Moto X beats out iPhone 5S, 5C, and Galaxy S4 for durability

After the four smartphones were dropped at five feet, slid across a table, and submerged in water for 10 seconds, one device came out the clear winner.

SquareTrade

Apple fanboys and Samsung believers aren't going to like this: Google's Moto X has been crowned the king of durability.

The latest "breakability" score by protection plan company SquareTrade claims Moto X is the best surviving smartphone when it comes to drops, slides, and water dunks. Coming in second place is Apple's iPhone 5S, then Apple's iPhone 5C, and lastly Samsung's Galaxy S4. SquareTrade only tested these four smartphones, so its unclear how other brands and models would rate.

Every year SquareTrade tests the durability of new smartphones to see how they fair during everyday accidents, like toilet plunges, counter drops, and unintended table slides.

SquareTrade first examines the phone's front and back panel design, edge construction, materials, size, weight, friction quotient, water resistance, and grip-ability; and then subjects the devices to break tests. Using robots to drop the phones onto their corners from five feet high, slide the smartphones across a table, and dunk the devices into water for 10 seconds, SquareTrade rates the breakability of each smartphone.

This year, Apple's iPhone 5C suffered a cracked screen in the drop test and finicky response after being submerged in water. The iPhone 5S fared better, with just a dented corner in the drop test and good response after the water dunk, but it failed the slide test by being the only device to glide right off the table.

In years past, the iPhone 5 did better than the Samsung Galaxy S3 and it appears this year wasn't much different. Despite Samsung beefing up the durability of its Galaxy S4, the smartphone still came in last -- being rendered unusable -- in both the drop and dunk test; and, it very nearly slid off the table in the slide test.

While Apple's new iPhones and Samsung's Galaxy S4 got a bit tattered in the tests, Google's Moto X came out unscathed minus a small dent on the corner. SquareTrade said the smartphone's concave backing also "set a new bar" for the durability of its back panel design.

"We were expecting that at least one of the new iPhone models would up its game but surprisingly, it was the Moto X that proved most forgiving of accidents," SquareTrade CMO Ty Shay said in a statement. "This is the first time we've tested the breakability on a Motorola phone, the only phone we've ever tested that's made in the USA. We were pleased to find that it withstood our drop, slide and dunk test with only the slightest dent. It looks like Google is giving Apple and Samsung a run for their money."

Here's SquareTrade's video on its smartphone breakability test:

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Mobile
Phones
About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.

 

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