Feb 17 2012

How RIM Tests BlackBerrys for Durability

Known for its productivity and security, BlackBerry smartphones can take a licking and keep on ticking.

When it comes to wear and tear, mobile devices have it tough. Smartphones get dropped, sat on and even thrown in some instances, which means that manufacturers have to do their best to make their devices durable for their users.

RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones are known for their data security, but did you know that this security also extends to the device’s hardware?

Ryan Parton, a BlackBerry engineer, gave a behind-the-scenes look at what RIM does to improve the durability of its smartphones. Parton reveals three critical tests that make up part of the company’s durability testing: A moisture ingress test, a drop test and a bend test.

Moisture Ingress Test


You’re probably wondering why we dropped that BlackBerry® Curve™ 9360 smartphone in a bucket. It’s called a “Moisture Ingress Test” and it’s one of the many important tests that we perform on your BlackBerry smartphone to make sure that it lasts. The water contains a dye so that we know where water can enter a BlackBerry smartphone; with this info, we can improve the device’s water seal.

Drop Test


In the video above, you’ll notice a BlackBerry® Curve™ smartphone being dropped. We recorded this with our high-speed camera at 2000 frames per second! You may have noticed the wave that the impact sent up the casing on the side of the device. Did you know that BlackBerry smartphones are designed to do that? By allowing the device to bend, we are able to absorb the shock from the concrete into the plastic … just like a shock absorber on a car!

Bend Test


Not only do we drop BlackBerry smartphones, we bend them too! Check out this video of my co-worker bend-testing a BlackBerry smartphone. Why are we bending this poor smartphone? Well, many people like to keep their smartphones in their back pocket and sometimes, unfortunately, they sit on them. This test makes sure your BlackBerry smartphone can withstand the pressure of your posterior.

So the next time your BlackBerry survives a potentially deadly accident, you can thank the hardworking engineers and durability testers at RIM for their due diligence.

Read more about BlackBerry smartphone security on the BlackBerry blog.


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