You've been there. Those precarious few seconds between dropping your expensive smartphone right on its face and reaching down to survey the damage. Or maybe you got thrown in a pool while your device was in your pocket, or you dropped that sucker right into the toilet bowl. Heck, I've managed to accidentally wash two devices by leaving them in my pants pocket when throwing in a load of laundry.
These scenarios often spell doom for your device and your wallet. Newer devices like the HTC One M8 have great built quality and seem to stand up to rigorous testing, even in conditions your device will probably never go through.
With the Samsung Galaxy S5 set to launch tomorrow, April 11th, let's see how it fares through its own destruction tests.
With an IP67 certification, the Galaxy S5 offers total protection against dust and protection against low pressure water jets. Samsung states that you can submerge the phone for up to 30 minutes in one meter of water. That sounds pretty nice, but how much more can it do? Product tester Keaton Keller decided to put his Galaxy S5 through its paces:
Rather than test Samsung's claim, Keaton decided to leave the device in an agitated pool for 60 minutes—and the phone was perfect! Not only did it stay on, but all functions worked perfectly.
Not satisfied with the result, he took it a step further and placed it in a washing machine for a full 60 minute cycle! Again, the device was no worse for the wear, and even got a cool blue tint on the white back cover because it was washed with a pair of blue jeans. Color me impressed!
While water drops are a big concern, the biggest culprit for phone freak outs are drops. I'm clumsy, but it's easy enough to drop your phone no matter how sure handed you are. Here's how the Galaxy S5 fares with common and some not-so-common drops, as compared with its predecessor, the Galaxy S4.
Four drops and two wheels of an Audi SUV later, and all that happened was a cracked camera housing glass and few nicks on the side. Maybe all the cries of cheap build quality are baseless, which begs the question, what the hell does it take to break this thing?
While it will probably be rare for your Galaxy S5 to be mingling amongst knives and hammers, keys are a very real concern. Whether they're cohabitating in your bag, pocket, or purse, the fact that they're sharing the same space can be a cause of anxiety. Check out how the S5 fares against a one common, and two not-so-common enemies:
Not to overdo it, but damn I'm impressed. Keys and knives left little-to-no damage, especially on the display. The hammer...well, don't go smashing your smartphone a hammer, especially the "pointy" side. And definitely don't do what this poor guy did, or you'll have a much bigger problem on your hands than a broken device:
Yea, I don't think Febreze is going to help you there buddy. Moral of the story: don't take a hammer to a lithium ion battery. Just don't.
It's worth mentioning that these tests are not scientific by any means. An off angle here or a few extra minutes in the water there could be enough to do more serious damage. But one thing's clear, the Galaxy S5 will be very difficult to bust through normal, everyday wear and tear. But if you did manage to break it, fret not, as the S5 isn't a pain in the ass to repair.
iFixit recently got their hands on the new Samsung device, and gave it a teardown:
While it may not be as easy as the S4, it's certainly not as bad the new HTC One M8.
A repairability score of 5 isn't too bad, especially when you consider that the battery is easily replaceable, and that common problem components like the headphone jack and camera modules are relatively easy to get to. When compared to the M8, the S5 is looking pretty damn good.
Based on everything here, I'm inching closer and closer to making the Samsung Galaxy S5 my next device. Aside from the bigger battery, better camera, and updated software when compared to its predecessor, the performance of the physical nature of the phone are a huge selling point for me. This is a device that doesn't need screen protectors or rubber cases, and while it feel a little funny at first, having a "naked" phone might be kind of thrilling.
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