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Smashy Smashy: Galaxy S3 and iPhone 4S in Ultimate Drop Test

Authored by: Steven Blum — Jun 4, 2012

They're two of the most talked about smartphones, but which best survives a four foot drop on to concrete – the soon-to-be-released Galaxy S3 or the globally ubiquitous iPhone 4S? Of course, as we all know, the best way to judge a smartphone is how well it holds up when it goes flying out of your hand and lands on the ground. 

 In the following– painful to watch – test video, both the Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 4S are dropped on to the concrete multiple times in an attempt to gain more empirical data. The phones were each dropped on their back, side, and (most devistatingly) on their faces.

The iPhone 4S faired pretty well when dropped on its side and back, with minimal cosmetic damage. The phone even continued to work after its face was smashed. The Galaxy S3, on the other hand, was completely obliterated by the face-down drop. Its touchscreen then completely failed to work.

So, the lesson seems to be: if you're going to drop your phone, make sure it's tilted on its side before it flies out of your hands. Or, you know, just DON'T DROP YOUR PHONE.

Steven Blum has written more than 2,000 blog posts as a founding member of AndroidPIT's English editorial team. A graduate of the University of Washington, Steven Blum also studied Journalism at George Washington University in Washington D.C. for two years. Since then, his writing has appeared in The Stranger, The Seattle P-I, Blackbook Magazine and Venture Villlage. He loves the HTC One and hopes the company behind it still exists in a few years.

8 comments

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  • Stan Jez Jun 6, 2012 Link to comment

    Consider the almost infinite possibilities of how a phone can drop.... Then factor in Height, velocity, surface , angle of fall etc and you'll get a variety of outcomes. I've dropped my samsung galaxy a on numerous occasions. I've even sat on it. No damage. But, hey, I've been lucky. Some of my friends have had bad experiences... Usually cracked screens. This "test" if it was to be valid scientifically, would have to be repeated under control conditions numerous times to even indicate a tend. However, readers will bring their own bias into the results. A lesson or moral to this story for me is.. Drop any phone and expect some level of damage. Have insurance, or be careful. But really... A test that says "my phone is more broken than your phone."

  • anthony griesbaum Jun 5, 2012 Link to comment

    Dropped my og droid off of three different roofs one of which was three stories... All it did was bounce and worked fine... My galaxy s 4g dropped off my lap getting out of the car and shattered the screen... All samsung's phones feel like cheap toys

  • bits Jun 4, 2012 Link to comment

    Mmh ,thats why me keep to my XE beats for the time been :-)

  • Steven Blum Jun 4, 2012 Link to comment

    @Christopher: That seems to confirm my suspicions. I've always thought HTC phones would fare better after a fall because of their awesome cases.

  • Christopher Booth Jun 4, 2012 Link to comment

    I dropped my HTC Sensation XE accidentally off 2nd level in shopping centre down to ground floor marble floor. it landed on its end, very very minor cosmetic damage, screen intact, phone working perfectly.

  • Andrea Odone Jun 4, 2012 Link to comment

    Hi... Incredible to see this this drop test... Poor devices. :-/

    But here you can find the first preliminary crash test that are not extreme like that but it's very interesting to:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axNBsdO4p6s&feature=g-user-u

  • Steven Blum Jun 4, 2012 Link to comment

    @Tom: Nice! Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Tom Harder Jun 4, 2012 Link to comment

    Or wrap it in an Otter Box case. I unfortunately have dropped my S2 many times. Thankfully I bought the Otter Box case the same day I bought the phone. With one of these the phone becomes virtually bullet proof. A 3 foot drop on it's face from a table resulted in the phone simply bouncing. I highly recommend these cases.