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iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S III drop test is not for faint-hearted geeks

iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S III drop test is not for faint-hearted geeks
One thing that we don't really enjoy watching is pricey gadgets being tortured, but if that's the only way to test the durability of a high-end smartphone, then count us in. Today's contenders are the iPhone 5, which is now available for purchase in several countries, and the Samsung Galaxy S III, which is currently among the hottest Android smartphones in existence. Which one of the two will suffer less damage after being put to a real-life drop test?

We won't tell you, of course. In order to find the answer to that question, you'll have to watch the video, which we've embedded below. Just keep in mind that what you are about to see is not for the faint-hearted geeks. You've been warned!


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posted on 21 Sep 2012, 09:43 49

1. remixfa (Posts: 13930; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


well look at that. an iphone that isnt a shatter magnet. Gotta give em props on that one.

I really hope samsung fixed whatever the design issue on the SGS3 was for the Note2. I do not want a shatter magnet. lol

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 09:53 4

14. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


just put a screen protector for that. It would help a lot to resist the shattering of the glass.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:43 26

47. abdane (Posts: 476; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


oh well, i confess, iPhone 5 did a better job in screen protection, thats the only thing iPhone's better than GS3, because when we start from the inside, iPhone should be ashamed :P

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 11:19 11

58. Marcus_h (Posts: 44; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Geekbench benchmarks so far show the iPhone 5 as much faster, so nothing to be ashamed of there

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 11:27 10

61. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5480; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Does iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III use the same OS? NO! Then about what benchmarks we can talk about?

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 11:57 3

70. Marcus_h (Posts: 44; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Main point - nothing to be ashamed of, as per your asinine remark.
Sun Spider tests show it does Javascript faster. It does all this with exceptional battery life. Ergo, nothing to be ashamed of.

Compared to JB, well it hasn't happened yet. Maybe, maybe not. By then there will be iOS upgrades. Who knows.

So, even if/when JB is out, iPhone has nothing to be ashamed of. Stupid comment, really

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 14:05 1

84. structureman116 (Posts: 135; Member since: 14 Sep 2010)


There is plenty for Apple to be ashamed of. They have a fast phone...but its AMAZING, REVOLUTIONARY and INNOVATIVE features have been around for over 2 years now on Android phones.

posted on 27 Sep 2012, 16:13

102. bhsolace (Posts: 5; Member since: 12 Aug 2011)


Apple never completely invented computers or mp3 players, but they made them better. In this case, yes android had it first but apple made it better, these arguments are pointless.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 11:27 6

62. theBankRobber (Posts: 647; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


Yea but it was a ICS firmware, when up against JB firmware on the SGS 3 it beat the iPhone 5 with IOS 6.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 11:31 6

65. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5480; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


We can't compare hardware performance since both devices uses different OS. Benchmarks can't directly test hardware because benchmarks runs on OS and Samsung Galaxy S III and iPhone 5 use not the same OS.

If we are comparing hardware + OS performance, then I agree, but if we want to compare only hardware performance, then this way doesn't work...

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 11:37 1

66. theBankRobber (Posts: 647; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


Yea but you know how fan boys try so hard to prove which phone is better. I agree with you with both hardware differences and OS. But it still showed IOS's newest OS against Androids newest OS, and some just want to make them selves feel better about their purchase lol

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 13:17

80. remtothemax (Posts: 235; Member since: 02 May 2012)


how is which hardware is better relevant?
if you make a phone that can perform a function with a processor from three years ago faster than the latest quad-core processor
i'm going to buy the one that works the best
not the one with the "best" specs
the gs3 has a faster processor and more ram
but i'm using the operating system, not just raw hardware
i care about how it works, not what's in it
okay, put 8 gigs of ram in, big whoop if it doesn't matter

and btw, i'm not commenting on jb and project butter and all that, which i am very excited about
i just think these stupid competitions about raw hardware are stupid
its like the megapixel war
its over, what matters now is features and performance
(which arguably android or even wp8 may win, that is subjective)

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 14:55

87. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5480; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Yes, I agree, important general result not separately OS or hardware. But we were talking exclusively about benchmark results and it is the fact that you can't benchmark hardware and compare results if devices are using different OS.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 19:39

93. remtothemax (Posts: 235; Member since: 02 May 2012)


that makes sense

neutral question: is there no real way to scientifically compare real world performance accross devices?
it just makes sense to me that if you have a test that times how long it takes to load a web page or how fast it takes to crunch some data set, wouldn't that be a pretty good indicator of real world performance, regardless of what operating system/hardware is there?

is this more of an issue of people not being able to program equally well across all platforms, resulting in test programs that perform better because they were programed better?

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 20:55

95. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5480; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"is this more of an issue of people not being able to program equally well across all platforms, resulting in test programs that perform better because they were programed better?"

OS A isn't equal to OS B because they are wrote differently in other words there is differences between iOS and Android "architectures". In programing world you can make same thing but in different ways and that's makes difference, one function may work faster than another written differently.

Example from mathematics:

1 + 2 + 3 = 6

3 x 2 = 6

Result he same but calculation is different. ;)

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 11:30 3

64. abdane (Posts: 476; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


trust me on this, GS3 with jellybean on geekbench will be higher than iOS 6/iPhone 5 ;)

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 18:47

99. estreito (Posts: 15; Member since: 11 May 2012)


If you go now to the geekbench result browser, you'll see the the SGS3 is already faster, even with ICS.
The SGS3's are in the 1700's - 1800's and the iphone 5 is in the 1600's.
BTW, my SGS2 (Exynos), scores 1445 (OC'ed). :)

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 11:55 2

69. pkiran1996 (Posts: 165; Member since: 22 Oct 2011)


FYI the geekbench test was done with a Galaxy S3 running ICS. The Galaxy S3 in fact foes better when running Jelly Bean.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 23:56

97. prakesh (Posts: 92; Member since: 13 Sep 2012)


gs3 is under ICS gsmarena/PA says that it can run faster than ip5, when it upgrade to JB.

so ur comment sounds apple fan boy

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 23:29

96. meowcenary (Posts: 187; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


A screen protector aid in scratch reduction and does not the reinforce the structural integrity of the glass display. One should always pay for insurance to cover damages. It is pitiful to see the cracks on peoples smartphones. If you can't afford insurance then you, should not own a smartphone. Either that or cut your starbucks or mcdonalds out.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:05 12

18. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4179; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Well it is a good thing. Remember the Samsung Galaxy S III is 4.8" screen VS the iPhone 5 4" inch screen. So a smaller screen will always fare better than a larger screen in a drop test because there is more real-estate to break. Another reason the iPhone 5 did well is because there is no glass on the back. The iPhone 4 & 4S would either break in the front or the back.

Hey this is good for apple though. lol

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:27 6

31. wendygarett (unregistered)


I think is because of the weight mordecai...
Samsung's phone has gained weight while iphone has reduced...
this is just my opinion :)

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:37 8

41. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4179; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Glass by nature is very brittle. So if you have more & longer pieces of glass it will always break faster than the less glass or shorter pieces of glass.

My example would be a glass shot glass & a glass standard drinking glass. The shot glass will always survive because there is less real-estate as supposed to the standard drinking glass.

Yeah I have dropped a shot glass from time to time during the college years. lol

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:39 10

44. remixfa (Posts: 13930; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


you know that's a party foul right?
You drop one shot, you have to drink 2. Get movin!! :)

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 11:39

67. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4179; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


It is a party foul. I only dropped it after I drank it. Some times I couldn't get the shot glass back on the table.

Wow I miss the binge drinking days! lol

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:55 4

53. wendygarett (unregistered)


Ugh!!! It is not because of the size glass, both are gorilla glass dude!!!

I personally think because of the weight!!!

sorry for my stubborness >_

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 11:05 4

55. Contreramanjaro (Posts: 153; Member since: 04 Dec 2011)


I'm glad for your stubbornness because I agree. But I think the mounting also has a big impact of the shatter. The S3 has glass up to the edge on a plastic body which will flex more and the iPhone has the metal body. With enough pressure to bend the outside, the glass on the iPhone will take pressure but it will take a lot more and a greater weight will help with that.

My friend just cracked his Moto Atrix with a drop and that has gorilla glass. Just an unlucky drop which landed it right on a rock.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 11:57 4

71. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4179; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Ok let me put it to you this way. Both are Gorilla Glass. So the same principle applies. Short Gorilla Glass length will be tougher than long Gorilla Glass length.

Also the Apple iPhone 5 is only 21g lighter than the Samsung Galaxy S III. The Galaxy S III is a way bigger phone in terms of glass area so it will always break faster.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 12:07 1

72. wendygarett (unregistered)


You do realised that 21g is actually heavy when you holding it tho...
Try hold a 20gram of gold bar and see my friend :)

I understand your concept but it doesn't mean mine is wrong...

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 12:26 1

73. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4179; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


You have held 21g gold bar?!?!? lol

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 12:46 1

74. wendygarett (unregistered)


20 gram actually :) just hold other metallic things and you will realise that lol...
Let just use the older example...
Can you explain why the older version galaxy s2 is sturdier than the iPhone4/4s?
I will definitely explain because of weight bro :)

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 00:00

98. prakesh (Posts: 92; Member since: 13 Sep 2012)


4/4s has a glass..

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 15:19 2

91. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1611; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


I've held 21g of coke before. It's not that heavy

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 08:32

101. bayusuputra (Posts: 941; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)


actually, it's because of the weight, the glass' surface area, and the shape of the phone itself..

let me explain.

weight:
the heavier, the harder the impact, physics..

shape of the phone:
the iPhone 5 has metal sides which is stronger than the plastic sides of the SGS3 and a flat glass whereas the SGS3 has a "bubble" like glass, which means it will be the one that take the impact when it drops, unlike the metal sides of the iPhone which to some extent will still protect it..

Surface area of glass:
consider the glasses are of the same material, same thickness, same width but different length.
the one that is longer will have a lower strength. again, physics.

good job to apple for making it less prone to shattering like the previous iPhones..

But I still prefer Android..

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:34 3

38. remixfa (Posts: 13930; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


that's not completely true. Every iphone until now has been a shatter magnet and they are tiny. Every SGS phone and even the Note has been very resistant to breaking until the SGS3 and they have all been bigger than iphones. :)

Its a design issue with the SGS3. They need a bigger bezel or something around the edge, there is no vibration/pressure resistance on the corners from the looks of it.. Every time it drops on a corner it takes out a screen.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:17 2

25. wendygarett (unregistered)


The weird part is that this drop test again from androidauthority...
Just different host lol

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:25 4

30. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


this just proves android fanboys can be rational

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:35 5

39. remixfa (Posts: 13930; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


find that from iOS nuts.

good luck... I'll wait. :)

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:47

48. wendygarett (unregistered)


Actually I'm waiting for the 'will it blend' show from Dr. iNut :) remixfa

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 13:02 5

75. remixfa (Posts: 13930; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


ooh.. I love a good "Will it Blend" episode.

What I'm waiting for is for you to stop using pictures of well known asian models and put up a pic of your true male face.
Not that I mind the models, as she is attractive.. but dudes pretending to be chicks is just perverted.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:21 2

26. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


they could have build the S3 like their windows phone lineup.... it was gonna be their top dog, maybe they decide to go with better stuff on the S IV

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:30 4

33. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5480; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Yes, Samsung Galaxy S III is very fragile device, iPhone 5 looks build much stronger. In my opinion Samsung Galaxy S III is one, maybe even the most fragile smartphones of current generation. I think that Samsung Galaxy S II was build stronger than Galaxy S III.

Talking about such kind of tests, in this test is just to much accidental chances, as YouTube video it is good but as a serious test it is almost worthless.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 13:22

82. remtothemax (Posts: 235; Member since: 02 May 2012)


...so do you don't even use your phone in the real world where drops happen?
i think knowing the relative "drop resistance" of a phone is incredibly important to making a buying decision
they don't do just one of these, they do a lot

so the gs3 is more fragile, that isn't necessarily a deal breaker at all
but it is something i want to know when i am thinking about buying a phone and how accident prone i may or may not be

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 15:15

88. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5480; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"...so do you don't even use your phone in the real world where drops happen?"

Show me where I say that ???

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 09:43 4

2. wsker (Posts: 22; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


Oh yeah, just "Throw" the SGS3 !

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:40

45. wendygarett (unregistered)


why? if you have it, just used it...

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 14:36

86. wsker (Posts: 22; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


I meant like it wasn't fair Dx ... he just drops the iphone 5, and throws the SGS3 !

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 09:44 2

3. StephenGalop (Posts: 52; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


What the f***... dropping it right after buying?

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:28

32. wendygarett (unregistered)


because of the ANDROIDauthority silly :D
they hate iphone too :D

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 09:44 12

4. bucky (Posts: 1502; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


iPhone 5 seems to be built pretty well

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:31 1

35. wendygarett (unregistered)


Your phone will never be as slim as sturdy as iphone :)

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:34 1

37. tcy148 (Posts: 3; Member since: 19 Sep 2012)


I think the only phone to rival the iPhone 5 for build quality, slimness and lightness is the HTC One S. IMO, that is a beautifully crafted phone. Specs can't match the iPhone though.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:35 2

40. bucky (Posts: 1502; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


i dont get what ur saying wendy...

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 11:40 2

68. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


neither do we bucky..... neither do we.....

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 09:44 2

5. ajac09 (Posts: 1367; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


lol @ the old people in the background

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 09:45 1

6. andro. (Posts: 1960; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


It toltally depends on the angle of impact. You can drop a device at the same height 5 times and it may not crack at all depending on its angle of impact or it may crack the very first time. If the iphone 5 is actually less fragile than its iphone 4$ alternative than apple could see alot of replacement iphone sales drop.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 09:49 9

10. good2great (Posts: 1039; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


Even remixfa gave the phone props bro... And he's one of the most respected android users here...

Give it a rest lol

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 10:38 2

43. remixfa (Posts: 13930; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Aww, thanks

Ya gotta give it where its due man. We've laughed at every iteration of iphone before for how easily it shattered. It seems like they've put a little thought into this version. Unfortunately it looks like the opposite for Samsung who is known for great build quality/drop resistance. I guess "built by lawyers" means "built to withstand the impact of the court, not the floor". lol

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 11:07

56. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1578; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


Technically they're both right. While apple has certainly improved he design in regards to durability (never understood a glass back on a phone when it's just painted anyway), that doesn't mean that it couldn't have just as easily gone the other way. When dealing with glass the main factors in shattering are height of the drop, area of the glass, angle of the drop, and weight of the device. Also, and I know this would've been expensive, for a truer test they should've done each segment with a new phone. Since the s3 was already cracked, it hurt it in the following test. Not saying the same thing wouldn't have happened anyway, but if it's already broken another impact will only further fracture it, whereas a new unit may have come out okay.

The main thing is you can drop a phone 100 times and no matter how hard you try you'll never get the drop exactly the same. Sometimes the phones in the video just dropped, other times (like when the s3 shattered) they hit and shot across the ground. Assuming the ground is fairly flat, a face down drop would be better than a corner drop, since the impact would be absorbed by a larger area than on a corner drop. I've cracked one screen (my OG Incredible) but that was after going down a half a flight of stairs and hitting the cement floor. The screen itself cracked, not the glass, and that was with a tpu case and screen protector on it. So really there is no rhyme or reason to why some phones crack and others don't. Certainly a smaller phone with less weight will fare better than a larger, heavier phone. In the end be careful and try to safeguard your phone. If you're super worried go with a case & screen protector, or insurance, or both. But at least now apple users have less to worry about.

posted on 21 Sep 2012, 09:52 2

13. StephenGalop (Posts: 52; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


another fan screaming "unfair", "retest", "bias!"

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