I rarely drop my phone. But since I’ve had the iPhone 13 mini, I’ve dropped it twice.
Yesterday was the worst episode so far.
Having just finished shooting my weekly newsletter video, I headed to the bathroom for a quick comfort break. To the right of the toilet, there’s a towel rail conveniently attached to the wall. I say “conveniently” because the angle at which both metal poles sit make it the perfect temporary resting spot for an iPhone 13 mini.
One of the poles is raised slightly above the other, which means your iPhone safely leans against the wall while it rests on the soft towel that’s draped over the rail.
It’s as safe as you can imagine. It can’t fall off.
Only, it can fall off if you swing your arm in its direction, catch the protruding end of the iPhone 13 mini and send the device flying into the air. Which is exactly what I did.
What happened next (brace yourself)
It all happened in slow motion. My sparkling new iPhone 13 mini tossed and turned gracefully in the air – the huge, shiny camera bump catching the morning light from the window as it flipped.
My rather less graceful arm flappage had sent the iPhone flying diagonally from its original resting position on the towel rail. This meant that it was heading for the least desirable destination in any bathroom; the one piece of sanitary ware with which no one wants their phone to come into contact.
But it did. As I watched helplessly, the iPhone 13 mini finally struck the rim of the toilet, Starlight-clad flat edge first. This had the unusual yet equally sickening result of sending the iPhone back into the air once more, altering its trajectory for a final dive into the depths of the toilet.
I spotted my chance and made a move. Lurching forward, I attempted to grab the iPhone 13 mini before it headed south for the most undignified of deaths.
I missed it, obviously. And, in fact, I made life for the device even worse by temporarily sandwiching it against the side of the toilet pan and failing to obtain enough of a purchase to prevent it from falling any further.
The resulting scene was about as tragic as you can imagine. The water was clean (I must emphasise that), albeit with some discarded, soggy tissue paper covering the surface. This was what now surrounded my iPhone 13 mini, which had come to rest upside down, head-first in the middle of the pan, with only the lightning port left gasping for air.
I retrieved the phone, removed the MagSafe wallet (yes, that was attached during the flight), and rinsed the sopping-wet device under the sink.
I’ve had better mornings.
How tough is the iPhone 13 mini?
Ironically, during the filming of my weekly newsletter, I’d provided a quick-fire review of the iPhone 13 mini. I revealed how the battery had performed during the first two weeks of use, and why it’s rapidly becoming one of my favourite iPhones.
I also told the tale of how, just one week in, I’d dropped it from a considerable height onto the rolling surface of a treadmill, without a case.
The iPhone 13 mini survived that accident completely unscathed. And I’m happy to report that it is equally unharmed after its brush with my toilet. There’s not a mark on it. There’s no dent, chip, or scuff on the casing and the screen is as shiny and scratch-free as the day I received it.
Whether or not I’ve been incredibly lucky with these two incidents, I’ll never know. The treadmill, after all, isn’t the most brittle or firm of surfaces. But a toilet? That’s about as hard a surface at which you can throw your brand-new iPhone.
The iPhone 13’s IP68 ingress protection rating was of course one of the many reasons my new device survived its latest accident. But it does appear to be a tough little so-and-so, regardless.
Curiously, I’ve had no desire to put a case on this tiny iPhone since it came into my life. Attaching the MagSafe Wallet offers additional protection and a satisfying degree of bulk, but I love the feel of the phone as it is. This is why, despite my recent clumsiness, I’m going to leave it naked.
I have no intention of throwing the iPhone 13 mini around anymore, and I’ll certainly be more careful where I place it in the bathroom, but early indications appear to suggest that this might be one of the toughest iPhones Apple has ever made.
Sorry for all the toilet talk. Normal service will resume tomorrow.
I think the point is “I have no intention of throwing the iPhone 13 mini around anymore” is that its the accidental, the unforeseen, the unusual that often causes the damage. Like you I have been lucky in the few times I’ve dropped any of my phones over the past 20 years have not damaged them. I did always have them in a case. Each time I have passed on my not new but still immaculate iPhone to my kids, within weeks they have dented, cracked, smashed or destroyed them often because they removed the case. Have to go long with the protection squad on this.
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