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Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus is bending. Should Galaxy Note users be worried? [updated: Samsung, LG and HTC poke fun at Apple]

The “bendgate” scandal says Apple’s super-thin iPhone 6 Plus is too easy to bend, and customers aren't happy. Are phablets too fragile, and should Galaxy Note owners be worried? Update: Manufacturers are now adding salt to Apple's wound in some recent tweets.

iphone 6 plus vs samsung galaxy note 4 teaser
One of these phones is bendier than the other. Will the Note 4 bend as much as the iPhone 6 Plus? / © Samsung/Apple/ANDROIDPIT

What’s yellow and bends in the middle? No, not a banana: if the latest media storm is to be believed, it’s the Apple iPhone 6 Plus. It’s the biggest phone Apple has ever built, but some reports suggest that its aluminium case makes it too easy to bend. Does the same problem apply to Samsung Galaxy Note owners?

It’s important to get some perspective first. Because it’s Apple the story is guaranteed to get lots of internet traffic, so it’s being blown out of all proportion. The truth is that anything made of aluminium, which of course includes the iPhone 6 Plus, can be bent if you apply enough force. 

How much force is enough, and how does the Galaxy Note compare?

samsung galaxy note 3 top 5
Samsung's Galaxy Note 3: chunkier than an iPhone 6 Plus, but less bendy / © ANDROIDPIT

Bend me, shape me, any way you want me

It’s a bad idea to drop £700 on a phablet and use it as a chair cushion. Unsurprisingly, some iPhone 6 Plus users who’ve done that have ended up with misshapen phones. Do the same with any reasonably large smartphone and you’re running the risk of cracking the case, the screen or both.

It’s certainly possible to bend an iPhone 6 Plus with your bare hands (although why you’d want to, we don’t know), but then it was possible to do it with the iPhone 5 and 5S too. The bigger phone is easier to bend than its predecessors, but you still need to try pretty hard to do it.

How does that compare to similarly large phablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Note? It turns out that we don’t need to guess. The YouTube Unbox Therapy channel, whose video showed them bending an iPhone 6 Plus, subjected a Galaxy Note 3 to the same test. The Note survived unharmed.

You’d expect that, though. First of all the Note 3 is chunkier - 8.3 mm compared to the iPhone 6 Plus’s 7.1 mm - and shorter, and it’s made of plastic, not aluminium, so it’s less likely to bend. Plastic is more brittle, though, so it’s more likely to crack than bend if you apply enough force. The same is likely to apply to the Galaxy Note 4, which once again is chunkier than the iPhone 6.

Update: Now manufacturers are getting on the bandwagon in making a bit of a mockery of the bendgate iPhone 6 Plus bending fiasco. LG, Samsung and HTC recently posted a tweet which definitely added some fuel to the fire.

What do you think? Do you live in constant fear of flattening your phablet or bending your phone?


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  • great article

  • CJ Brown Sep 27, 2014 Link to comment

    What an embarrassing flaw by Apple
    Usually Apple's construction is state-of-the-art ....

    Perhaps their Chinese Factories (whom I am sure Apple will blame this on) made an error during the assembly (even though they're going by Apple's quality control specs)

    Perhaps this is why Apple never constructed an iPhone larger then 4.5? (lol)
    I consider this proof that Apple needs to waste less time whining in court, and spend more time in Research & Development

    This is karma for every single time Tim Cook opened his mouth for the past 2 years (you bad mouth other Consumer Electronic Co's? then you deserve to be called out on an 'epic fail')

    I don't expect this to occur with any Android Smart Phone / Tablet, because I don't expect this to occur with any electronic device that costs so much $ - unless a Company wants to lose $ on an expensive recall (which is what I predict Apple will deal with for the next 2 months)

    I guess this is why an expensive iPhone always ends up in expensive Otter Box?

    • My1 Sep 27, 2014 Link to comment

      well Tim Cook is really annoying (and honestly an a**hole)
      but in some way he is driving apple in the right direction, larger screens, copying features android has for years, like keyboards.

  • Bojan M. Sep 26, 2014 Link to comment

    On that YouTube video, it looks as if iPhone 6 Plus is not compact, meaning its body is not filled well within, as if its case is empty at the bending place, big mistake I might add, it wouldn't bend otherwise, at least not that easy. Consider Note 3 for example, besides being plastic, which is a plus (pun not intended) in this kind of test, it has a huge battery which covers most of the body case, which makes Note 3 much sturdier.

    • My1 Sep 26, 2014 Link to comment

      so we know where to start when the 6 Plus's battery is rather a minus...

  • Mi sister's 1997 Saturn is made from plastic (doors and fenders) and at this time it looks like new. jaja

  • My1 Sep 26, 2014 Link to comment

    Since when is the i6 yellow?

    (attention irony)

  • The apple 6 plus bendgate is not that big of an issue to me bc I always have my iPhone in a case. It takes effort to bend the iPhone 6 plus. So, that's a problem for the user who bend it not apple. If I put my iPhone where it can be damaged AppleCare will fix it, but it's still on me for being careless.
    Those ppl who bend their phones to prove apple defective is nutts. Apple not gonna fix that, they did that. As for the galaxy if you apply enough pressure it will crack for ya. Ppl who put their iPhone in the microwave to charged is just out of their mind. Put the iPhone 6 plus in their it might blow up the microwave being microwave do not do well with aluminum. Hope they don't think that a microwavegate lol. I like this it bring down Apple shares so I can buy some.

    • Firstly, the microwave thing is a joke. Secondly, you may search YouTube for Unbox Therapy and see he has tested bending for iphone 6 plus, 6, 5s, M8, note 3, Moto X 2014 and Nokia Lumia. Your point that they bend when the user makes them bend is wrong. He, in that video made all of them bend but it doesn't mean all will.

  • I have to say its very hard to bend a Note 3 because it may be plastic but when you really try it you will notice its very hard to bend, and the video speaks for itself too.. As plastic returns to its normal state

    I found this YouTube video, it looks as if the note can hold up.

  • Mark R. Sep 24, 2014 Link to comment

    the material selection is important but needs to work hand in hand with the sectional & geometric properties of the phone's body/chassis. aircraft & car bodies are made out of aluminium which can be very stiff provided the geometry of the structure has been properly designed taking into account the correct load-cases. I imagine apple did a lot of CAE on the phone but seems like they missed something...the 6+b will be with us soon I expect.

    • Dont forget that some high performance cars and planes have carbon fiber instead of steel or aluminum. It doesn't always have to be metal. It is true that the geometry plays a significant role. I think for the case of Note 3, it's not just the plastic but the magnesium alloy chassis that gives it strength.

  • Android community tested the samsung galaxy note 3 and it didn't bend or break. It seems plastic has it advantages.

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