iPad vs. Nexus 7: which device is more durable when dropped and bathed?

There are some pretty vicious things you can do to a tablet. If you’re sitting on a park bench reading an ebook and accidentally drop it, it could potentially be the end of your device. You might also accidentally drop it in water, which could lead to shorting out of various electronic components and ruin the tablet. SquareTrade, a 3rd party warranty service, decided to do some tests of their own to see if the iPad or the Nexus 7 was more prone to damage:

The first test conducted is from standing height, where two people dropped an iPad and a Nexus 7. The Nexus 7 got away with just a few scuffs on the back, while the iPad’s screen shattered. The second test was from table level, and both tablets were simultaneously slid off of a 3-foot high concrete park bench. The Nexus 7 got away again with just some scuffs, while the iPad suffered a dented corner and some shattered glass.

The scariest and last test was a simple water test: which one would survive better when dropped in water? They start by both playing a music video, but when dropped in, the audio stops. The iPad totally lost sound, but the Nexus 7 suffered no losses as far ST could determine.

The Nexus 7 was the clear winner in these tests, and it goes to show that Apple’s obsession with glass to the very edge of the screen can lead to bad things happening in accidents. If you have either of these devices, were you expecting these results? Feel free to discuss in the comments below!

[via Mashable]

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6 comments

  1. Locutus
    Author/

    @budgiesmith: I agree that this certainly does not follow the scientific method, but it doesn’t have to. It’s a quick video by a warranty company to show off the products they cover. In fact, they’ve previously given away iPads, so the fact that they’re giving away a Nexus 7 isn’t really that biased.

    Regarding your comments about momentum? That’s exactly what this video’s about. The iPad certainly does weigh more, and is thus more easily damaged. It’s not contradictory to this video, in fact, it’s an explanation for what happened in the video. You’re entirely right that the iPad is simply heavier and thus more prone to these types of injuries.

    However, I do agree with your statements about the editing. It certainly is a little suspicious.

  2. budgiesmith

    absolutely correct. see my comment below. In addition these tests have no validity. (1) no controlled, blinded, random operators, (2) no identical drop parameters, (3) no independent verification of results or a clearly unedited video of the process and finally (3) evidence of research bias as shown by the giveaway of a Nexus. Ignore this video.

  3. budgiesmith

    larger size = larger mass = larger momentum. The force of impact = half mass x velocity squared. That means that if you drop a heavier object it will experience a higher damaging force on the point of impact. If this is on an edge or a corner then all the force is focused at that point. If both objects fall flat on the back then the force increase of the larger object will only be canceled out if the impact area is of the same factor larger as the mass. So, the tests here are falacious.

  4. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    @leland: What you say is true but if many people are like me, another factor is we prefer 10 inchers over 7 inchers. I already have a 4+ inch phone, what is the point of a 7 inch.

    @Mike: Intuition may say that but if you recall the Galaxy S II vs iPhone 4 drop test dotTech posted a while back, iP4 took a lot more damage although it is smaller. Build materials matter a lot more than size; plus if I remember my physics then large size = larger surface area over which the force of the drop is spread = less damage.

  5. leland

    So I guess it really comes down to if you want the Apple cool factor or the Google durability factor. Considering the cost of each it is somewhat surprising but then you can’t always go by cost when looking at quality.