Plastic Samsung Galaxy S II fares better than glass Apple iPhone 4S in drop test

Plastic Samsung Galaxy S II fares better than glass Apple iPhone 4S in drop test
It seems such a waste of a perfectly good smartphone to perform a drop test. Fans of the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Apple iPhone 4S will cringe when they view this video, but consider it a public service by those who performed the test. And while the results come out more or less as expected, it might be worth it to watch the video if it scares you into purchasing a case that might save your phone from damage next time it falls from your hand.

First up is the Apple iPhone 4S, and before the device was dropped, Siri was asked if it was afraid of falling. "I'm afraid I can't answer that." was the response. But perhaps Apple's new voice recognition system should have been afraid because the first waist high drop of the phone onto the pavement resulted in some cracked glass on the back of the phone. After the third drop, which was a face down fall from shoulder height, the Apple iPhone 4S front screen was shattered beyond use. The Samsung Galaxy S II was put through the same exact three tests an ended up with just a few scratches and no damage to the screen.

The result of the tests, performed by third party warranty company Squaretrade, really should not surprise anyone who knows that glass is easier to break than plastic. Regardless of which phone you use, if you have a propensity to drop the handset often, you should certainly invest in a case and possibly spend the extra dollars for insurance.

source: YouTube via AndroidCentral

Related phones

iPhone 4s
  • Display 3.5 inches
    960 x 640 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    0.3 MP VGA front
  • Hardware Apple A5, 0.5GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB,
  • OS iOS 9.x
Galaxy S II
  • Display 4.3 inches
    800 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    2 MP front
  • Hardware Samsung Exynos 4 Dual, 1GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 1650 mAh
  • OS Android 4.1.2

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101 Comments

103. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

this test is childish.. you people drink your drinks on a plastic cup as is more durable.. i will continue drinking in my fragile but expensive glass ..... the only test worthy is sales..... bottom line.....I need no video.. no wannabe actors... just plain numbers that not even Sniggly can cook up...

99. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

What a dumb test. Who needs to be reminded that glass would be more fragile on falls than plastic. Who also needs to know that glass feels and looks more prestigious than plastic, and maintains it's pristine look longer than plastic? Which vase looks better, a plastic one, or the glass one. Of course the glass vase. Which plate would I use for special occasions? The glass one or the plastic one? Of course the glass one. But of course plastic vases and plates would not shatter when it falls off the table, but who cares? Glass just looks and feels better. If you're a clumsy person who does not care for looks of style, get the plastic phone.

90. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

why would you even use glass as a layer on the phone around the entire thing i mean wtf?

87. nhelly

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

breakthrough!

84. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

im repeating myself but please read the following theres a reason why race cars, eye glasses, and anything that used glass in the past goes switches to plastic or fiberglass.

68. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

I just wanted to make a slight correction to those talking about the materials in the iPhone 4 and S. It does use Gorilla Glass, so the quality of the glass isn't the issue. It's just how the glass is used. The glass makes up the primary build material of the two newest iPhones, whereas in all other models it only makes up the display. If you examine the iPhone's design closely, you'll see that the glass's edges are exposed, meaning the glass edge is what takes the shock of impact if it hits the ground. The SGS2, however, has plastic surrounding that glass on all sides except for the front. On either phone a single tap of a hammer on the display will still shatter it, although Gorilla Glass can definitely take its punches (literally, I'm fond of rapping my knuckles on my Atrix display and did the same thing with my DROID X before when demonstrating them). So the iPhone has quality materials. It's just that they sacrificed durability completely for the sake of aesthetics in the overall design of the phone. Although one could argue that the SGS2 does have that durability while still being a slick ass phone. :)

74. toaster

Posts: 114; Member since: Sep 13, 2011

Really? I didn't know this. I guess GG is not as durable as it's made out to be, then. Does this only apply to the iP4 because I know a lot of people with busted 3GS's and 3G's, even though glass is not the main component of those phones. Same with my iPod.

77. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

I want to say GG was the display component of them too. At least the 3GS. It once again mainly comes down to the manufacturer's design (Apple doesn't really design their phones/devices for durability) and then the angle/severity of impact. For instance, dropping a phone on its edge will be much more likely to deal a death blow than dropping it on its back. My DROID X and Atrix both have Gorilla Glass. They've both survived some pretty fun impacts. I do know the iPhone 4/S had a track record of getting busted to s**t much more often than any other phone, according to insurance groups, Squaretrade being one of them.

96. vette21man

Posts: 351; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

I was so ready to thumb you up for your great, insightful, and unbiased comment, and then your last line...gah! I saved a click, but wasted typing this...

51. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Iphone just look good, not work properly (in this case...it's a pretty damn expensive toy). Samsung looks cheap but it looks like he's more solid than I thought. And, sorry Iphonefans...but when you make sth and you are using glass you must be ein bisschen insane. Glass is fragile. Always was and always will be. Purpose was to make Iphone a "looker" after boring predecessors...make some WOW effect. And they did it. It's like craftmanship. Not quite good when it comes to ergonomy or durability but still...looker. The same you can say about plastic and sapphire in watches. You can't scratch sapphire (well...you can if you want...I managed it, unfortunately) but you can easily crack it. Plastic - opposite. And platic is cheaper. Anyway...interesting test...only those guys moaning everytime whoo...uuu...wow...are a little bit annoying:]

50. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

As gorgeous and nice looking as the iphone's design is. It is still made of glass and glass shatters easily. I would strongly recommend anyone to get a strong full body case if they have an iphone.

47. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

I think everyone knows by now it's not a good idea to drop the all glass iPhone with no case.

73. Ivan6479

Posts: 250; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Its nice to see you can finally admit to something. Unfortunately they do get dropped, which ends in a busted ass phone just like the one in the video. Why would you want to fork over more money for a bulky ass case to protect you phone making it fatter and more awkward to carry around when you could own a Galaxy S2, which as shown in the video can be dropped with very minimal damage and needs no case what so ever so you can enjoy the phone from day one without any worries of a cracked ass screen like your wonderful iPhone. Lol iTard

78. Johnny_Mnemonic

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Ivan There is nothing impressive on iPhone because there is no change in its design remains the same dump lol culero iPhone

98. Ivan6479

Posts: 250; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Yeah I know tell me about it!! Unfortunately for the iTards of the world they are lining up to pay top dollar for the same piece of junk that was released last year with the addition of a new cam and a new processor of course, which isn't as fast as the one in the Galaxy s2 I might add. :)

39. Paden

Posts: 262; Member since: Jul 07, 2011

I don't know anyone who doesn't put a case and screen protectors on their phone. Good test none the less.

34. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

theres a reason why most phones are plastic and not glass...because plastic unlike glass can take more knocks and way more durable than glass especially non gorilla glass...the s2 glass did not shatter but the iphones did just like every previous iphones and apple are suppose to use the best material available on earth right....

31. dandirk

Posts: 187; Member since: Aug 04, 2011

I agree with others that while an amusing test... is just that amusing. To many factors, most important is angle of impact. To really test they have to measure the force an impact makes based on shape and weight from the various heights. Then use an accurate hammer (different shape heads, like a corner and flat large surface area) like device to mimic those forces to do an A/B comparison. The whole gorilla glass thing is interesting. If Apple was all about the best build quality\product, why wouldn't they use gorilla glass? Seems like one of the better solutions out there right now? Maybe GG is hype but my OG droid drops all the time and no damage to the glass at all. Answer 1: They think their own solution is better, seems like there could be some arrogance there. Answer 2: They don't really care as much as you think and want to skim as much profit off of a product they make insane profit margins on anyways. Maybe the reason they use glass on both the front and back is for breakage sales:) I do think its odd that a company where build quality is touted and a "feature" would use glass on both sides of the phone. Seems counter intuitive.

35. toaster

Posts: 114; Member since: Sep 13, 2011

It may be a mix between the two. As the owner of a shattered iPod Touch and someone who knows countless people with shattered iPhones, I find it hard to believe that they don't know that a problem such as this exists. Gorilla Glass is much more expensive than regular glass, and Apple is all about profits, however Apple is very "my way or the highway" (not trolling, just stating a fact) This test may not be scientific but no possible variables can discount that the iPhone was unusable while the GS2 was nearly perfect. Personal experiences cement this fact.

37. IEatApples

Posts: 66; Member since: Jul 06, 2011

i don't see how more tests are going to produce any significantly different results. The phones were dropped from distances that most consumers would drop them. I would see your point if the iphone didn't get damaged 3 out of 3 drops and the gs2 was unharmed 3 out of 3 drops. I would say those results are fairly conclusive of what would be the result of more tests. I mean the gs2 is obviously going to fair better in any amount of testing or number of variables.

83. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

its glass you moron. glass shatters and breaks theres a reason why race cars, eye glasses, and anything that used glass in the past goes switches to plastic or fiberglass. stupid idiots

28. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

omg!!!! glass/glass is less durable than glass/plastic!!!!

82. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

obviously you would think so but apparently some people can't think outside the realm of apple is god. lets have a true test taco can wear a helmet made out of the glass apple uses christian you can wear a helmet out of gorilla glass. both run at top speed of 10mph bend head at similiar angles and where contact point is equivalent to opposition. i can imagine a huge shard through the head of taco but somehow the shard missed the 1/4 inch brain that sits in between his worthless cranium. i can also imagine taco claiming a win because he didn't die or the fact he can impale somebody with his cool ihead

22. Stuntman

Posts: 843; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

Although the glass is shattered, it does seem that the iPhone still worked. However, I would probably not want to put my face up against the shattered glass to make a call as it may scratch up my face. I've seen some other drop tests with the iPhone 4 and other devices. In those tests, the iPhone 4 did well in not turning off after a drop. Some other phones had the back cover and battery fly out, so it turned off. They still worked after the battery was put in. I remember seeing a similar test with the iPhone 4 a year ago. The results were pretty much the same. After 2 drops from waist heigh onto asphalt, the glass was shattered. My personal experience with two touch screen phones is that they both survived a number of falls. One was from 8 feet as I ran down a flight of stairs. Another fell off my car mount (as I failed to secure it properly) with the screen landing right onto my gear shift. In both cases the phone worked and the screen was fine with no indication of any damage (on the screen).

19. vette21man

Posts: 351; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

This is one account, and it’s pretty interesting. The Galaxy SII fairs very well with its drop test compared to the iPhone 4S. As a tester, I would like to see this test repeated at least 2 more times to validate the results. Granted, this would be pretty expensive to fund for us average joes, but I think it’s not fair to judge the results off of 1 round of testing without being able to repeat the failure.

24. G-Reg

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Agreed, But you would have to take it a step farther with controled drops. Not just some dude letting go. Drop angle, point of impact, and a controlled setting. One tiny itty bitty little pebble could change results without notice from the testers. This is what it is. To the one that praised plastic agenst denting metal and breaking glass... do you know gorilla glass breaks to? Especially with the glass covering the WHOLE front and back, its still going to crack. Maybe the spider will be smaller, but cracked glass is cracked glass... and its going to spead in time.

93. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

thats true, but one thing your not taking into effect is size of the glass. The glass on the SGS2 is huge compared to that on the iphone. Its a testament to build quality and Corning that the SGS2 comes out nearly unscathed even though its got a much bigger surface to break and vibrate.

95. vette21man

Posts: 351; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Actually, the larger the surface area, the larger the shock spreads, and therefore lessens across the entire area. This is why corner drops are usually the toughest to survive...the smallest surface area possible has to absorb the shock. However, the reason it may tend to crack more with a face-down drop during this test is the unknown rocks and uneven surface. If dropping your phone in Walmart (with a flat floor), I would rather it fall on it's back, especially with anything other than an iPhone 4, since their backs are usually curved in some fashion.

26. ivanko34

Posts: 617; Member since: Sep 04, 2011

no need to repeat the tests. At each drop the iphone is damaged. That's why apple sells so many phones...

57. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

talk about repeat business ..lol.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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