We can all agree that Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is a beautiful piece of hardware with the performance to match. Now that it’s been around for a while and finally reaching consumer hands, we must ask: How much of a beating can it take?
While we admittedly don’t have the resources to do multiple drop and scratch tests ourselves, several other outlets have purchased their own retail units and put the Galaxy S8 through some rigorous tests to come up with interesting results.
Here are a few of the conclusions we’ve found:
The screen can take a beating
According to Consumer Reports, the Galaxy S8 has a more scratch-resistant screen than its predecessor, the Galaxy S7. Although the S7’s display is quite durable, able to withstand anything below a level 7 pick, the S8 shows signs of damage only when it reaches a level 8 pick, which is as solid as a masonry drill bit.
Chances are you’re not going to have something as tough as that in your pocket or bag with the Galaxy S8, so we’re looking at some grade-A screen resistance. We can attribute this to the strong metal frame sandwiched between two layers of Gorilla Glass 5.
Popular YouTube channel JerryRigEverything backs up these results with a video of his own:
On top of the great scratch resistance, the Galaxy S8 performs well in the bend test, too. With that, we can all see how well-built Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone is — unless the drop tests have anything to say against it.
Drop tests aren’t as forgiving
On the flip side, accidentally dropping a Galaxy S8 on hard floors can cause lots of harm. Based on reputable tests conducted by Test.de, the S8 cracks and shatters after just 50 drops at a height of 80cm on stone flooring. That doesn’t sound so bad, but you have to consider how most smartphones in their tests manage 100 falls with only a dent at that height.
So, despite the nicely rounded corners and edges, the ergonomic design ended up becoming the phone’s downfall for drop resistance. Samsung must have been aware of the Galaxy S8’s sensitivity, and thus offers protective cases that cover up the weak spots.
Another YouTube channel — GizmoSlip, this time — backed up these findings:
A retail unit bought straight from Best Buy was used during the video, making this as real as it gets. As you can see, it takes a single drop to expose the Galaxy S8’s fragility. Still, the handset lasted until the end and managed to continue powering on.
In conclusion: Scratch resistance? Great. Drop resistance? Below average. The next hurdle the Galaxy S8 will have to overcome is how well Bixby’s newly launched voice features hold up against the likes of Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri. As usual, only time and several real-world tests will tell.