In Part 1 of our look into smartphone world’s records, we looked into some genuinely impressive achievements. Now, in Part 2, we’re going to look at some not quite so impressive things. In fact, some of them are so bizarre that we’d be okay with Guinness taking a proper look at them.
With everything from throwing to catching to breaking records while drinking beer, there’s something here for everyone. Best of all, every single one of these records is breakable. Breakable by you, me, any of us with access to a phone we don’t mind breaking, actually.
Unfortunately, the nature of these records means video isn’t always available, but all have been verified by multiple independent sources. Honest.
Whether you call it table tennis or ping pong, we’ve all tried some form of “keepy-uppy” game with the ball at some time. The history of the record is quite short. Attempts started in July 2015 with a pretty unimpressive 167 bounces. That mark was broken and improved upon over the next 6 months until, in February 2016, Suresh Gaur managed 4122 bounces in India. And there the record has remained. It may be because 4000 bounces of a ping pong ball on anything takes like, forever. Or about 20 minutes anyway. Still, it’s one you can have a go at yourself.
By the way, the record is even more impressive in that Suresh Gaur isn’t some teen wizard with rad shoes and a bandana. No, he’s a middle-aged Indian man in bare feet.
Sadly, there’s no video available of this particular record, but we’re inclined to believe it happened nonetheless. The reason we’re so agreeable to accepting it happened is because it was done by Brian Pankey. Pankey, you see, is a balance master, juggler and all round trickster of the highest order. He once, for example, managed to spin a basketball on the tip of an umbrella for what felt like a lifetime.
In this record, he balanced a flip-top phone on his nose for 38.75 seconds. Now that might not seem too impressive, but think about it. A flip top phone isn’t like a smartphone which has a fairly even weight distribution. Open a flip top phone and the center of gravity is all over the place. And if you want more confirmation of how impressive the feat is, Pankey’s record has stood since 2012. In a world where performance improvements feel like a daily occurrence, 6 years is a digital lifetime.
We’ve all dropped cellphones at one time or another, but few of us have ever set out to see how far we can throw one. If you consider, for a few moments, that the best outfielders in baseball can throw a ball about 300 feet in their prime then consider this. Roald Bradstock was 46 years old when he threw a cellphone 396 feet. That’s 132 yards with an object that is terribly lacking in aerodynamics and not exactly balanced.
We should probably say that Bradstock has a history of throwing things. In fact, he represented Great Britain in the Javelin at two Olympic Games, and is a former world record holder in the event. But, before you get all sniffy about that, he was also born with spina bifida, a potentially devastating condition of the vertebrae and spinal cord. He also suffered water on the brain as a child, as a side effect of the condition. After being banned from contact sports on the basis that a hit in the wrong place could kill him, Bradstock took up swimming and the Javelin. He turned out to be a natural at the Javelin, and went on to have a glittering career, including throwing a cellphone 132 yards.
Although there’s no video of the cellphone throw, Bradstock’s YouTube account has several movies of him throwing all manner of things.
Okay, so first we need to be honest about something. We actually have no idea if this is an actual world record or not. It is, though, so great that we’re going to assume it is.
On Christmas Day, of all days, in 2016, Slovakian native Pavol Durdik managed to balance a cellphone on one finger for over 15 minutes. More importantly, he did it while drinking a beer. In case you’re wondering if it is a legitimate record or not, Durdik was only the 5th holder of the title. Prior to his Christmas miracle, the record had originally been set at just over 10 minutes and then extended a further twice before Durdik beat the old record by nearly 2 minutes.
Go on, we know you’re dying to try it.
This, to be fair, could have had a place in Part 1 of our lists of smartphone world records, but we can’t help feeling there’s some keyboard trickery involved. The Guinness World Records people have a standard passage of text in order for speed challenges to be valid. The passage is:
“The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human”
Obviously, that’s not a common nor garden passage, and will be unfamiliar to just about everybody. That is if course, the very reason for its inclusion in record attempts. The first record was set in 2010, with a time of 35.54 seconds. By 2014, the record time had been halved to 17 seconds, where it remains to this day. The reason for the drastic reduction in time is credited to the Fleksy keyboard app. Fleksy has several tricks up it’s sleeve to speed up typing, and is renowned as the fastest keyboard available. Even though autocorrect and predictive are turned off for record attempts, Fleksy still contributes massively to the speed increase.
Call us purists but the record should, we feel, be on a stock Android, non-swipe keyboard. That’s the only way to guarantee consistency. But for now we nod to the record holder, Marcel Fernando Filho, a Brazilian teenager who is looking unbeatable. The video here is not the record, but is still Filho, and he manages it in 19 seconds, which is still very cool.
By the way, we tried it with Fleksy, and managed an entire passage of gibberish in less than a minute and a half. We suppose some respect for Marcel is in order.