Note8 & iPhone 8 breakability test: How well does all-glass design stand up to drops?

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A number of the latest smartphones feature an all-glass design. While this makes for a slick looking phone, it can’t be all that great for survivability when it comes to accidental drops or other accidents. The SquareTrade iPhone 8 breakability test pits Apple’s latest iPhone 8 and 8 Plus against the Samsung Galaxy Note8 to test Apple’s claims of it being the “most durable glass ever in a smartphone.” Just how well did each device do?

SquareTrade uses a range of automated tests and dropped each of the three phones in various ways. First up was a face down drop test, followed by side and back drop tests, tumble tests, and bendability tests. The company also performed dunk tests — all three devices have IP waterproof ratings — as well as a new shot test which simulates a phone flying off the roof of a car. Finally, the company rated each device for repairability.

“Like the Galaxy S8 and Note8, our tests show that the all-glass iPhone 8 and 8 Plus break on the first drop on all sides. Wireless charging is the future, no doubt. But it seems that Apple and Samsung have made a choice—to sacrifice durability in the name of innovation.” said Jason Siciliano, vice president global creative director at SquareTrade.

The test results revealed the following about each device:

  • Face Down Drop Test: The Note8 may have only suffered hairline cracks across the front with starburst cracks along the top right corner but it was the only device rendered completely inoperable. Meanwhile, both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus shattered across their entire front, rendering them nearly unusable.
  • Side and Back Drop Tests: Apple’s “aerospace-grade band” helped save the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus from disaster during the side drop. Unfortunately for Samsung, the Note8’s edge-to-edge screen left it susceptible to significant damage across its back that could easily lead to a broken camera. The back drop test was a different story altogether with both larger models, the iPhone 8 Plus and Note8, shattering across their backs and losing chunks of glass in the process. The iPhone 8 was the back drop winner even while losing a chunk of glass from the corner.
  • Dunk Test: Both the Apple and Samsung devices lived up to their IP ratings … for the most part. While the audio is significantly louder in this new iPhone generation, after being submerged for 30 minutes there was significant muffling and distortion. Even though the Note8 also survived the test, it experienced similar audio issues.
  • Shot Test: SquareTrade’s newest test, meant to simulate a phone flying off the roof of a car, further showed the dangers of leaving your device unprotected. Significant damage for all phones occurred on the first shot, however, the Note8 had the most significant damage with multiple pieces of glass coming off the screen.
  • Repairability: Even though a cracked screen on the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus could be easily repaired, its new glass back presents a whole new world of complications, making it more difficult and more expensive to repair than previous generations. Nevertheless, the Note8 with its multiple, fragile inner cables, is just a tedious phone to repair all around.
The SquareTrade Note8/iPhone 8/8 Plus Breakability Scorecard.

Check out the video of each test in action below:

Of course, with any smartphone these days, you’d be wise to get a smartphone case to protect your investment.

What do you think about SquareTrade’s latest Breakability Test results? Are you more or less inclined to purchase an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus (or a Galaxy Note8) after watching these tests? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.


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