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Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S III vs iPhone 5 breakability and waterboarding score (video)

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S III vs iPhone 5 breakability and waterboarding score (video)
The few drop tests that are already out and about for the Samsung Galaxy S4 don't paint a very clear picture of how the device fares when it plops on the ground. Granted, its screen cracked from shoulder height against the iPhone 5, but it all depends on how you land, of course.

Now SquareTrade came out with its durability testing, which, besides unbiased drops, includes submerging the phones in water, and evaluating them from all sides of the breakability perspective.

They pitted the S4 against the Galaxy S III, which is no durability champion in its own right, as well as against the steel and glass iPhone 5. Drop test was done with a holder that hangs the handsets from one and the same height before it smashes them to the ground, and the handsets were dipped in water all over to check what gives when you dunk them in a puddle on your tough exit out of a bar. Here's what they found:

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S III vs iPhone 5 breakability and waterboarding score (video)

SquareTrade rightfully concludes that: "Our research and experience shows that even the smallest device characteristics can dramatically affect its breakability: the weight balance of a device can affect the way it spins in free-fall, making it more likely to land on its screen; devices with rubber backs are less likely to slide, and device dimensions can effect how snugly smartphones fit in pant and jeans pockets. The likelihood of damage due to these common scenarios has never been higher." 

There is also our beloved drop test captured on video, sprinkled with some waterboarding for added entertainment this time.

source: SquareTrade

30 Comments
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posted on 30 Apr 2013, 02:30 15

1. FlushGordon (unregistered)


Damn I just hope Corning should stop all these marketing "10x more durable than this blah blah blah" BS claim...clearly Gorillaglass hasn't changed that much since GG1

I bet my el cheapo Dragontrail glass phone is much more durable

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 02:30 17

2. Peter98 (Posts: 119; Member since: 01 Aug 2012)


So who said plastic is more durable.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 03:04 9

6. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Plastic is indeed more durable.
The part that took a beating is the Gorilla glass.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 05:29 9

18. ebubekir26 (Posts: 307; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


very well said, the plastic is more durable, but the glass :/
even tho you say the truth, you will still get more dislikes because of the amount of Samsung haters
(can't wait for Note III)

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 05:39 2

20. ebubekir26 (Posts: 307; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


see :D

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 14:22

29. chocolaking (Posts: 428; Member since: 22 May 2012)


SAMSANG FAN BOYS claim plastic is x1000 more durable than anything else!
but who cares.. covers gonna be covering up the whole phone anyway.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 02:42 17

3. Cesar (Posts: 125; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)


Samsung Galaxy S III has Gorilla Glass 2 = FAIL

Samsung Galaxy S 4 has Gorilla Glass 3 = FAIL

iPhone 5 has Gorilla Glass = best

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 04:39 4

15. eliasafram7 (Posts: 83; Member since: 18 Mar 2013)


buy a buff armor anti shock protection and shut up

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 07:43

22. Pedro0x (Posts: 271; Member since: 19 Oct 2012)


If a phone falls display on, it will in most cases crack. HTC one, SGS4, iphone 5, no difference all of them crack when they fall head on.
But I agree with that Gorilla Glass doesn´t seem to have improved much in durability, it is just thinner, wow :). Dragontrail Glass is way better, but I am still waiting for the safir glass.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 02:48 9

4. thethird (Posts: 72; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


I think the GS4 basically had a higher risk for breakability because of its larger screen. The GS4 had a larger screen surface area than the GS3 and iP5

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 03:01 3

5. mydi.maus (unregistered)


iphone 5 wins, overall..this could've been xperia z

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 03:09 2

7. tiara6918 (Posts: 1322; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


I agree with you,they should also include the xperia z,it even might score1-3 since its water,shock and dust proof

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 03:12 4

8. SleepingOz (unregistered)


XZ is not shock proof. There are many cases reported on XDA where its glass panels shattered.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 03:13 7

9. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)


Nokia 3310 breakabilty score: 0

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 03:14 1

10. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)


Lumia 920 should get 2-3 points

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 03:15

11. jacko1977 (Posts: 382; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)


lands on back

Galaxy S III - Back 10 oem can diy
iphone - back 100 to 200 cant diy

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 05:37

19. Hemlocke (unregistered)


The iPhone 5 is extremely easy to DIY.

posted on 02 May 2013, 14:40

30. JEverettnow (Posts: 162; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)


Any sort of after market backing or glass brings it out of warranty though.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 03:35 3

12. nobelset (Posts: 268; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)


It really depends on how it lands, I've dropped my note 2 about a dozen times(no joke, I'm a noob at being responsible) including once from my bath robe holder into a pail of water on the floor underneath and nothing has happened(yet).

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 04:08

13. JMartin22 (Posts: 708; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


Corning Gorilla Glass really is just a big marketing flop. Nothing but a lot of false advertising. The experiments that they often conduct in their labs, that benchmark the strength of their signature product, and comparison to the competitive glass; isn't a proper representation of the real world usage and ware we put on our devices when we drop and impact them on a hard surface; therefore, those tests aren't conducive to really being relevant to us, as consumers.

As mentioned, the problem isn't in relation with the build material. The polycarbonate plastic will actually absorb damage better and leave less of a mark on the device's unibody than aluminum per se. The problem is, the front side of the phone is composed of over 93% glass, which covers nearly 50% of the whole device.

Doesn't matter what Corning will call their next conception. Glass will always be glass; therefore, the same risk of fracture on any other phone will occur. iPhone just has a better chance because it's a smaller body and it's composed of considerably less glass on the front side >_>

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 08:22

25. Daftama (Posts: 560; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Yeah morons still think i5 is better because of this score

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 04:23 3

14. N5110 (Posts: 13; Member since: 26 Apr 2013)


Defend your beloved samsung fanbois. lol

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 04:42 3

16. eliasafram7 (Posts: 83; Member since: 18 Mar 2013)


buy a buff armor anti shock protection and shut uphttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSj-7KIukvE

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 04:52 3

17. Sprissy (Posts: 71; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)


I don't care what the phone is....they are all breakable....get a good case and you won't have a problem!

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 07:24 1

21. selena1000 (Posts: 83; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


who the hell was saying iphone 5 is more prone to damage than galaxy s4???

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 07:53

23. sharks (Posts: 164; Member since: 16 Feb 2013)


What's the breakability score on the HTC One?

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 08:21

24. Daftama (Posts: 560; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Screen size has to do alot with the impact..get an icrap 5" and you will see same results. .and when taking out of the water why did the iphone slide and rest didn't hmmm...Gorilla Glass 3 has failed again

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 08:23

26. Daftama (Posts: 560; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Of you watch the video s4 get s a little more push

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 08:28 1

27. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


I don't know why many people blaming Gorila Glass
its ''DURABLE GLASS''not ''UNBREAKABLE GLASS''.
And until this day there is no ''UNBREAKABLE MATERIAL'' with sufficient force, any material , can be crack, scratch,
chip, split or even shatter.

And Aluminums is not weaker than plastic with some advance process even Aluminums can be much more stronger than Stainless Steel and Scratch resistant too just like HTC One S.

And this the comparison between Iphone 5 material vs S4/S3 material :
www.makeitfrom.com/compare-materials/?A=Aluminum-Magnesium-Silicon-Wrought-Alloy-6000-Series&B=polycarbonate-pc

When other plastic and metal devices with weaker gorila galss, can be more durable than samsung devices. Thats mean the problem is Samsung design costruction.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 12:19 1

28. Nephylim (Posts: 131; Member since: 04 Apr 2013)


not bad at all !!!

one more reason to pamper this beauty (Galaxy S4) with

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