04
Jun
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While your average "drop test" video isn't necessarily a source for scientific durability analysis, they can be entertaining to watch. Somehow, seeing expensive devices mercilessly dropped onto unforgiving concrete or pavement feels slightly gratifying, while the process simultaneously educates viewers on the dangers of careless phone handling.

Today, Android Authority uploaded a drop test video which saw Samsung's Galaxy SIII (by all accounts the phone of the moment) and Apple's iPhone 4S faced off against an expanse of hard concrete. Both phones were dropped on their face, back, and side, of course in an attempt to gather more experimental data.

It goes without saying that neither device fared particularly well. The iPhone 4S' front and back panels were absolutely smashed, though the touch screen, home, and lock buttons still functioned. The Galaxy SIII, while less noticeably damaged, had no touch functionality at all after being dropped on its face.

In the end, the lesson is the same: don't drop your phone (even if it has gorilla glass), because the consequences could be dire.

Update: Another video by SquareTrade put the SGS III through three tests, in two of which the screen got destroyed. Ouch:

Thanks, Derek!

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Usama Khan

    Reminded me of the HTC ONE X hammering video :/....Am waiting for S3 to come in my region and there they are smashing it against the concrete...it hurts to watch !!!

  • DROID DOES

    Wtf samsung

  • http://www.facebook.com/pachi72 Fernando Diaz

    WOw so the Galaxy S 2 beats the S3....

  • Mike Minor

    Put the Razr in that test.

  • Usama Khan

    It might be the light but i didn't see either the samsung or the apple been in the powered ON state during the whole test...or was it just me?

    • adi19956

      go to 1:05

  • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

     that was painful to watch!  yikes

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.ehret John Ehret

    I think I have a new favorite tech reporter. I'm truly a sucker for redheads. ;)

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/J32BBDNGIVISGS4L5JDW5SRK2Q Your Daddy

      Especially the way she sez "buggered"? ;)

    • fixxmyhead

      ugh shes not even hott

      • iridium

        Should've gone to Specsavers...

        • fixxmyhead

          theres no specsavers in the US

  • Mike07104

    can u put  the htc evo 4g lte to the test and i thought the galaxy s 3 had gorilla glass 2 i guess not 

    • Mark

       It does but they won't come out and say it's stronger or more damage resistant, just 20% thinner. So it should be "as" strong as a Gorilla Glass, but they won't even confirm that, only that it's thinner.

  • Guesty

    After the cover came off the SIII wouldn't it have been prudent to see if it needed to switched back on?

    • Anonymous

      On a second (and 3rd) watch at 2:50, after what looks like her pressing the power button she states "starting to come back up, but 1/2 of it's still completely gone..." so she didn't really "test" the SIII

  • jjrudey

    Why is it always vs iPhone 4S?

    • Webster

      Probably because its so easy cracked with the glass front and back

    • Mark

       Yeah. Maybe it should be vs Galaxy S II. I saw a Galaxy S II drop test kill the iPhone 4S.  Are they saying the Galaxy S III doesn't handle a drop as well as its older sibling?

    • Shoe

      Maybe because apple didn't come out with a new phone yet?
      I'm just guessing?

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        It's an Android-centric website doing the video, they know their audience LOVES to see one iPhone after another being destroyed.

        • Rez

          I don't think so ...they compare againt the biggest competition that's it

          • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

            Does nobody see humor today?  I was saying it for a laugh, but I guess I can deconstruct the logic...

            These aren't serious comparisons, it's just people breaking expensive gadgets... Everybody loves seeing Mythbusters blow stuff up, this is no different. These videos aren't there to prove one device can take falls better than another, it's just about feeding the trolls and getting hits. If an Android-focussed site wanted to make legitimate and objective comparisons, they would compare Android phones against each other or use an innocuous and non-changing control (another expensive device that changes each year does not qualify). This is about getting a response from the audience; given the people who make up the Android Authority audience, they get the best response by destroying something with an Apple logo.

  • TheFirstUniverseKing

    Hmm, I wonder if the US variants will fare any better.

    • Josh Nichols

      No.. they won't.

    • Bas

      Ofc not, only the internals might be different.

  • S Jobs

    Now, drop your face on the concrete. Oh you have already?

    • TotallyGeeky

      Are you just angry because you're dead, Steve?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1359390083 Sodiq Awokoya

    I drop my gnex last week just minor scuffs and glass chip of the left-bottom hand corner but its still working, i put it in a case so i wont look at the damage even if its slightly scuffed. :(

  • Abhisshek Das

    Fuck Galaxy S3  ,  Galaxy S2 was more durable than 4S 

    see it  your self http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elKxgsrJFhw  Galaxy S 3 was ugly compare Galaxy S2 ,  now S3 is even weaker Totally fucking disappointed 

    • deX

      Yep. Disappointed with S3 overall. I'm staying with my S2 until something better comes along.

  • GazaIan

    Whoa whoa whoa; so the Nokia Lumia 900 with Gorilla Glass 2 and the HTC One X with Gorilla Glass 1 both survive the hammer test, but the Galaxy S III is completely screwed? wow.

    • Bala

      dont be a noob, drop test and hammer test are different

      • GazaIan

        It's not like he was softly touching the nail, I mean he drilled that thing deep into the wood. Pretty sure much more force is on the display during the hammer test than the drop test.

  • Joe Menard

    i still want the s3... too bad i got the s2 about 4 months ago, can anyone guess my chances of AT&T letting that one slide, i would say somewhere betweem 0-15% hahaha

  • http://fnords.org/ Markoff Chaney

    In related news: Don't hit your TV with an axe. 

    • RampageDeluxe

      I don't career my tv around in my pocket. Its not difficult to harm your phone. 

  • http://twitter.com/RyanSmith2688 Ryan Smith

    is this subliminal messaging to get an otterbox?

  • mduran1023

    But, will it blend?

  • Guest

    Who would have thought you shouldn't drop a large glass screen onto a cement surface.

    AndroidPolice is VERY informative!

     

  • Sketaful

    The bigger the screen, the easier to crack. 

    • fixxmyhead

      i know huh 
      nobody seems to realize that -__-

    • Bariman43

      Is that why the 3.5 inch iPhone screen shatters completely on impact? I've never heard of such a stupid reason to hate big screens.

  • Irishgreendavis

    I've dropped my EVO 3d more than a dozen times on its face n probably 2 dozen more times every where else ...nothin mire than scuffs n minor scratches...

  • http://profiles.google.com/tonycerdais Tony Cerda

    I dropped my Samsung Captivate (Galaxy S) from the 2nd floor catwalk of my friend's apartment building. I tried to soften the blow by putting my foot under it before hit hit the ground and instead ended up kicking it through the rails. It flew down from 2nd floor to the concrete walk path below on 1st floor and only the BodyGlove case on it got scuffed. The phone still looks pristine.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=674791489 Loic Lacomme

      i second that mine fells at lest once a week and nothing happens with some cheap cover

  • Kernel Sanders: Chicken Lover

    The iPhone made a 'slat' sound when it hit the ground.

  • techblogger

    Wow. With over 10 million of these things on pre-order, if you need a job, the people at Asurion is sure to be needing some help. 

  • Stylz Samdroid

    stop that shit droptests, and spare some money or give those phones away to somebody who wants it?? thats embarrassing, and both phones have avery high price. droptests = waste of money. 

  • http://jesuiscontentducontent.tumblr.com/ Yod-b

    well, to be honest, these things are the reason I don't buy Samsung phones anymore. I had an old Omnia, the touch screen was horrible. It was resistive, okay, but still had to replace it 3 times in 1.5 years. it was cheap, i did it myself, so 10 bucks, but annoying man. and the cabling was so stupid, sometimes after a bigger schock I had to refit the connectors.

    • J Rush

      So you shouldn't buy any phones then? Drop any phone on concrete regardless of what brand or screen strength and I guarantee you it'll break. Some might take longer than others, but the results sill be the same.

      • deX

        Um, my old HTC Desire and my current S2 have been dropped multiple times on concrete - without any case or protector. Both devices just have dents and bruises, but the actual screen is intact. My point is, there's no reason a modern phone should be brittle. The S3 clearly fails in the design department.

      • http://jesuiscontentducontent.tumblr.com/ Yod-b

        of course i didn't mean that. i meant that i had bad experiences with the built quality of a samsung phone, therefore i prefer others, mostly htc. because i had better luck with those, the models i had were better than the omnia.

  • http://jesuiscontentducontent.tumblr.com/ Yod-b

    well, to be honest, these things are the reason I don't buy Samsung phones anymore. I had an old Omnia, the touch screen was horrible. It was resistive, okay, but still had to replace it 3 times in 1.5 years. it was cheap, i did it myself, so 10 bucks, but annoying man. and the cabling was so stupid, sometimes after a bigger schock I had to refit the connectors.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    I'm not suggesting any wrongful testing (intentional or otherwise) or that it would turn out any differently, I just wish that if they are going to do this kind of "test", that they would do it correctly.  Take a page from the Mythbusters and remove the human element, just using a simple rig that ensures the phones fall the same way each time would be enough.  Having personally watched an iPhone 4s fall barely over 3 feet and land facedown on a surface far more gentle than that rugged concrete, I saw that it had become completely unusable and less than a fifth of the screen even came on.  I'm sorry, but each phone landing with more or less angle on one corner will completely change these results.  If it's not being done right, then it's just about destroying expensive objects... Gadget Snuff Porn if you will.

    • Fromfila

      I'm with you this silly little red is a retard the phones really did fall and landed completely different

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    I'm not suggesting any wrongful testing (intentional or otherwise) or that it would turn out any differently, I just wish that if they are going to do this kind of "test", that they would do it correctly.  Take a page from the Mythbusters and remove the human element, just using a simple rig that ensures the phones fall the same way each time would be enough.  Having personally watched an iPhone 4s fall barely over 3 feet and land facedown on a surface far more gentle than that rugged concrete, I saw that it had become completely unusable and less than a fifth of the screen even came on.  I'm sorry, but each phone landing with more or less angle on one corner will completely change these results.  If it's not being done right, then it's just about destroying expensive objects... Gadget Snuff Porn if you will.

  • Ryan

    Okay that's a shame..

  • Pik

    Bravest battery cover ever.

  • Pik

    Bravest battery cover ever.

  • Newcreation45

    Thats what screen protectors are for

  • Morten christensen

    What a simple way of making final conclusions. Let us do that in general, then life will get much more easy to live.
    HELLO... you make 10-100 drops before concluding anything...

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/424VTGKW3D2SXWCXF3RZ6ZI26Q Reality Check

    They should BAN these videos because they are cruelty to tech :D (i can't watch them)

  • lewis mccarth

    I dropped my Galaxy s2 while running and it flew about 5 meters over gravel on my driveway, and the only damage was a little chip in the side of the screen, which doesn't actually effect the usage of the phone, and is quite unnoticeable. I would hate to think what it would have been like if i had the Galaxy s3

  • troydoran

    here is a tip don't drop your damn phone.... put a protective case on it...

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/J32BBDNGIVISGS4L5JDW5SRK2Q Your Daddy

    I don't know what the big deal is...my kid drops my bionic on the floor (department store tile, parking lot asphalt, sidewalk concrete, etc...) all the time (hard enough for the back to pop off and the battery to pop out) and there's barely any nicks on it...the screen is still pristine AND i don't even have that crap silicone sleeve on it...

  • Aze

    My Desire fell down dozens of times with no lasting damage (although the battery usually flies out of it). Somehow I'm wary to buy an S3 if it's defective after one falls xD

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=546135436 Guillermo Hernandez

    o_O Great. Yet something else Apple can sue Samsung for- shitty drop survival rate.

  • Jaxx89

    Hmmm...the S2 is much tougher than the S3.
    So Gorilla Glass 2 isn't really that strong, just slimmer.

  • iridium

    I'm sorry, I don't care what anyone says, she's uber cute!

  • http://twitter.com/MeCampbell30 Matt

    Phone needs better glass. The day a phone is as rugged as a Kindle Fire is the day I love that phone.

  • Fun With Drugs

    I mean..the screen IS glass. I don't care if they call it Hulk Glass Infinity.
    It's still glass, meaning it's going to break if it hits concrete. 
    Just hold it like you should, or put it in your pocket. I've never dropped or scratched my original GS and I've had it for almost 2 years. Be careful and you don't need a gaudy case or you won't have to worry about breaking the screen. Apple was dumb (no surprise) when they made the 4/4s with glass front AND back.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Well, I've dropped my SGS II countless times, and it only has such minor dings, you'd have to look really hard to see them. The falls included face down on concrete, and yet it doesn't even have a scratch. I'm not saying it's impossible to break it, but it seems to be a lot harder to do to an SGS II.

  • Aki I.

    i think regardless of the accuracy of the test, it kinda makes you question that gorilla glass and the video corning has floating around of them testing it and withstanding all those seemingly more damaging tests.

  • mrwho

    I want to see the new EVO LTE in one of these tests.  Very curious to see if it fairs better.  My original EVO 4G...I've dropped it a hundred times the last two years and it's never even missed a beat.  Doubt the new one can withstand the same abuse.

  • iNfAMOUS70702

    The girl looked kind of shocked that the 4S won haha...being an actual 4S owner...I've dropped my phone twice on that hard slab of home depot cement floor and both times my 4S didn't even get a single scratch...that being said i will buy the AT&T SGSIII haha

  • iNfAMOUS70702

    Even tho I own an iPhone 4S fuck that comparison...they should've put androids 2 juggernauts the one X and the SGSIII against each other..that would've been the better comparison

  • HO ME

    Samsung should have a Serious talk with Corning about its Gorilla Glass 2

  • aramishero

    Samsung use cheaper material that S2... 

  • TheFirstUniverseKing

    That's really disappointing. So everything seems to be fine on the Galaxy S III phones in both videos, except for the most important part of a smartphone: its screen. And I'm not one to use a case that covers the screen, although I might when I get the Galaxy S III.

  • Big Cann Ox

    4min, 5sec of my life that I can't get back. Jeezus

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1104338949 Lim Ie Howe

    PLEASE GIVE ME ALL THE PHONES YOU HAVE DROPPED!