When Samsung set about designing the Galaxy S4 as the replacement for its flagship Galaxy S III, there were no doubt all manner of targets that it wanted to meet. Bigger screen, same footprint, improved durability and more will quite possibly have been written on a whiteboard somewhere in Samsung HQ. But not all were met, especially that durability one.
While most reviews of the Galaxy S4 have mentioned the device’s lack of a premium feel, it’s the device’s ability to withstand a fall or other mishap that is currently at the center of some investigation after warranty provider SquareTrade compared the device with two of the best selling smartphones on the market; Samsung’s own Galaxy S III, and Apple’s iPhone 5.
According to SquareTrade, the increased surface area of the S4’s screen – 5-inches, up from the S III’s 4.8-inches – goes some way to making the device easier to break than either its predecessor or the iPhone 5. While the S4 scored highly for its ability to withstand water to some degree, it was deemed to be more of a risk to other accidental damage than the competition after all three devices were put through their paces.
Interestingly, SquareTrade says that the iPhone 5 also suffers from the same breakability issues when compared to previous Apple handsets due to that larger screen, but it is more easily held in the hand than Samsung’s device, making it less likely to be dropped in the first place.
The risk to modern smartphones is a very real one, especially with their ever increasing screen size. More glass makes for more breakages, and we’ve witnessed at least one broken Galaxy S III on the Redmond Pie staff in the last few months. Anecdotally, we’ve thrown plenty of iPhone 4S and 5 handsets clear across the room and we’ve yet to break one. It means nothing of course, other than to mean the next time we do it it’s almost guaranteed to break!
There’s no doubt that the Galaxy S4 will sell by the truck load, and some will inevitably get dropped and broken. It’s the percentage that survive that fall that really matters, and we’ll perhaps never really know what that statistic is. All we’ll say is this: don’t throw your smartphone.
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