Samsung has had to defend the Galaxy S4’s plastic form factor quite a bit since the device was announced back in March, and one of the ways it has done that is by touting the handsets durability. Plastic, Samsung claims, makes the device much more robust than competing smartphones because it bends and absorbs impact.
But as we suspected all along, aluminum is stronger. In a smartphone torture test performed by warranty provider SquareTrade, the Galaxy S4 fails to beat the iPhone 5 in drop tests, and even proved to be more fragile than its predecessor, the Galaxy S III.
If you’ve ever dropped your iPhone or taken it for a dip in the swimming pool, then you know the pains of having your favorite electronic device murdered in front of your eyes. You also know the pains of the repair bill in your attempts to bring your iPhone back to life.
SquareTrade released a new study today that shows damaged iPhones have cost Americans about $5.9 billion in repair bills since their introduction in 2007. The study also found that in the last 12 months alone, 30% of iPhone owners damaged their device.
If you have a tendency to drop your expensive gadgets, and you’re looking for something a little more robust than the iPad, you should probably check out Google’s new Nexus 7. According to this drop test from warranty provider SquareTrade, Google’s $199 slate handles drops and water damage better than the new iPad.
The saddest moment of my life was when my iPhone 4’s screen shattered to pieces after I dropped it while riding my bike. The second saddest moment of my life was when the Apple Genius Bar guy told me how much it was going to cost to fix it. (What can I say, I’ve lived a sheltered life). Had I known about SquareTrade’s insurance for iPhone the painful blow could have been softened. SquareTrade’s got some great prices on insurance coverage for your iPhone so that you don’t have to worry about what happens when you inevitably do something clumsy like spill your milk on the speaker, or drop it while playing with your kids.
Because our readers have been so amazing to us this year, we’re giving away two iPhone warranties (worth $200 each!). The warranties last for two years, so if you just bought an iPhone 4S you can rest assured that your beautiful new baby will stay intact for the remainder of your contract. Wanna win a free iPhone warranties?
Apple’s Smart Cover for iPad 2 is great for protecting your iPad’s display from nicks and scrapes while in your gadget bag, but how good is it actually protecting your iPad 2 when it goes flying from your butterfingers to skitter across the concrete pavement?
Note: Jonathan Zschau is a Boston-based attorney and a specialist in consumer rights.
UPDATE: SquareTrade has objected to some of the statements and characterizations in this article. The company has some good points, which are published in full here.
As well as a good case or bumper, should you buy an extended service plan to protect your iPhone?
These service contracts are commonly referred to as “extended warranty plans,” “protection plans,” or “insurance plans” and promise to insure your iPhone from defect, accidental damage, and sometimes loss or theft.
The problem with extended service contracts is that they don’t offer you much more than you are already entitled to through your iPhone’s warranty, AppleCare, or existing consumer protection laws.
Although these service contracts do offer additional protection from accidental damage, theft, or loss they are also fraught hidden conditions, exclusions, and deductibles, which ultimately detract from their utility. Except for a very small minority of unusually accident-prone iPhone owners, these extended service contracts are a waste of money.
Even if Glassgate turns out to be much ado about nothing, the iPhone 4 is a fragile little phone, despite its Gorilla Glass plated front: according to a study by third-party warranty company SquareTrade, the iPhone 4 is the most fragile smartphone that is.