International Samsung Galaxy S4-Lock Screen

Will it blend? Probably — what doesn't? — but even more importantly is that, when the circuits meet the pavement, the Samsung Galaxy S4 breaks.

As if to corroborate the results from TechSmartt's S4 vs. iPhone 5 drop tests, in comes warranty provider SquareTrade with its own lackluster ranking for the Android device using its "Richter Scale for Device Danger." According to the breakability report, the group rated the latest Galaxy a 7 for "very dangerous," deeming it more fragile than both the iPhone 5 and its own predecessor, the Galaxy SIII, which earned a 5 and a 6.5, respectively.

Although the Galaxy S4 is a little more water-resistant than the previous Galaxy phone, says the company, "it performed worse in most other categories." The phone broke more easily in the study's drop tests and, noted researchers, it was more difficult to hold in a secure grip. Things like weight balance can influence how "it spins in free-fall, making it more likely to land on its screen," says SquareTrade CMO Ty Shay, who also notes that other factors like rubber material and size can affect grip.

But the butter-fingered masses and extreme tech users don't have to put away their Android aspirations just yet. After all, a ruggedized S4 "Active" version of the S4 is slated to arrive this July. And when it does, you can bet more researchers and reviewers will be hurling these devices into the ground, just to see if it can take a better beating than its sibling.


SquareTrade's Breakability Score Debuts as New Richter Scale for Device Danger – New Samsung S4 Rated a Dangerous 7

New Scorecard Fills Gap Left By Traditional Product Reviews and Calculates Danger in Everyday Situations

SquareTrade®, the top-rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers, today announced its Breakability Score™ for the new Samsung Galaxy S®4. The SquareTrade Breakability Score ranks today's top devices based on how prone they are to break due to accidents. Evaluating key elements such as front and back panel design, edge construction and materials, size, weight, friction quotient, water resistance and grip-ability, SquareTrade's Breakability Score fills in the missing gap left by traditional device reviews: it tests devices in everyday danger situations brought on by our lifestyles and habits.

"Our Breakability Score creates a new Richter Scale for accidental damage to help consumers assess when, where and how their phones are in danger," said Ty Shay , CMO at SquareTrade. "It's been two years since we created the first Drop Test video for the industry and we thought it was time to expand the concept."

The SquareTrade Breakability Score is based on a number of factors, from physical characteristics to the results of our SquareTrade Drop Test. The higher a device scores on a scale from 1-10, the higher the risk of it breaking due to an accident.

Comparing the Samsung Galaxy S4 to the S3 and Apple's iPhone®5, the iPhone 5 was the clear winner. SquareTrade's Breakability Score revealed the following:

While the S4 proved slightly more water resistant than its predecessor the S3, Samsung's new Galaxy phone actually performed worse in most other categories. Major strikes against the S4 include high breakability during SquareTrade Drop Tests, a slippery back panel, and a wider screen that reduces grip-ability, especially compared to the ultra-slim iPhone 5. Breakability Score: 7

While the Samsung S3 screen is more durable, it is less water resistant than the S4 and its plastic back and wide width decreases its grip-ability. Breakability score: 6.5

The iPhone 5 scored the highest of the three phones tested. While it lost points for its larger size due to more breakable surface area, its excellent grip-ability and low friction coefficient make it far more durable overall. Breakability Score: 5

"Our research and experience shows that even the smallest device characteristics can dramatically affect its breakability: the weight balance of a device can affect the way it spins in free-fall, making it more likely to land on its screen; devices with rubber backs are less likely to slide, and device dimensions can effect how snugly smartphones fit in pant and jeans pockets," continued Shay. "The likelihood of damage due to these common scenarios has never been higher."


We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.