iPhone 15 Pro Max drop test: Is the new titanium all it's cracked up to be?

apple iphone 15 pro max titanium frame
(Image credit: Apple)

Following the launch of Apple's new iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, there's been lots of comparisons, reviews, and news surrounding these two premium phones. If you've been debating whether to buy the iPhone 15 or 15 Pro, one of the biggest differing factors is the titanium frame on the Pro and Pro Max models. 

This titanium frame is meant to make the Pro and Pro Max models lighter and stronger than their predecessors. However, according to a recent YouTube video from PhoneBuff (via SamMobile), the iPhone 15 Pro Max might not hold up to a spill as well as the aluminum build of the Galaxy S23 Ultra from Samsung.

iPhone 15 Pro Max's titanium build had nothing on the Galaxy S23 Ultra

In PhoneBuff's recent YouTube video, he performed a drop test on both Apple's iPhone 15 Pro Max and Samsung's Galaxy S23 Ultra. During all tests, he used robotic arms to keep the tests consistent and as fair as possible without lab equipment. The phones were dropped onto a concrete slab in the first three tests.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a titanium frame, dual-ion glass coating the back, and a flat 6.7-inch display coated with Ceramic Shield. The Galaxy S23 Ultra has an aluminum frame, and both the back and the 6.8-inch curved display are coated with Gorilla Glass Victus 2.

The first test involved dropping the phone from waist-level height with the phone's back facing down. In this test, the Galaxy S23 Ultra only received small cracks on two corners, while the back of the iPhone 15 Pro Max sported multiple wide cracks spidering up from the bottom of the phone.

iphone 15 pro max drop test

(Image credit: PhoneBuff)

In the second test, both phones were dropped with one corner facing down. The iPhone's titanium frame took it like a champ, though it created a slight spark when it made contact with the concrete slab and a few small pieces of glass on the back frame fell off. The S23 Ultra's aluminum frame dented a little on impact, and the back glass cracked slightly.

iphone 15 pro max drop test

(Image credit: PhoneBuff)

The third test involved dropping both phones with screens facing down. As you'd expect, both screens cracked significantly. With the S23 Ultra, most of the cracking was around the curved edges. The iPhone 15 Pro Max had a diagonal crack going from the bottom to the top of the screen with spidery lines.

In the fourth test, the phones were dropped from a higher point with the screen facing down. The S23 Ultra looked similar to how it did after the third test, while the 15 Pro Max sported extra cracks and chipped glass.

Both phones were still functional after all four tests, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max looked worse than the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The iPhone had more wide-spreading cracks than the S23 Ultra, as well as more small chunks of glass coming off.  

The titanium frame on the iPhone 15 Pro Max seems to have held up relatively well, but the glass? Not so much. That said, most people nowadays have a phone case on to protect their $1,000+ investment. If you rough it without a case, you'll also have to deal with the color-changing titanium issues some iPhone 15 Pro owners have reported.