Shattered Dreams: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ Bomb Breakability Test
Though the phones themselves are sure to be a hit with consumers—rightfully so—the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ will likely cause owners to suffer from a great deal of smartphone stress if you’re to believe the results of a recent durability test.
SquareTrade, a smartphone protection plan provider, brought the S8 and S8+ into the SquareTrade Labs so they could put the devices through their gauntlet of destruction. Using a range of scientific robots, SquareTrade is able to drop, slide, tumble, and dunk smartphones to see how they’ll live up to the everyday wear and tear that consumers place on their devices. The results, which were expanded this year to include “Reparability Factor,” combine to deliver a Breakability Score.
And the new Samsung devices performed quite awfully.
In fact, the S8 and S8+ performed significantly worse than their predecessors, the S7 and S7 Edge. And it all boils down to Samsung’s nearly all-glass design.
“Samsung has had a tough year, making global headlines with major product defects and other scandals, so they had to knock it out of the park with the Galaxy S8,” Jason Siciliano, vice president global creative director at SquareTrade, said in a statement. “While the nearly all-glass design of the S8 makes it a beautiful phone, it’s extremely susceptible to cracking when dropped from any angle.”
That’s great news for smartphone retailers—especially those who carry a hefty amount of cases. Consumers who’ve already purchased those new Samsung devices, which received a medium-high risk and a 76 breakability score, can seek accessory retailers out for S8 and S8+ protection.
SquareTrade provided an in-depth look at why the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ scored so poorly. Here’s the breakdown by category:
- Face Down Drop Test: The biggest enemy of glass screens continues to be sidewalks, with cracks on both devices appearing after just one face-down drop, along with small chunks of glass missing from the corners of the S8.
- Side and Back Drop Tests: With all glass bodies, the S8 models were especially susceptible to the back-down drop, which caused cracks on their fronts as well. The S8 suffered the most damage during the side drop, losing the glass from its lower left corner, making access to software buttons a little dangerous.
- Dunk Test: With an industry-leading IP68 rating, both phones did well in five feet of water for 30 minutes. There was some audio muffling and distortion following submersion, but after 30 minutes out of the water audio on both was almost completely restored.
- Reparability: With strong adhesive attaching front and back glass panels, and the battery being difficult to reach, a repair on either the S8 or S8+ is difficult. Fortunately, once opened up replacing other components looks relatively easy.
The Breakability Score is derived from a number of additional factors including physical characteristics and components. The higher the device scores on the 100-point scale, the higher the risk of it breaking.
Though the Samsung phones scored poorly, SquareTrade’s survey of consumers found that plenty of them were willing to take the plunge.
“[We] have no doubt it’s going to be a hit,” Siciliano said. “We found that 89 percent of Samsung owners reported having a positive view of the brand despite recent controversies, and 36 percent plan on buying an S8 in the next six months. Just don’t drop it.”
Scoring breakdown infographic, provided by SquareTrade. Click to enlarge.