Remember Bendgate, the controversy that surrounded the iPhone when reports came in that the phone was warping in people's pockets? It's rearing its head again, though this time with the latest round of fancy Android smartphones.
Well, sort of. SquareTrade, a phone warranty provider that ran some tests for The Post when the iPhone 6 first faced accusations that it was a bit flimsy, is back with a more comprehensive bending test for the latest models from Samsung and HTC.
The conclusion? These big-screened phones will bend, but it's not exactly likely that they're made of wet paper. As with the iPhone 6, you have to really try to bend them to get them to bend.
The HTC One M9 lasted under the pressure until it hit 120 pounds, at which point it became completely inoperable. The iPhone 6 Plus warped at 110 pounds, but didn't completely break until it hit 179 pounds. Samsung's S6 Edge also made it to 110 pounds before deforming and cracking; it didn't completely break until it hit 149 pounds of pressure on a single point. Its screen, however, did seem to crack more readily than its competitors.
In sum, SquareTrade said: "Is this Bendgate 2? No, but for Samsung fans it may be worse. Instead of a bent phone, they may have a pocket full of glass."
Samsung was definitely not happy about the video, posting video of its own tests and saying in an official blog post that it would like to see different tests run to better evaluate the phone's durability. The company said it will "officially deliver our statement to SquareTrade and ask them to conduct the stress test again which targets both front and back sides, and open the test result to the public."
SquareTrade issued a response statement of its own, saying that it's an "unbiased" tester and that it's happy Samsung has released its own tests.
"As the video we released on Thursday shows, we performed the exact same test on all phones using our BendBot," the company said. "We would agree that in our independent tests – neither the Samsung S6 Edge, the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, nor the HTC One M9 bent at less than 110 pounds of force. We believe that the more information consumers have, the better – so we are happy that Samsung has released its own tests and disclosed the benchmarks for its internal stress test (78 lbf of force). We welcome Samsung’s invitation to test its devices again with our BendBot and release the results publicly."
One could excuse Samsung for what seems to be a slight overreaction here. This is a very important phone launch for the company, which has so far ridden a wave of pretty good press for the phones -- particularly for the quality of the latest models' hardware.
That said, it's clear from looking at SquareTrade's machine that the likelihood of duplicating that sort of test in your own back pocket is pretty unlikely, unless you have very pointy sit-bones and no sense of feeling on your backside. (Not to mention, phones do tend to slide out of pockets before they fold completely in half, because of physics.)
Besides, would you really watch a bending video of a smartphone if it didn't include at least one shot of its catastrophic failure?
Be honest now.