Pixel 8 Pro survives torture test with flying colors

Google Pixel 8 Pro held in hand.
(Image credit: Future)

Subscribers to JerryRigEverything’s YouTube channel will know that no phone comes out completely unscathed from the range of torture tests he performs on handsets in the name of durability testing. But Google’s phones have historically held up comparatively well in his tests (with the exception of the Pixel Fold and 2015’s Nexus 6p) and the Pixel 8 Pro continues in that vein in the latest video.

Crucially, it actually fares a little better than its predecessor, the Pixel 7 Pro. In its bend test, a gap appeared around the antenna line, which suggested the phone had lost its water resistance. In the corresponding test on the Pixel 8 Pro, the frame holds firm, showing Google has made some improvements to the handset’s structure. 

“In this particular case with the Pixel 8 Pro, despite sounding like a creaky wooden chip, there are no structural imperfections when bent from the front or bent from the back,” JerryRigEverything says. “No cracks at the antenna lines, no fractures in the frame and most importantly, no catastrophic damage whatsoever. The Pixel 8 Pro passes my durability test, and thumbs up for that.”

Phones don’t always clear this particular hurdle. Foldables are, of course, especially vulnerable to this, but even expensive flat handsets aren’t immune. The iPhone 15 Pro Max snapped on this particular test

That said, the iPhone 15 Pro does have one durability advantage for everyday wear and tear. In the Mohs scale of hardness test on the screen, the Pixel 8 Pro gets “scratches at a level six with deeper grooves at a level seven”, and that’s advantage Apple. “Not quite as resistant as Apple’s Ceramic Shield, but still on par with every other piece of tempered glass on the planet,” JerryRigEverything says.

Notably, scratching the screen above the fingerprint reader doesn’t stop the authentication system from working, which is a good sign for the handset’s long-term prospects. And while the side buttons could be forced off with a razor blade, they continued to work when reattached.

The Pixel 8 Pro wasn’t completely unscathed from all the tests, however. Putting a cigarette lighter against the screen left a permanent burn mark on the OLED panel after 17 seconds, and a sharp blade left unpleasant scars all over the metal frame and camera bar.

But these tests are unlikely to be unintentionally replicated in the real world, and even if they are, the Pixel 8 Pro kept on trucking despite the ugly cosmetic damage. That means there’s a real chance that plenty of handsets will still be around to see if Google is good on its seven-year update pledge, especially as the phone is guaranteed to get spare parts until 2030.

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Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.