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Spoiler alert: We weren’t able to crack these phones, but we did manage to break the cameras. What will it take to crack the glass on the iPhone 11 and ? That’s the question I’m asking myself after putting these phones through eight different drop tests, each time onto hard concrete. Try as I might, the glass on these phones just wouldn’t crack. But that doesn’t mean the phones were damage-free.
At Apple’s September event, Kaiann Drance, Apple’s senior director of product marketing, said the iPhone 11 glass is the “toughest ever in a smartphone, on the front and back.” We know that glass is , the company behind Gorilla Glass.
It’s not the first time Apple has made such claims. Last year, marketing chief Phil Schiller said the iPhone XS had “the most durable glass ever built into a smartphone.” .
The iPhone XR, however, wasn’t so lucky. On the .
We decided to change things up with this year’s drop test. Our test zone was a concrete floor and to make the drops as consistent as possible, CNET Managing Producer Chris Parker built a system that helped each phone fall directly on the screen or on the back. While the drop machine didn’t guarantee the phones would land in the desired position every time, it did help us test in a controlled way.
Of course, these tests were not scientific, but they do give us an idea of how the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro fare when dropped without a case.
After each drop, I checked:
- The screen for scratches or cracks
- The back and camera for scratches or cracks
- If the screen still worked
- If the camera still worked
Here’s what happened.
Drop 1: 3 feet on the screen and the back
For the first drop I positioned the iPhone 11 to land screen side down. Falling from 3 feet (1 meter), which is about hip (or pocket) height, the phone was not damaged at all when it landed on the screen.
The iPhone 11 Pro gave the same result. There was no visible damage and everything still worked as expected.
I repeated the drop with both phones, except this time they fell on their backs. Same as when they fell screen-side down, there was no damage to report.
Drop 2: 6 feet on the screen and the back
For the next round of drops we took the machine to 6 feet and repeated the same drops.
The iPhone 11 had no damage at all when dropped on the screen or the back.
But the results were a little different for the iPhone 11 Pro. After it fell screen down on the first drop, I could see a small area of discolored or damaged pixels towards the bottom of the screen. There were no cracks on the glass itself, however, and the screen still worked as normal.
Drop 3: 8 feet on the screen and back
I wanted to take these phones even higher, so we set our machine to its limit: 8 feet, 7 inches.
Dropping the iPhone 11 on its screen, the glass again did not crack. But when dropping it on its back, it sustained some damage: a minor scuff on the aluminum bumper and a cosmetic scratch on the top lens housing. The camera itself still worked.
The iPhone 11 Pro fell on its screen first and added a few more small damaged pixels, this time higher up on the screen. Like the iPhone 11, it had some minor cosmetic damage to the camera housing.
While it’s unlikely that you would drop your phone any higher than this, we took it to the next level — these phones were still usable and the glass didn’t show any signs of cracking.
Final drop: 11 feet
For the final round, we dismantled the machine and reassembled it as high as we could take it: 11 feet.
I only dropped the phones once from this height, screen-side down. The iPhone 11 fell first on a corner, flipped, then landed screen side down. The iPhone 11 Pro fell first on its side, flipped and landed on its back.
Again, the glass did not break on either of the two phones — on the front or back. The iPhone 11’s rear camera stopped working altogether and just showed a black screen when I opened the Camera app, although the TrueDepth camera was fine. I restarted the phone just to double-check and the camera still showed a black screen.
The iPhone 11 Pro’s SIM card tray popped out when it landed but I was able to push it back in. Then, I ran my finger around the edge of the phone and felt a small bulge where the screen did not sit perfectly flush with the stainless steel frame. There was also an area of discoloration at the back of the phone (click to enlarge the photo below).
Does that mean the glass on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro is stronger than on previous iPhones? That’s a tough call to make given that our previous tests were not conducted in the same way. But it does show that this year’s phones can withstand a lot more drops onto concrete than we were expecting.
While neither of the phones cracked like we’ve seen in previous years, they didn’t emerge totally unscathed: The iPhone 11 Pro had some damaged pixels and the iPhone 11’s rear camera stopped working after our final drop.
I reached out to Apple for more information and the company provided the following statement: “iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro both are made from the toughest glass ever shipped in the smartphone industry on the front and back. iPhone 11 features an aerospace-grade aluminum band and iPhone 11 Pro features a stainless steel structural band. All go through rigorous real-world testing and are designed to be durable, but not indestructible. If anyone is concerned about dropping their iPhone and damaging it, we suggest using one of the many beautiful cases available to protect iPhone.”
I wasn’t the only one who tested out the iPhone 11 Pro and found the glass didn’t break when dropped from extreme heights. EverythingApplePro got similar results when dropping the phones from 10 feet. However, the glass did break on the final drop, likely because one phone landed on top of the other.
For the ultimate peace of mind, we still recommend putting a case on your phone, as getting it repaired if the glass does crack can be expensive: up to $329 for the screen or $599 for the back if you don’t have AppleCare Plus coverage.
Originally published in September.
PS5 Digital Edition vs. Xbox Series S: Which affordable console is for you? – Tom's Guide
The PS5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S both ask an unusual question: What if a next-gen console didn’t have to cost an exorbitant amount of money? While the full-featured PS5 and Xbox Series X will cost $500 apiece, both companies have also offered a cheaper alternative. For Sony, there’s the PS5 Digital Edition: a $400 console that has no disc drive, but is otherwise identical to the PS5. For Microsoft, there’s the Xbox Series S: a $300 all-digital console that’s optimized for quad HD output rather than UHD.
While the PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S don’t address exactly the same needs, they both represent the same idea: a cheaper alternative to full-priced next-gen consoles. As such, it’s worth comparing the two machines, even though a) It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, and b) We won’t know for sure how the two systems stack up until we get to try them for ourselves.
With that in mind, let’s see how the PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S stack up in terms of price, specs, game selection and more.
PS5 Digital Edition vs. Xbox Series S: Specs
One of the easiest ways to compare the PS5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series X is to discuss their specs. Generally speaking, the PS5 Digital Edition is more powerful, but here’s the full breakdown:
|PS5 Digital Edition||Xbox Series S|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen Zen 2, 8-core, 3.5 GHz||AMD Ryzen Zen 2, 8-core, 3.6 GHz|
|GPU||AMD Radeon RDNA 2, 10 teraflops||AMD Radeon RDNA 2 GPU, 4 teraflops|
|RAM||16 GB||10 GB|
|Storage||825 GB SSD||512 GB SSD|
|Resolution||Up to 8K||Up to 1440p|
|Frame Rate||Up to 120 fps||Up to 120 fps|
If you were wondering why the Xbox Series S is $100 cheaper, you can see it’s mostly a matter of specs. While the Xbox Series S actually has a slightly more powerful CPU than the PS5 Digital Edition, its GPU, RAM and storage are all weaker. As a result, games will run in lower resolutions. And although the max frame rate is the same, we can reason that the Xbox Series S will generally not hit the same frame rates as its Sony competitor, particularly for new and demanding games. (Frame rate is a function of a system’s processor, GPU and RAM.)
Neither system has the capacity to play physical media, such as game discs or Blu-rays. However, both systems will be able to load and render games incredibly quickly thanks to state-of-the-art SSDs, and both systems’ GPUs will support ray tracing for subtle lighting effects.
Where the comparison gets a little tricky is when we move from “specs” and try to gauge “performance.” While a system’s specs define its performance, it’s often about how pieces of hardware work in concert rather than just gauging raw power. As such, until we get our hands on both the PS5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S, it’s almost impossible to say how each one will run games in real-world conditions.
Still, we can say definitively that the Xbox Series S employs, for the most part, less powerful hardware than the PS5 Digital Edition. We can also say that less powerful hardware generally means lower resolutions and frame rates. The PS5 Digital Edition is arguably a little more future-proof than the Xbox Series S, particularly for gamers who have 4K TVs.
PS5 Digital Edition vs. Xbox Series S: Price
The easiest point of comparison between the PS5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S is their prices. The PS5 Digital Edition costs $400; the Xbox Series S costs $300. The Xbox Series S is undeniably cheaper; what’s not clear is which system will ultimately be the better value.
As stated above, the Xbox Series S employs less powerful hardware than the PS5 Digital Edition. That’s not a surprising or controversial thing to say; it’s the primary reason why the Xbox Series S costs less money. (it’s the same price as a Nintendo Switch, and cheaper than an Xbox One X.) If you aren’t too hung-up on top-of-the-line graphics — or don’t have a 4K TV at all — the Xbox Series S seems like a good value. Otherwise, the PS5 Digital Edition may well be worth the extra $100.
One thing to keep in mind, although it’s a bit speculative: For the foreseeable future, any Xbox Series X game will also be available on the Xbox Series S. However, as the next console generation progresses and games become more demanding, the Xbox Series S may not be able to play absolutely every Xbox Series X game.
Microsoft hasn’t said anything to this effect, and I have no special insight about whether it might happen. But I do know that as consoles age, developers tend to press them for every last bit of processing power, and the Xbox Series S doesn’t have as much as the Xbox Series X. The PS5 Digital Edition, on the other hand, has precisely the same specs as the full-fledged PS5. Just something to consider.
PS5 Digital Edition vs. Xbox Series S: Games
As far as we know, the PS5 Digital Edition can play every single PS5 game; the Xbox Series S can play every single Xbox Series X game. This should be the case for the foreseeable future. As such, the game selection argument is the same here as for PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Do you want to play Spider-Man, Ratchet & Clank and Final Fantasy, or do you want to play Halo, Hellblade and Forza? There’s no correct answer there, so prospective buyers will have to decide for themselves.
What’s a little more interesting, however, is the issue of backwards compatibility. Both the PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S will be backwards compatible with many previous-gen titles; the only question is how far back that compatibility goes.
The PS5 Digital Edition will be compatible with a lot of PS4 games, although we don’t have a full list just yet. (Recent reports put the number around 99% of the PS4 library, so hopefully that’s true.) The Xbox Series S, on the other hand, will be backwards compatible with every single Xbox One game, plus a variety of Xbox 360 and original Xbox games.
There is one big catch either way, though: To play backwards compatible games, you’ll need to own digital copies. Since neither the PS5 Digital Edition nor the Xbox Series S has a disc drive, you won’t be able to play games you own physically, unless you buy them again as digital versions. Both the regular PS5 and the Xbox Series X do have disc drives, so if you have a big physical collection, it may be worth the premium just to keep access to your old games.
The Xbox Series S also has one additional wrinkle, and it’s a complicated one, so bear with us. In some ways, the Xbox Series S is less powerful than the current-gen Xbox One X. As such, the Xbox Series S will not be able to play Xbox Series X-optimized games with full 4K resolution, high frame rates, enhanced texture quality and so forth. This may not be a big issue, as the Xbox Series S isn’t really an ideal accessory for 4K TVs anyway, but it’s worth pointing out. The PS5 Digital Edition has no such restrictions.
PS5 Digital Edition vs. Xbox Series S: Who are they for?
While I can’t prove this until we see some sales figures for the two devices, I don’t think that the PS5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S are angling for exactly the same buyers. The price difference is telling, as is the variance in hardware. At the risk of fortune-telling, it seems as though the PS5 Digital Edition is for more dedicated gamers who are simply ready to give up physical media, whereas the Xbox Series S is for more casual fans who simply don’t need the power — or expense — of a full-featured Xbox Series X.
The PS5 Digital Edition, save for its lack of a disc drive, is identical to the PS5. That means that if you buy it, you’ll want to take advantage of its UHD resolution, fast frame rates, expansive storage and so forth. The audience for the PS5 and the PS5 Digital Edition is exactly the same, in other words, save for whether they want to use discs or digital downloads.
On the other hand, the Xbox Series S is considerably less powerful than the Xbox Series X, and Microsoft has made no secret of that. Someone who had his or her heart set on the powerful Xbox Series X experience is probably not going to be swayed by the Xbox Series S. On the other hand, for casual gamers, young gamers or gamers who don’t own 4K TVs, there’s really no reason to spend $500 on an Xbox Series X, when an Xbox Series S will get the job done just as well.
PS5 Digital Edition vs. Xbox Series S: Subscriptions
One final thing to consider is that both the PS5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S will exist as part of larger subscription-based ecosystems: PlayStation Plus for the former, and Xbox Game Pass for the latter. Both services have undergone significant revamps over the past few months, and will probably continue to do so up until the next-gen consoles launch.
Recently, we learned that PlayStation Plus ($10 per month, or $60 per year) will allow players to download a whole host of PS4 classics, including Bloodborne, God of War and Until Dawn. Meanwhile, Xbox Game Pass ($10 to $15 per month) lets players download more than 100 Xbox titles, including Gears 5, Wasteland 3 and Sunset Overdrive.
The big difference between the two platforms is that Xbox Game Pass also gives players access to new Xbox Series X/S titles the day they become available; the PS Plus Collection seems to be exclusively backward-looking, at least for now.
Generally speaking, Xbox Game Pass seems to be a huge part of the Xbox Series S’ strategy, while Sony probably expects most PS5 Digital Edition customers to buy games à la carte, one at a time. It’s worth considering whether you’d rather own a small library of games for good, or rent a huge library indefinitely.
PS5 Digital Edition vs. Xbox Series S: Outlook
It’s hard to compare the PS5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S directly, since they seem to target different audiences. The PS5 Digital Edition is for gamers who want the latest and greatest hardware without physical discs; the Xbox Series S is for gamers who are willing to compromise on hardware, as long as they can still access a collection of great games.
Since we haven’t tested either system firsthand, we’ll withhold recommendations for the moment. But remember that you’ll have to live with less powerful hardware if you choose the Xbox Series S, and extra $100 up front if you choose the PS5 Digital Edition.
Videotron offers 55-inch TV with Samsung phones and all-inclusive plans – MobileSyrup
To celebrate Vidéotron’s 10th anniversary in the mobile space, the company is offering customers that purchase an all-inclusive plan with a Samsung Galaxy Device a free 4K UHD TV.
These two-year all-inclusive plans start at 11GB per month for $7 but also come with bonus annual data of 100GB per year.
This promotion works for new customers or those who renew their subscription. The deal is also available if you grab a Canada-U.S. without borders plans that start at $70 per month.
The free television is a 55-inch 4K UHD Tizen Smart TV UN55TU8500 that typically costs $849.99.
Minor Google Pay app redesign rolling out now – MobileSyrup
Google has launched a minor redesign of the Google Pay app that’s a step backwards compared to other recently updated Google apps.
The new design stashes all the sections in a side menu, which is odd since apps like Google Photos recently moved towards displaying everything in a bottom bar to get rid of the side menu. The old version of Google Pay, which you can look at here, used the bottom bar method effectively, so it’s unclear why Google choose to change it.
For the most part, the new design is pretty non-offensive. It combines your passes and loyalty cards like PC Optimum or insurance cards with your selected payment method on the main screen. While this might make this feature a little more convenient, it’s still not a good update.
With the new Android 11 power menu that surfaces your contactless payment card options, you already have quick access to your credit and debit cards. Not to mention, it would make more sense for this menu to show your loyalty cards as well so they could easily get scanned at checkout. It’s just weird that Google decided to update the app with all these functions when it’s put so much work into Android 11 to make it, so users don’t need to open the actual Google Pay app often.
This new update puts the Google Pay app more or less on par with Apple’s Wallet app, but without the quick access shortcut that the Cupertino tech giant has in the iOS Control Center. That said, you could argue that the ‘View All’ option buried within a three-dot menu in the new power button menu is this shortcut on Android. However, the fact that it’s hidden in a menu makes it a little more of a hassle than a floating action button styled button.
In the end, I don’t have anything against the new main screen layout, but I don’t understand why Google didn’t leave the bottom bar with some of the more complex options.
Want the government to go Dutch on your dinner tab? Restaurants pitch relief plan to help them survive – CBC.ca
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