The iPhone SE (2022) tries to make the case that it can handle things just as well as a more expensive Apple device. Better include surviving a drop in that list of things the lower-cost iPhone does well.
That's according to Allstate Protection Plans, the insurer that provides coverage for personal electronics and also performs drop-tests on new high-profile phones when they hit the market. It's the iPhone SE 2022's turn to get dropped onto unforgiving pavement, and Allstate says the new Apple phone fared nearly as well as the iPhone 13 did in its durability testing.
That's good news — last fall, Allstate ruled that the iPhone 13 models were as durable as the iPhone 12. And those phones were the most durable ever in Allstate's testing.
As for the iPhone SE (2022), it survived two of the three drop tests with only minor scuffing. In those two tests, the new iPhone was dropped face-down from 6 feet onto a sidewalk and also dropped on its side from the same height.
The only drop test that damaged the iPhone SE (2022) occurred in the back-down drop test from 6 feet. Allstate says the iPhone SE cracked on the first drop, which it attributed to that model's lack of flat aluminum siding, which is found on other Apple handsets like the iPhone 13.
Even with the damage on the back-down drop, those are some solid results for the iPhone SE (2022). "Apple has created a truly durable phone that doesn’t break the bank," said Jason Siciliano, Allstate Protection Plan vice president of marketing and creative director, in a statement accompanying the drop-test results. "[The iPhone SE] survived one drop from 6 feet on its front and side, which is impressive. While it didn’t survive a back-down drop from 6 feet, putting it in a case should help.”
To that end, we've got a round-up of the best iPhone SE (2022) cases, including many that promises drop protection for the latest SE model.
Allstate also tested out the iPhone SE's IP67 water-resistance rating, leaving the phone submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. The phone emerged without any lasting damage, though it did suffer from muffled audio for about 1 hour after the test.
The iPhone SE (2022) went on sale last week for $429. That's $270 less than the least expensive iPhone 13 model, Apple's iPhone 13 mini. But the lower price doesn't mean there's too big a gap in the durability of Apple's phones, at least based on Allstate's tests.
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Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.