Galaxy S21 drop test: Samsung’s newest phones didn’t last long

    I had excessive hopes for the brand new Samsung Galaxy S21 telephones telephones going into our drop take a look at, although Galaxy telephones have not been probably the most sturdy in our earlier exams. The S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra’s curved shows aren’t as pronounced as earlier fashions and all of the screens are coated within the strongest Gorilla Glass. But let’s simply say my hopes proved optimistic, and for those who’re contemplating going case-less along with your new Galaxy S21, you might wish to learn on. While the three Galaxy S21 telephones could look comparable, the backs are all made of various supplies. The S21 Plus and Ultra have glass on both aspect, whereas the again of the common S21 is fabricated from plastic. Because this distinction might have an effect on the sturdiness of the cellphone, we determined to check out each the $1,200 (£1,149, AU$1,849) Galaxy Ultra and the $800 (£769, AU$1,249) Galaxy S21 concurrently.
    Chris Parker/CNET
    Plenty of elements go into the sturdiness of the display, together with the form and thickness of the glass the producer decides to make use of. We know from our earlier Note 20 Ultra drop take a look at that even the strongest Gorilla Glass Victus isn’t any match for pavement, with the display cracking on the second drop from hip top. But that does not imply the S21’s display will share the identical destiny: The two have completely different designs and the thick steel casing defending the digital camera seems to be sturdier than the all-glass module on earlier Galaxy telephones. For our drop take a look at, CNET Senior Video Producer Chris Parker dropped a model new phantom violet Galaxy S21 and phantom black Galaxy S21 Ultra onto a concrete sidewalk. 

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    Drop 1: Pocket top (3 toes), display aspect downThe drop from pocket or hip top is likely one of the most typical causes of cracked screens, particularly in case your cellphone lands on a tough floor like a sidewalk. We begin all our exams at this top. The cracked display of the Samsung Galaxy S21 after the primary drop from hip top. 
    Chris Parker/CNET
    Galaxy S21: Broken displayThe high left hand nook of the cellphone reverse the digital camera hit the bottom first, then the underside nook hit, then your complete proper aspect of the cellphone. This triggered it to bounce again up a bit and land screen-side-down on the ground.The backside left hand nook of the glass had shattered with a number of bigger cracks stemming outward from the purpose of affect together with a giant dome-shaped one operating by means of the center of the display. The S21 Ultra after the primary drop from hip-height: one small crack on the high. 
    Chris Parker/CNET
    Galaxy S21 Ultra: A small crack The preliminary affect of the drop appeared to be distributed comparatively evenly because the cellphone hit the ground, with the highest fringe of the display hitting the sidewalk only a bit sooner than the remaining. It then jumped again into the air, flipped round and landed screen-side-up. The high fringe of the steel body on the S21 Ultra had what appeared like silver sand particles the place the paint was scraped, however the display appeared OK. That is, till we seen a tiny crack on the highest left-hand nook of the cellphone. It was sufficiently small that it most likely would not trouble you for those who stored utilizing the cellphone, however it was broken nonetheless and never the perfect state of affairs after only one drop.Drop 2: Pocket top (3 toes), again aspect down To take a look at the sturdiness of the again, Chris dropped the telephones from the identical top with the display going through up. We clearly weren’t anticipating the plastic again on the S21 to interrupt, however we needed to see what sort of injury it could incur and the way the digital camera would maintain as much as the autumn. The again of the Samsung Galaxy S21 had a number of minor scratches after the second drop from hip-height. 
    Chris Parker/CNET
    Galaxy S21: Minor scratchesThe high half of the cellphone hit the bottom first, then the underside edge inflicting it to leap within the air and full a few flips earlier than touchdown again on the sidewalk with the again aspect going through up. Save for a number of tiny scrapes on the underside, there was barely any injury on the plastic again cowl, as we anticipated.The digital camera was additionally in good condition, with no seen injury to the module or any of its three lenses, that are carved into the steel casing. Unlike earlier Galaxy fashions the place your complete digital camera bump is roofed in glass, the module on the S21 is generally steel and solely the lenses are glass.The damaged again of the Galaxy S21 Ultra after the second drop from hip top. 
    Chris Parker/CNET
    Galaxy S21 Ultra: Shattered againThe cellphone hit the ground virtually flat, bounced a bit and flipped on its aspect inflicting it to land with its again going through up. The glass again on the S21 Ultra did not survive. It had a number of fractures stemming from the underside left hand nook and operating up your complete again of the cellphone and some free items of glass coming off the nook the place it hit.The digital camera module alternatively survived comparatively unscathed, aside from a pair small dings on the steel casing.Drop 3: 6 toes again aspect down (S21), display aspect down (S21 Ultra) Both telephones have been cracked at this level, however we determined to drop them one final time on the aspect which had sustained the least quantity of injury. The again of the Galaxy S21 sustained minimal injury after three drops with just some scratches on the steel casing. 
    Chris Parker/CNET
    Galaxy S21: Scuffs on the digital camera moduleThe weight of the digital camera module should play an element within the touchdown, as a result of that is what broke the autumn but once more. With the digital camera hitting first, the cellphone then bounced on the alternative aspect and did a number of flips within the air earlier than settling screen-side-up on the ground. As anticipated, the again of the cellphone was nonetheless in good condition, however with some extra pronounced scrapes in the direction of the underside. The high left hand nook of the steel digital camera module, which broke the autumn, additionally had noticeable scratches. But the lenses remained intact. The shattered entrance of the Galaxy S21 Ultra after a drop from 6 toes. 
    Chris Parker/CNET
    Galaxy S21 Ultra: Completely shattered displayThe cellphone landed virtually utterly flat, bounced up a bit after which hit the ground once more face first.The tiny crack on the highest nook multiplied into a complete internet of cracks masking virtually your complete entrance of the cellphone. Some have been deep sufficient to penetrate the display and black out a part of the OLED panel. The display nonetheless responded to the touch, however there have been tiny shards of glass coming off it, so that you would not have needed to maintain utilizing it, even with a display protector on high. The cracks on the again had additionally continued to develop, although they weren’t practically as unhealthy as those on the entrance. A second opinionAllstate Protection Plans carried out an identical drop take a look at on all three Galaxy S21 fashions with comparable outcomes. The screens shattered after the primary drop (on this case from 6 toes). The again aspect of the S21 Plus and S21 Ultra additionally shattered after the second drop from the identical top (again aspect down).The breakdownWhile our exams are under no circumstances scientific and your outcomes could also be utterly completely different for those who drop your cellphone, our Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Ultra cracked on the primary drop, which was disappointing. The S21 has an edge over the Ultra because the again most likely will not break even for those who drop it a number of occasions. But you will nonetheless must put a case on it to defend the display and I’d take into account investing in a display protector as an added layer of safety as repairing the S21’s display begins at $200. The silver lining is that the digital camera modules on each telephones, that are costlier to restore, appear to be sturdier than in earlier modules due to the brand new steel casing. We reached out to Samsung for touch upon our outcomes, however didn’t hear again at publication time.

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