Zack’s recent durability test in JerryRigEverything puts Pixel 4 XL in the spotlight. It passed the usual scratch test and the standard screen burning test but failed when Zack was trying to bend it. Possibly due to the screen’s support, it withstood the pressure when bending from the back. While bending the phone from the front, it cracked unexpectedly in two places, one just under the square camera lens and the other above the SIM card tray. According to Zack, the cracks are appearing because of Google’s antenna placement: it is exactly the plastic antenna line that brings weak cracking points all around the phone.
This reminds us of a similar issue Apple faced back to the year when iPhone 6 Plus was released. Buyers reported that their new phone was bending despite using and carrying it in a normal fashion. The later iPad Pro was also reported to have the same problem. A new term “Bendgate”, therefore, was invented to exclusively referred to that controversy where consumers alleged that their phone would bend in the pocket. Actually, the main problem for iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Pro lies in the thin aluminum frame that is compromised by cutouts for the SIM tray and antennas that in turn lead to a fragile structure of the device. On Pixel 4 XL, this aluminum frame is likely replaced by the plastic bands which is purportedly designed to improve antenna reception (since radio wave travel better through plastic than metal). And this is why Zack snapped the band with little effort, which is somewhat more than in bending iPhone 6 Plus, though.
Apple and Google are not alone in the “Bendgate” matter. For Samsung and many other well-known insignificant cellphone manufacturers, it is hard to keep up with the current trend and make their phones durable at the same time. Slim or sturdy, they usually have to give more emphasis to one of them instead of both. For consumers, on the other hand, they are looking much more at whether the device can withstand pressure in the field. Till now, Google official has not given a comment towards its “Bendgate” and maybe it is now investigating and taking actions to improve the fragile structure. Further testing process can be expected just like Apple’s “torsion, pressure point and three-point” tests. And it is not denied Google could turn this controversy into opportunity, for “Bendgate” has stimulated some companies to explore real bendable phone and physical interface that can be slipped over the arm or rolled up into a tube.
Though not that scientific, Zack has proved for us Pixel 4 XL is “crackable”, at least in his hands and on purpose. So will your Pixel 4 XL bend and snap? None of the recent reviews about this handset show any signs of breaking, bending, or cracking—even after multiple weeks of use. And because Pixel 4 XL was bent intentionally with more effort (seemingly) than iPhone 6 Plus, the possibility is small that many of its users would finally find their Pixel bent. Nonetheless, your Pixel 4 XL still has the potential to bend, as some behaviors like storing the phone in the back pocket and then sitting on them is definitely harmful to the cellphone frame. In some cases, the phone curves gradually over a period of time rather than sharply bend in a certain accident.
Is there anything else you can do to keep your Pixel 4 XL or other phones from being bent? Yes, of course. First, you’d better know your phone’s material. If it is made of aluminum, you need to take good care of it because aluminum is a highly malleable metal. Avoid applying too much pressure on your phone like putting it in a tight pocket. Be sure to move your phone away from the place where you may fall asleep before you are about to do that. If all those methods are hard for you, getting a protective case would be a no-brainer. Not only will it offer a sense of aesthetics, but it also ensures your phone will not warp or snap and maintain its resale value even after years of use.
Ringke Fusion X Designed for Google Pixel 4 XL Case Price: $9.99
-“It showcases the phone’s natural beauty while still giving robust corner and drop protection. “
- The rugged exterior provides boosted grip control for comfortable handling.
- Designed for the flawless use of the 6.3″ smooth display & square triple-lens rear camera.
- Durable PC back and TPU bumper offers solid protection for Google Pixel 4 XL.
- Secure your device with a built-in Quikcatch lanyard hole to attach wrist straps or neck-straps
- Compatible with most screen protectors and supports wireless charging. Not compatible with Google Pixel 3 XL.