Samsung Claims It Drop Tests Phones "Extensively"

Watching your phone tumble out of your hand and down to the hard ground can be gut-wrenching, but according to a new video from Samsung, it's something that the company's engineers experience a diluted version of on a very constant basis. In a somewhat dimly lit YouTube video, the South Korean company shows viewers a number of hands grasping at what appears to be either a Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S9, only for it to slip between their fingers each time. This seems to be intended to drive home the point that Samsung does indeed conduct rigorous in-house durability tests on its phones in realistic situations before releasing them.

If this is indeed the case, it's likely a fairly recent change, and the company is probably testing for failures beyond a simple cracked screen. Dropping a phone does not just involve exterior shock, after all; frames are bent, internal components are rattled about, and all sorts of failures can happen. Things like the LCD controller going out, the network antenna being knocked loose, and even frames squashing batteries can all happen. That last one, in fact, is what caused the Galaxy Note 7 to burst into flames, though it was because the poorly fitted battery did not need to be dropped for the chassis to warp it, that could happen with the slightest provocation.

Samsung dropping this video not long before Mobile World Congress and what's expected to be the big Galaxy S9 reveal is likely no coincidence. Still, even with assurance from Samsung that the new device won't fail catastrophically when dropped, conducting a home drop test is ill-advised. The Galaxy S9's predecessor was one of the most fragile phones ever tested by electronic insurance firm SquareTrade, and did not fare too well in drop and torture tests put up on YouTube by the likes of GizmoSlip and JerryRigEverything. Since the Galaxy S9 is set to be an incremental update on the Galaxy S8, it's unlikely to do much better in that department. Thankfully, the popularity of Samsung devices means that there will be no shortage of cases to keep home drop tests from ending badly, ranging from thin TPU skins to leather wallets and bulky, screw-laden fortresses.

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