iPhone (Sort of) Wins Galaxy S3 Drop Test

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In a side-by-side drop test between Apple’s iPhone 4S and Samsung’s Galaxy S3, both devices did surprisingly well. After three drops onto concrete left both devices with shattered screens, however, the iPhone still worked, while the Galaxy S3 didn’t.

After Three Drops...

After Three Drops…

The first thing to note from the drop test is that these drop tests shouldn’t be taken as some sort of gospel on the survivability of either device. AndroidAuthority, who performed the tests, seemingly did a great job of dropping both devices the same way for each of the three drops, but it’s still a tiny sample of just one device.

At the same time, many of us are very curious about how our devices would stand up to being dropped, and the real take away for us was that both of these devices survived two drops onto concrete from about four feet (and change) with only a few scratches. That’s very impressive.

The fact that third drop shattered the displays on both devices shouldn’t be a surprise, though. In both cases, the third drop was face down, and the glass cracked from here to Sunday. It’s hard to know how much of that was a result of the third drop adding to the stresses of the first two drops, but it seems safe to say that dropping a smartphone in this manner is a bad idea no matter what.

Another important point is that while this test suggests the iPhone is constructed better than the Samsung device (see our note above about the small sample size), but that still being able to work with a shattered screen is a pyrrhic victory, at best.

Our takeaway was that both devices survived two falls, not that the iPhone was somewhat usable after the third fall left both devices shattered.

Also: For the love of all that is holy, stay away from the YouTube comments on this one. No good will come of exposing yourself to the miasma of craptacular suckitude masquerading as conversation on this video.

AndroidAuthority iPhone 4S and Galaxy S3 Drop Test

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9 Comments Leave Your Own

Minh

“Galaxy TAB S3” ??? Are you kidding me?

sflocal

Regardless of who makes the device, Samsung or Apple - this is a ridiculous and childish test.

“Let’s take two expensive and delicate devices and slam them on concrete to see which holds up better.”

I mean come on people, are there not better things to do with one’s time?  Accidents happen with everything.  If you’re clumsy enough to drop something pricey, accept the ramifications of it and move on!  Sheesh!

Let me take a key to your car and see how well the paint holds up??

Bryan Chaffin

Thanks for catching that, Minh. That was definitely an auto-pilot mistake, and the article has been corrected.

Gareth Harris

I knew there was some value to blogs. I added “craptacular suckitude” to my vocabulary.

Bryan Chaffin

sflocal, as suggested in my writeup, I personally think it’s quite interesting to see that the current generation of devices will survive a couple of drops on concrete.

There are plenty of people out there who might be concerned about investing in a smartphone due to their fear of dropping them.

That’s why drop tests have been popular videos since the iPhone came out.

mrmwebmax

+

sflocal, as suggested in my writeup, I personally think it?s quite interesting to see that the current generation of devices will survive a couple of drops on concrete.

There are plenty of people out there who might be concerned about investing in a smartphone due to their fear of dropping them.

That?s why drop tests have been popular videos since the iPhone came out.

Although not a video, the first such “stress test” of this nature that I can recall came courtesy of Ars Technica. In September of 2005, they stress-tested a 1st gen iPod Nano in various ways, including tossing it into the air and having it fall to concrete, and running over it with a car—twice! (A Volkswagon Jetta, if memory serves.) Couldn’t find the original article, but here’s a link to a discussion of it:

http://discussions.hardwarecentral.com/showthread.php?t=167223

What Ars found was that the nano was one tough MP3 player!

daemon

As Bryan points out, drop tests are vitally important to consumers. The fact of the matter is people drop things.

I drop things. I won’t buy a phone that breaks the first time I drop it.

ibuck

This is amusement, not science. Despite their attempts, the drops didn’t control which part of the phone suffered the first impact. And the concrete surface was not smooth, so even if they controlled the drops better, the manner of impact could vary.

If one is concerned about dropping your phone, wouldn’t you get a case that is less slippery and provides a bit more protection? I’d rather see how the phones survived in various cases.

geoduck

the drops didn?t control which part of the phone suffered the first impact. And the concrete surface was not smooth,

Exactly. Because they did not control the variables I put this into the “will it blend” class of tests. What’s next, they’ll bust a cap and see if they still work?

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