While SquareTrade usually tests flagship phones from Apple and Samsung, this time we tested four wallet-friendly devices that all retail for $400 or less. If you have to mind your budget, which phone is most durable? And further, does the extra expense of an iPhone guarantee better durability? We found out with our first Battle of the Budget Phones.
Budget flagship smartphones are popping up everywhere as device manufacturers look to unseat reigning champs, Apple and Samsung. So SquareTrade dunked, dropped and bent the Moto X Pure Edition, Microsoft Lumia 640, Sony Xperia E4 and Huawei P8lite to find out if price and durability go hand in hand.
- When it came to dropping the phones on concrete, the Moto X pleaded no contest to both face-down and corner drops shattering on its first drop. This is the most breakable phone we’ve seen in years, which is surprising considering Motorola’s other recent release – the shatterproof Droid Turbo 2. Meanwhile, the Lumia did even better than the iPhone 6s. It popped apart but was easily put back together and suffered only minor cosmetic damage.
- Last time, we found that Apple greatly improved its bendability by opting for a new aluminum casing. The surprising winner for this round was the Lumia 640, which was able to withstand 130 pounds – though still not as impressive as the iPhone’s 170 pounds. Unfortunately for the p8lite and the Moto X, both reached catastrophic failure before the iPhone even began to bend.
- For this round of tests, we increased our water test from 10 seconds to 10 minutes to test against claims that the new iPhone is waterproof. Two of our budget warriors came out on top, the Microsoft Lumia 640 and Sony Xperia E4, resurfacing relatively unscathed. Unfortunately for Huawei, the P8lite drowned quickly while the Moto X started suffering screen malfunctions four minutes in.
So, what did we learn? The Microsoft Lumia 640 and the Sony Xperia E4 proved almost as durable as the iPhone 6s at less than half the cost. The Huawei P8 Lite performed OK, and the Moto X Pure, the biggest, most expensive of our budget phones, was the biggest loser.