Last year, a significant number of Galaxy S20 series device owners weren't happy to find the glass covering their rear cameras destroyed without much provocation. This year, the S21 phones come with a metal-reinforced housing and smaller, individual covers featuring Corning's new Gorilla Glass Victor. So, does the new get-up actually stand up to drop tests?

The short answer is "yes." Insurer Allstate Protection Plans went and bought a Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra, and performed mechanically-controlled drops on each device's front and back surfaces from 6 feet high.

Disaster comes as expected with each descent, but the fall came harder for the bigger phones. The S21's screen, with a 6.2" diagonal, suffered many scratches and cracks with patches of uneven glass posing some personal hazard. However, on the S21+ and S21 Ultra, their 6.7" and 6.8" panels came away chipped to some degree. The same trends played out on the back side, but with greater disparity: the S21's polycarbonate-and-paint surface gets scuffed while spider webs painted the glass covers on the larger phones.

But hey, at least the cameras on all three phones were left unscathed and fully functional — something that couldn't be guaranteed with the S20 phones last year. And for what it's worth, CNET did its own 3-foot and 6-foot drop tests and the S21 and the Ultra and ended up with similar conclusions. Praise metal and sunk-in glass lenses.

By the way, Samsung is charging S21 owners $199 for screen replacements, S21+ owners $229, and S21 Ultra owners $289. You know, just when you can afford to get that deli meat slicer of a slab fixed up.

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  • Allstate Protection Plans (YouTube)