Latest Samsung Galaxy Phones Perform “Marginally” Better in SquareTrade Breakability Test
In what’s become one of our favorite pastimes, the latest SquareTrade Breakability Test results are in, which means we get to watch premium, high-priced phones get tossed around like ragdolls and shatter into pieces.
The latest victims are the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, which hit the market with a reported “20 percent thicker glass and a stronger AL 7003 middle frame,” according to SquareTrade. But, at the end of the day these are glass phones that go edge-to-edge with their displays, which really limits how strong they truly are. Plus, let’s not forget, we’re dealing with clumsy everyday consumers here. The smartphone accessories market is a ridiculously successful one simply because we’re not capable of keeping our nice things in nice condition without that added layer of protection.
So about the S9 and S9+. Here are the highlights from SquareTrade’s Breakability Test:
- Face Down Drop Test: It was a crash landing for the S9 and S9+ on their first face down drop, with both phones suffering extensive damage across their screens. However, they were missing the sharp shards of glass that were seen during last year’s tests on the S8.
- Side and Back Drop Tests: A big difference from the S8 was the result of the side drop test. The S8 shattered on both its display and back panels, while the S9 was only damaged on its back panel. However, during the back drop test, the S9’s back panel completely shattered, which is in line with last year’s model.
- Tumble Test: Although their thicker glass held up a little better to repeated impact simulated by the tumble bot, there was still considerable damage on both the display and back panels of the S9 and S9+.
- Repairability: SquareTrade’s Master Technician reported that the S9 and S9+’s repairability didn’t improve from the previous generation, noting difficultly in removing its back panel and preserving its LCD display, which techs could break and have to replace.
According to their scoring models, the Samsung Galaxy S9 checked in at a 71 (medium risk) and the S9+ scored a 76 (medium-high risk), which were slight improvements over the S8 and S8+, which scored a 76 and 77 respectively.
“With the Samsung S9 and S9+, and the iPhone X last year, we’re continuing to see a trend of beautiful all-glass designs that come with a high price tag and high risk of damage from drops and mishaps,” Jason Siciliano, vice president global creative director at SquareTrade, said in a statement. “Our tests and claims data show that even when in cases, they still experience damage. So, while water resistance has improved across the board, all of that glass means that durability has actually gone backward over the past year.”