iPhone 4S vs Samsung Galaxy S II: Which device is more durable when dropped?

Ever wondered which device would survive a fall better, Apple’s new toy iPhone 4S or Samsung’s flagship phone Galaxy S II? Wonder no longer. SquareTrade, a third-party device warranty company, conducted an informal test dropping an iPhone 4S and Galaxy S II. Let’s see which device is more durable when dropped:

Dum, dum, dum. I would love to see how Apple spins those results.

On a serious note, in a way the question is not fair. It is fairly obvious the Galaxy S II – which is covered in plastic, aside from the glass screen – would (does) survive falls better than the iPhone 4S, which is encompassed in glass aside from the aluminum band on the sides. Anyone that has ever dropped a glass bottle can tell you as much. What is more surprising, however, is how the Galaxy S II’s glass screen has no visible blemishes on it after being dropped as opposed to the iPhone 4S, who’s glass screen has a multitude of cracks. The screens for both devices are made of glass — so why is this? Thanks to something called Corning Gorilla Glass.

Corning Gorilla Glass is a special type of glass made by Corning Incorporated. According to Corning, Gorilla Glass is specially designed to provide “exceptional damage resistance to the scratches, drops, and bumps of everyday use.” And based off various tests done by many different people over the years, Gorilla Glass truly does provide exceptional damage resistance. The Samsung Galaxy S II’s screen uses Gorilla Glass, as do many other Android devices. The iPhone 4S (and iPhone 4), on the other hand, uses something called aluminosilicate glass. Apple claims this glass is similarly strong as Gorilla Glass… but most people will agree with me when I say: In reality, it is not. Of course, there are a bazillion more accessories (read: phone cases) available for iPhone 4/4S than for Galaxy S II. So it isn’t hard to cover up that shiny iPhone 4S with a case to protect it. Still, though, that doesn’t excuse the facts as shown above.

That said, is this a win for the Galaxy S II over the iPhone 4S? Strictly speaking, yes. However, in a more broad sense, this is a win for Samsung, who is notorious – and gets heavily criticized – for using plastic casings for its phones; this is a win for plastic over glass; and this is a win for Gorilla Glass.

Feel free to discuss in the comments below.

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