How BlackBerry smartphones are tested for durability

By Adam Zeis on 6 Feb 2012 11:24 am EST

Inside BlackBerry has posted up some pretty cool videos and a brief write up on just how BlackBerry smartphones are tested for durability. Like pretty much every other product that hits the market, your BlackBerry goes through any number of tests before it lands on your doorstep. From the water test to drop tests to a pretty insane bend test, the folks at RIM work hard making sure your device will stand up to the pressures of daily use. The bend test makes sure your device can handle a bit of flexing if you sit on it, and phones even gets shocked with an Electrostatic Discharge to make sure the components are safe and sound. Keep reading for more videos, then hit the link below for more on this. Very cool stuff!

Read more at Inside BlackBerry

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

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How BlackBerry smartphones are tested for durability


Cool videos :)
I dropped my phone on the treadmill and it went flying across the room. Other than a barely visible dent, the phone worked great afterwards :)

Was the phone turned on when dropped in water? Most of us never turn our BB off.
I'm guessing the bend test resulted in a non functioning phone...not that anyone would ever accidentally bend their BB that much.

I know this is great, but RIM should place more money on quality control because a lot of Bold 99xx have hardware issues. It is not because RIM made a bad phone, but because they did bad on QC.

They should run a test with an overnight charging. That's how my bb broke down, now is in service and I have to use an old dumbphone

RIM should just hire me to do a durability test. I'm so clumsy.

Like above Sk8er, I've also dropped my BlackBerry while on the treadmill and it flew across the room. On more than one occasion.

I'm notorious for typing with my hands still wet. I once knocked over a candle and spilled hot wax all over the screen and keyboard. Dropped my berry in between the folding chairs in lecture rooms and it got stuck in the metal. More than once. Dropped on pavement more times than I can count on two hands. Tripped and fell down while crossing the street and slammed my right hand with my berry down onto concrete... Just as the light was turning green with an oncoming tram. I still thank my Berry to this day for saving me from a broken wrist, though the leather backing was destroyed.

To this day, my Bold 9000 still works, and I got it in Sept 2008.

Forget the machinery... just give it to a 2, 4, and 6 year old to play with/fight over and you have your test.

although I wish BBs had the gorilla glass.

my father once complained that his 9700 was busted. after inquiry, he said "after flying off the car taking a corner at 65 for the third time, well... it just doesn't ring as loud."

OMG that's great! Now there's a good test. Let's combine them: give it to a 3 year old in the back seat of the car going 65 mph and let him/her throw it out the window :) if it passes that test then it's time to go to market.

Boldly sent from my 9930

it is funny how they are able to make the phone that are able to bend in such an extreme way and still work, but they are unable to make a phone that have a "properly" aligned trackpad .

till this date, i never seen a blackberry 9900 that have a "properly" aligned or straight trackpad.

so much for the test guess.

Living in Waterloo, my friend bought a Curve, supporting the Waterloo cause, as are a lot of other friends.

She let her 9 month old play with it, and the phone lasted for under 3 months...up until the baby started sucking on it and trying to put it in it's mouth. Of course it broke, sent to Koodo / Bell and they declined warranty due to water damage.

She is very happy with her LG Optimus would be nice if RIM stood behind their durability tests...Optimus is baby proof!

Your friend is a moron for letting her baby chew on a piece of electronics. She might as well let her baby chew on the power cord as well.

My Berries have all gone through tough use. My Strawberry Curve 8330 (pink housing) has fallen out of my pocket while riding my bike doing 15-20 mph, took a swim twice and still functioned properly.

It was a dishwashing accident that finally made it unusable. But IT STILL TURNED ON!

Never switching if I can help it!

Interesting video. Too bad their "stress" test didn't find the "hourglass of death" which appears far to often on OS 6 phones. Can't wait till BB10 puts that thing to death.

I would love to see an extreme durability test like they did with the iphone. I would like to see it done with every single smartphone, not just a blackberry. :D

But still, NOTHING can bear the power of the Microwave Oven.

these videos are TERRIBLE.

1. Bend and flex teXT? they didn't even show if the unit worked after all of that! any manufacturer can do that test, but what's the point of showing us if it doesnt work at the end? at least show us the max tolerance or weight that was actually applied.

2. water test- they didn't show us how long before they turned it on again, or what they did to dry it off. the unit look boned dry to me.

3. drop test - how high? how many times? did it even work at the end??? (i know it would have, i drop my 9700 ALL the time), but common RIM

these videos seriously suck. i was looking forward to seeing how well these things are really built (better test on their devices than mine), but common!

1) It's pretty obvious when you see material of some kind coming out of the bottom of the device that the device no longer functioned after the flex test. These were little videos designed more to show how the testing is completed (what methods and equipment is used) more than to showcase the individual devices

Flex tests are usually not done as you saw above either, they usually take up to an hour, where that machine gradually applies more and more pressure to the device in each cycle, until you obtain component failure, at which point you've found the maximum flex the unit can withstand.

2) The moisture test (known as the Moisture Ingress Test) is more designed to show where device enters a device, the water contains a dye that will stain internal components to show where water came into contact with each component, again the videos were designed to show the equipment/techniques used, not to showcase the devices. It's safe to assume they waited 2-3 hours (pretty much the minimum) to boot the device again.

3) The industry standard is 4 feet, chances are RIM follow this standard, but again, like the flex test, this test is usually repeated many many times over from various heights, with various impact velocities and impact surfaces to simulate dropping from ear height, waist height and if the drop is simulating being dropped as a device slips from the users hand, or if for example, you trip, and "launch" the device with some speed behind it.

The videos are from from detail rich, but they give people a neat look into how devices are tested for durability, most people aren't going to want to sit through a six minute video detailing different surfaces etc etc, I definitely thought it was neat that RIM took the time to let people see a bit of the testing done on devices.

Very true, Remember not too long ago iphones had a problem with the built in reception and location. When alerted of the problems, Jobs basically said, we have a million dollar testing facility, you're holding the phone wrong.

I think this is a great technical video, they aren't showing you why you should buy a BB but just the process, which is important because then you can apply critical thinking. For the flex test just think of how many obese people sit on their phone, for the water test....a lot of people bath with their phones or bring it into the bathroom (steam) or just straight drop it. I wish the durability test showed it splitting into thirds (battery, door, and phone) and thus dissipating the damage, similar to a Nascar with the crumple zones

I ran over my old Curve 8310 with my power wheelchair and it still works to my amazement. I doubt my Bold 9700 would survive without damaging the LCD.

i dont buy this crap, my friends 9900 dropped from waist height and his screen shattered, LMFAO FAIL

Last night I dropped my Bold 9900 down a flight of wooden stairs and other than the phone randomly shutting off once 5 minutes after the impact, nothing else was broken or visibly wrong with my phone. It hasn't shut off again and it tumbled about 6 times. I also dropped it on concrete, and other than a small dent in the metal on the bottom, it worked perfectly fine. My last BB (Torch 9800) was outside at a park in the rain and snow for 3 three weeks before someone found it and turned it into the police department. The thing still had battery life too, so they were able to go into my contacts and call my house. On the other hand, a friend of mine who has an iPhone dropped it many times just as i dropped my phone many times. The screen was shattered and two days ago, the entire screen popped out of the phone and made it impossible to use. I'm going to stick to RIM for a long time : )