tested the iPhone 5 as well. We used one sample of each phone," Consumer Reports explains.

"The reports stated the Apple applied 25 kilograms (slightly more than 55 pounds) of force to an iPhone 6 Plus to test flex. What does 55 pounds mean in context? Using our Instron, we found that it's approximately the force required to break three pencils. Consumer Reports' tests pushed the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus much further than 55 pounds. We started light, applying 10 pounds of force for 30 seconds, then releasing the force. Then we increased the force in 10-pound increments, noted when the phones first started to deform (that's what our engineers call it) and stopped the test for each phone when we saw the screen come loose from the case."

The publication found that it took 90 pounds for the iPhone 6 Plus's case to start deforming, and 110 pounds to make the screen come off. While previous reports claimed that the iPhone 6 is sturdier than its larger counterpart, Consumer Reports' testing discovered that the iPhone 6 Plus actually outperformed its smaller sibling. The iPhone 6 deformed at 70 pounds of pressure and its screen came loose from the case at 100 pounds.

The strongest phone from the batch proved to be the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which took as much as 150 pounds to bend and lose its screen. The iPhone 5 followed closely, bending at 130 pounds of pressure. The HTC One M8, meanwhile, came in last, bending at 70 pounds of pressure and losing its screen at 90 pounds.

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