It's fun to joke about Samsung's phones feeling cheap because they're made of slippery plastic, but that doesn't mean they're actually cheap. Samsung just posted a video tour of the lab where the Galaxy S4 is tested for reliability, but let's call it what it is – this is Samsung's smartphone torture chamber. The video is in Korean, but you can turn on English closed captioning.

The Galaxy S4 takes everything from drops to impacts and comes out fully functional. That's the thing about plastic – it bounces. Some devices might feel very solid, but there's no give to the casing and that can spell trouble if dropped. Samsung even dunks the GS4 in water without (immediately) frying it. We are, however, admonished not to try this at home.


Expecting-the-Unexpected-GALAXY-S4-Reliability-Testing-1 Expecting-the-Unexpected-GALAXY-S4-Reliability-Testing-2

Just watch the video and prepare to be impressed. The Samsung site also has more still images than we have space for here. The GS4 might feel a bit weak, but it's apparently quite reliable. Could you survive a few hours in a tumble chamber? I didn't think so.

[Samsung Tomorrow]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Kashmieer

    Try it at home. After all it's just a samsung :P

  • Michael Ta

    will it blend?

  • Michael Ta

    okay cool but these "drop test" are like knee level or a little bit higher (sorry I'm not that short) or the surface is like a trampoline.

    this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNIn0BAUjv4 should do the justice.

    • Aez

      The problem with these types of tests on YouTube and other shows like it is that they cannot be effectively replicated. Just because you think you dropped three phones the same height and the same way doesn't mean you actually did. I've seen many, MANY drop tests where the tester obviously has a preference (Android or Apple) and you can tell that the way they 'drop' the phone changes (for example: a phone dropped on its edge will behave differently than a phone dropped flat on its face). I'd much rather see a machine do it (which will at least have some consistency).

      Another point against said drop tests and torture tests is the fact that not every unit is equal. I'll give you an example. My two brothers both had a Motorola Razr HD. One worked perfectly, had no issues, and survived every single drop. The other started malfunctioning after a month and its screen cracked the first time he dropped it.

      Using one isolated test such as the video you are presenting is no where near enough evidence to come away with a conclusion. I for one still carry around a Galaxy SII (as my media player) and it has survived everything I've thrown at it (including once leaving it outside in the rain for about 5 hours). Does that mean that all Galaxy SII would survive under the same conditions? No, but at least in my case, it survived.

      • Ryan O’Neill

        I'm the unlucky one whose Razr HD cracked from a one-inch drop. It just happened to be face down on an uneven tile floor. :/ No matter how strong a phone is, they all have their weak spots.

        • Aez

          My point exactly. You cannot replicate the same 'drop' with three different phones of the same model, let alone three different models. Just the way you hold them is different.

  • Guillaume ‘XpLoDWilD’

    I laughed at the "nutshell break test". The nutshell broke because of the screw. When the S4 was put instead of the nut, no more screw.
    Also the last test in the water, the S4 after the cut is all dry.
    Samsung, as always. What about those suddenly dying S4 screens?

    • Guest

      Look at the video again before you make wierd comments....
      1. No screw, just broken nutshell pices!
      2. Look at the water drying up on its way up before he picks it up, and check the upper right corner for water... So a big YAWN to you and your observations.

      • Sorian

        Also for the water test, see lower right corner where back button is, there is a drop of water still holding on.

  • Francus

    It's nice to see that they use stock Android in their test phones

    • Heon Jun Park

      They probabaly just had few spare Google Edition for the video.

  • Floris

    At approximately 1:10, you see they use the Google experience edition, or another launcher. Even Samsung durability testers don't like the look of touchwiz...

    • Floris

      Ah, wait, you can see it more often..

  • dannykkn

    Bullshit. The phone is so vulnerable and easily destroyed by water.

  • milksop held

    I will selflessy accept all of these test phones that survive once Samsung is done, you're welcome world.

  • CBNforum

    All good BUT one thing.... I own an S4 with a broken screen, it fell from my lap while sitting on the chair, fell flat on cement and split right in the middle, nice and clean!! Now it is going to cost me $179 to replace the glass.

    • angel_spain

      Does the touch screen still work?

  • MasterMuffin

    And now lets put it through Nokia's testing and see how long it survives. I bet 20 seconds :D

    • Michael Ta

      It'll survive long after you die.

      • MasterMuffin

        Wow someone's a little serious today

        • Michael Ta

          hmm... maybe?

  • adil qurmoshi7

    How does the phone is going to sleep when the phone was in the water and suddenly wake up when phone came out of the water

    • Sorian

      That is more an optic reflection. At 2:27, as they are pulling it up, you can see the from the top of the water a clear image, but from the side nothing. Trying to remember if they use polarized screens.

  • Fred

    lab test doesn't mean much to me. Real world test is what's important. But it's nice to see Samsung is focusing on the durability of their phones.

  • Mystery Man

    where do I get that glass screen protector he was bending?

    • Zaatour36

      i think that was the one built-in on the device

  • fjsjfj

    Lg/Google should take note *glares at Nexus 4*

  • SSHGuru

    This is an excellent article. The shell of all of the Samsung phones are made of Polycarbonate which is not cheap and is far better at taking drops than most other materials.

    Did you know you can take the back off a Samsung device and bend it completely?

    I took some pictures to demonstrate. The first two are the back cover of my Galaxy Nexus and the third is the hard polycarbonate back of one of our Ultra cases. We are one of the only companies to use polycarbonate because of the expense.

    Scott Weiner

    DBA Cases, Inc.

    • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

      Yeah you've been able to do this since the SII. My Epic 4G Touch had one of those backs.

  • http://www.asuntest.com Golden Chen

    다양한 패턴과 색상 S4 은하에 문을 다시 장착합니다. 주입에 의해 포함 군대 옷감 패턴 가죽.갤럭시 S4 배터리 커버는 내구성과 독특한 있습니다.

    완전히 10의 색깔 available. it 정말 전화 장치에 귀여운 부분입니다. S4에게보고 새로운 좋은를 제공, 접촉을 계속 : gadget2us

    또한,이 무선 충전 case.only 비용 USD3.9의 each.hurry 위로가 될 수 있도록 설계되어있다.

  • http://www.asuntest.com Golden Chen

    glitter leather