Nexus 4 drop test makes us cringe [VIDEO]


There haven’t been many drop test videos showing us the Nexus 4’s durability thus far. We imagine that’s because so many people are unwilling to put “their precious” in harm’s way, and we don’t blame them. But it had to happen eventually — the first Nexus 4 drop test has arrived!

This particular test isn’t as extensive as we usually like, but we’ll take anything we can get right now. And it’s in German, so we have no idea what’s being said (cool points to whoever can clue us in on any interesting bits in the comments section below). But you don’t need translation to see how the Nexus 4 handled a drop or two.

The device was resilient with the first drop as it didn’t produce any noticeable cracks or damage. Nothing relevant came of its  plunge to pavement so that’s a good sign in itself. A second drop was performed from what could be considered “average” height, and the Nexus 4 landed on its glass-laden backside. Unfortunately it didn’t do so well here as a nasty shatter formed on the upper right, but the damage was relatively minor considering how this thing is built.

The display wasn’t affected at all, and that’s a good thing, but we have to remember that drop tests are hardly scientific. Point of impact, velocity, surface material and other factors determine how a phone might react to a fall, and we reckon a few more meetings with the sidewalk for this particular device would have spelled doom for the phone’s protective glass.

If nothing else, this video serves as a good reminder to be more cautious and careful with your phone, and to get a case or a bumper with it if you’re feeling a little bit clumsy. Go ahead and watch the video above.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I wasnt cringing as much about the damage, as I was about the people who are back ordered and watched this guy abusing this phone for no good reason. I hope I never drop my phone, but I know that If I choose to use a phone with out any type of case my risk for big time damage goes up.

  2. I don’t know german but I think I heard him say schnitzel lol

    1. And something about vacationing in Poland, right?

  3. This dude needs a new pair of shoes. The sole has separated from the shoe.

    1. He can’t afford new shoes. All of his money goes towards buying phones…and then destroying them.

    2. You could also say the “soul” has separated from the shoe. Teehee, amirite?

      1. Joe versus the Volcano. Remember when Tom Hanks has a shoe on which the sole is falling off? Meg Ryan says “What’s with the shoe?” Hanks replies “I’m losing my SOUL”


  4. He just got it direct from Google and wants to see if it’s as fragile as people suspect. The first drop was from about 1m, it got a few scratches but no damage to the back. 2nd drop was almost 2 meters, he expected it to come out worse. The phone still works fine. He’d like to know in the comments what people expected of the drops.

    1. Thanks for the cliff notes!

  5. He just says what he’s about to do and the results, nothing of interest, the only thing would be that the camera takes longer to take a picture after the fall. And no, he doesn’t say Schnitzel, which is an Austrian dish anyways!

    1. It was a joke ^o^

    2. German people can only eat German food? O.o

      1. No, of course not, but the joke was that he would say something typically German when Schnitzel is Austrian. :)

        1. Lol, I know, I was just funnin’ ya.

          Oh, and….mmmmmmm, schnitzel. ;P

  6. With the fall appearing to hit the corner of the phone, I wonder if the bumper case would have prevented that.

    I hope people end up doing drop test videos with the bumper case on vs no bumper case.

  7. But honestly, who didn’t see this coming???
    The glass looks good, but Apple already proved it sucks for durability.

  8. fared pretty well considering its double sided with glass

    1. It fared terribly when compared to the main competition (GS3 and iPhone 5)

      1. I think its up to par with the S3, I mean if you drop the s3 even on its side the screen will crack, so face down and side will do it for the s3 and back/front will do it for the nexus, when throwing the iPhone into the mix it all depends on what kind of damage you prefer, the iPhone 5 will chip and scratch extremely easy just sitting in your pocket, at the end of the day you are going to need a case either way and most people no matter how durable they think their phone is, use one. I don’t know why a lot of people are hatting on the nexus, in real life tests its shown its up to par or faster than the iiPhone 5 and the s3 although it lacks LTE and the camera has as good of stabilization as the lumia 920 better than the s3 and iPhone 5, picture quality is about the same depending on if you prefer over saturation or not. And the whole sd-card lack isn’t that big of a deal to people who already owned a nexus device and din’t have it prior. The battery life is better than before and better than the s3 u.s. variant.

      2. The GS3 looks very fragile from 4 feet http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=6M5q5TRuAsY#t=170s so I’d say the Nexus 4 has faired a little better, albeit in this unscientific test.

    2. One of my friends droped his S3 on his driveway and completely busted his screen

  9. “other factors determine how a fine might react to a fall”

    @Corrections … looks like one got by you :p

  10. It’s too bad that even Otterbox defender cases can’t protect a fragile phone from damage. I replaced the screen on an iPhone 3G a few weeks ago that was dropped in a defender case. from desktop to floor resulted in one horizontal crack. Then again, it is an iPhone.

  11. While not surprised at all that it took damage from falling at 6 1/2 ft. I am surprised at how little damage there actually was, although it is much worse than it appears since there is actually a section of the back glass peeling off, it didn’t completely shatter as the tempered glass of Apple devices of the past have. I don’t see this making anyone cringe from the damage done, especially if they’ve seen what’s happened to the numerous iPhone4’s and 4s’ that have just completely shattered. I only see people cringing from the fact that they are dropping a phone in such high demand

  12. If you’re going to do a drop test, at least invest in a high-speed camera. The resulting damage is only half the fun.

    Of course, these kind of videos bug me when stock is so limited >:[

  13. What a massive disappointment the Nexus program turned out to be. Not only does this phone have worse performance AND battery life than the iPhone 5, it doesn’t support LTE/CDMA. Now on top of all this it does terrible in a drop test than even the plastic GS3 does better in.

    WTF happened to Google. Android 4.2 is so awesome, and they are ruining it by making giant, subpar handsets that more than half the US population can’t use on Verizon or Sprint.

    1. It’s the perfect phone for me. I love mine.

      I’ll never go back to using ios again.

    2. Giant subpar handsets? Are you high? Also, more than half of the US population doesn’t mean squat when you are selling to the entire WORLD. The Nexus is a world phone, not a US phone. If you want to whine about Verizon, go buy the Galaxy Nexus. Verizon and ATT are evil, overpriced, and have every intention of bloating up and slowing down the Nexus program if given the opportunity. Get the Optimus G if you love ATT so much. Just don’t complain when ATT and LG don’t give you Key Lime Pie when it’s released.

    3. NEXUS IS NOT A FLAGSHIP PHONE LINE. People need to realize this.

    4. First you’re critical of the phone, then you’re critical of the fact that Sprint and Verizon customers can’t avail themselves of the massively disappointing phone. I’m confused…

  14. The article itself covers all the details of the drop test. No translation necessary. The the only thing that isn’t covered is the fact the the guys says the camera works a little slower after the drop. He also says video playback is fine.

  15. To the author of this drop test: can you make another one?

    It seems there is a side effects when Wireless charging is put on the same circuit board than the NFC chip. As a result there is a small levitation field around the person holding the device. This happens only if the weightlessness lasts around 1 second or more.

    To test this effects, you need to have a Nexus4 fully charged, hold it firmly in your hands and jump out of the balcony to the ground from at least 10th floor. Please post the results when you are done. Thanks.

  16. oh i see you got back ordered. let me torture my Nexus 4 for your viewing pleasure.

  17. Well, at least no cracks on the display. My GNex slipped off the nightstand (about 2 feet high) onto carpet and now there are 2 cracks going from the left part of the screen to the earpiece. I couldn’t believe it. Must have hit just right.

  18. Precious Nexus goodness spent in the name of information.

  19. Now you know why Samsung has always chosen to go with plastic. In all the reviews people always say why don’t they use glass, why don’t they make the body more durable, use metal or something like that. This is why.

  20. what kind of shoes are those?

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