Galaxy S9 and S9+ Beat iPhone X in Drop Tests, But Still Suffer Severe Damage
Samsung's Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are using 20 percent thicker glass and a stronger aluminum frame, both of which are designed to cut down on damage from drops. Samsung says the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are more durable than previous devices thanks to the new materials.
SquareTrade today conducted its traditional breakability tests on the Galaxy S9 devices to test Samsung's claims. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ did indeed manage to beat out the iPhone X and older Galaxy devices, but they still didn't fare well when dropped.
In every drop test, conducted from a height of six feet, the Galaxy S9 and the S9+ shattered. The two devices bent at 230 and 210 pounds, respectively, and both were cracked in a 60 second tumble test. The Galaxy S9 earned an overall breakability score of 71, while the larger Galaxy S9+ earned a score of 76.
Back in November, SquareTrade conducted the same tests on the iPhone X and deemed it the "most breakable iPhone ever" as it too shattered at the front and back when dropped from a height of six feet.
The iPhone X actually fared worse in SquareTrade's tests and showed more extensive damage and breakage in every durability test. It earned an overall breakability score of 90, much higher than the S9 and S9+.
PhoneBuff also recently did some side-by-side drop tests to compare the Galaxy S9+ and the iPhone X. In a back drop test, the iPhone X held up while the Galaxy S9+'s glass back shattered. A side test comparing the iPhone X's stainless steel frame to the S9+'s aluminum frame also saw the iPhone X come out on top.
A third facedown drop on the display side of each smartphone saw the Galaxy S9+ win out over the iPhone X, which cracked. Overall, PhoneBuff used a numbered rating system to compare the drop results, giving the edge to the Samsung Galaxy S9+ because it held up better to a repeated drop test.
While the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ appear to have fared slightly better than the iPhone X in drop tests, the two devices are still made of glass and still shattered. They shattered to a somewhat a lesser degree, sure, but broken is broken. All glass smartphones, regardless of manufacturer, need to be used with caution and protected with a case as necessary.
Unsurprisingly, neither the iPhone X's "most durable" front and back glass nor the Galaxy S9's 20 percent thicker glass with "enhanced durability" can hold up to concrete and similar hard materials when dropped.
SquareTrade and PhoneBuff may have conducted these tests using specialized equipment for consistent results, but drop tests are never scientific and are not a reliable measure of durability because there are so many variables to take into account when a device is dropped in the real world.
Samsung, like Apple, offers an extended warranty that covers accidental damage. Priced at $11.99 per month, Samsung Premium Care allows Samsung device owners to submit three accidental damage claims in a 12-month period with a $99 deductible required.
Apple's AppleCare+ for iPhone X costs $199 up front and provides coverage for two incidents of accidental damage. Screen replacements require a $29 deductible, while all other damage is subject to a $99 fee. Sans AppleCare+, it costs $279 to repair a damaged iPhone X display and $549 for all other repairs.