A new report from SquareTrade says that while the Samsung Galaxy S9 is marginally more durable than its predecessor, it is actually quite fragile.
“SquareTrade put the latest Galaxy generation through a gamut of tests and found while the Galaxy S9 is slightly more durable than the S8 and iPhone X, its all-glass design is still highly vulnerable to damage,” the firm notes. “SquareTrade Labs uses a range of scientific robots to drop, bend, tumble, and dunk devices to see how they live up to the activities of our everyday lives.”
SquareTrade promotes itself as a highly-rated protection plan provider that is trusted by millions of customers. And you can find a video overview of its Galaxy S0 breakability tests on YouTube. But the high-level results are:
Repairability. The S9 and S9+’s repairability is no better than that of their predecessors, SquareTrade saws. Low points include the difficulty in removing their back panel while preserving the display.
Face-down drop test. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ both suffered “extensive damage across their screens” in this crucial test. However, they did fare slightly better than their predecessors, which also jettisoned sharp shards of glass during last year’s tests.
Side and back drop tests. Here, SquareTrade saw a major difference year-over-year: Where the S8 shattered both its display and back panels, the S9 was only damaged on its back panel. And by “damaged,” they mean “completely shattered.”
Tumble test. The thicker glass on the S9/S9+ held up a bit better in repeated impacts in a tumble bot, but there was still “considerable damage on both the display and back panels of the S9 and S9+.”
According to SquareTrade, the move to all-glass bodies on phones like the iPhone X and Galaxy S9 is both beautiful and aids with wireless charging. But it comes with a price: The devices are just not durable.
“We’re continuing to see a trend of beautiful all-glass designs that come with a high price tag and high risk of damage from drops and mishaps,” SquareTrade’s Jason Siciliano says. “Our tests and claims data show that even when in cases, they still experience damage. So, while water resistance has improved across the board, all of that glass means that durability has actually gone backward over the past year.”