As Apple Inc pitches its newest smartphones, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, users may find something lacking compared with last year's model - they could break more easily and what's more, a surprise package gets crowned best, the Moto X, while another surprise is revealed, Samsung Galaxy S4 is dubbed worst.
SquareTrade, a provider of protection plans for gadgets, tested five smartphones, including Apple Inc's new iPhones, 5S and 5C, to see if they could withstand drops, dunks and other common hazards. Its finding - the latest models aren't as durable as last year's iPhone 5.
The biggest loser, however, was Samsung Galaxy S4, which failed to work after being submerged in water and being dropped 5 feet off the ground, according to San Francisco-based SquareTrade.
The phone that withstood SquareTrade's torture test best was Google Inc.'s Moto X. The Moto X is the first phone designed with the Internet company as Motorola's new owner. Released in August, the Moto X is also the first smartphone assembled in the US.
"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," said Ty Shay, chief marketing officer at SquareTrade.
Officials from Apple Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and Google Inc. didn't immediately return email messages for comment.
Apple started selling two new iPhones on Friday. The iPhone 5S sports a fingerprint sensor, a better camera and a faster processor. A less expensive version, the iPhone 5C, offers consumers a wider choice of colors and has a better front-facing camera than the iPhone 5.
With every upgrade Apple has made, the latest model has usually been more durable than the previous one, based on drop tests SquareTrade has done over the past few years, Shay said. But that wasn't the case this time.
SquareTrade reviewed each device based on eight factors, including the materials of the device's front and back panels, its size and its weight. It also tested the device's ability to withstand drops from 5 feet and being dunked in water for 10 seconds. SquareTrade says it uses robots to do the testing to ensure consistency.
SquareTrade rates phones on a scale of 1 to 10, with a higher number reflecting a higher