Breakability tests confirm increased fragility on the Galaxy S8 and S8+
If you suspect that the large, curved Infinity Displays on Samsung's latest Galaxy S8 series are easy to break, then results from a breakability test conducted by SquareTrade (a smartphone insurance company) support your hunch. SquareTrade's results indicate that the S8 and S8+ are significantly more fragile than their predecessors.
SquareTrade uses laboratory robots to conduct controlled impact testing (including dunks, slides, drops and tumbles) in order to assign a smartphone's breakability score. The higher a device's breakability number, the less likely it is to survive an impact.
In the case of the S8 series, SquareTrade found that the phones performed most poorly in the face-down drop test. Both the S8 and S8+ were cracked after one drop. Since the phones have all-glass bodies, they also were vulnerable in back drop tests: Falling back-down caused both phones to crack not only on the back, but onto the front as well. During a side-drop test, the S8 became more damaged than the S8+, losing some glass and interfering with button access.
The good news? SquareTrade's testing indicated that the devices' IP68 water resistance rating held true – both phones withstood 30-minute immersion. While there was some audio muffling immediately afterwards, audio returned to normal within another 30 minutes.
SquareTrade has recently moved to a 1-100 scale for its breakability test. (In the past, the scale ran from 1-10.) The Galaxy S8 received a 76 indicating medium-high risk, while the S8+ received a 77. Last year's S7 and S7 edge phones received a 5 and 6, respectively. (This is basically equivalent to 50 and 60 on the new scale, though the current model puts slightly more emphasis on drops.) For reference, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus also received a 5 and 6 on last year's scale.
For more on SquareTrade's testing methods and results, check out the video below. For more on the S8 series, you can check out our early impressions of the Galaxy S8+.