A negative judgment from the Stiftung Warentest can have catastrophic effects on the sales success of a device, whether it be washing machines or smartphones. If you follow this basic rule, then Samsung is able to say goodbye to many hopes that have been placed in the new Galaxy S8.
The testers of the magazine follow each specific smartphone with a certain procedure, including extensive case tests. In this case, an examiner does not drop the respective smartphone from a random height by hand, rather, they are standardized fall cycles.
The smartphone is placed in a suitable fall drum in which it falls repeatedly from a height of eighty centimeters on stone. The test is considered as passed, if the respective smartphone after a hundred of such falls is still largely unscathed. Scratches and minor bumps are taken for granted, which can hardly be avoided in such an ordeal. But overall, the device must not show any major damage, which may even prevent further commissioning.
The simulated falls do not, of course, correspond to the daily stresses, hardly anyone will drop their smartphone so often from standing hand height on the ground. Rather, the procedure is intended to depict a randomly-based plurality of bursts and falls which could result in one way or another during a life cycle. In the ideal case, or with a bit of luck, a smartphone transcends this misfortune.
Fragmented, despite Gorilla Glass 5
According to the Stiftung Warentest, most smartphones have survived this test procedure over the past few years, while the Samsung Galaxy S8 pattered. Already after 50 falls, there were jumps and clearly visible cracks in the sensitive AMOLED display of the smartphone. At the apparently even more sensitive corners, the smartphone was even clearly shattered and accordingly no longer needed. The fracture strength, which is actually hoped for by Gorilla Glass 5, can not therefore be confirmed in the practice test.
Really surprising is this result is not really. The Galaxy S8 and the slightly larger version S8 + have a curved display with rounded edges, which make the assembly of a much more stable metal frame around the display de facto impossible.
There is a good reason to argue about design – the one may be the feel and shape of the case without actually tangible edges, others do not. It is unquestionable that the Galaxy S8 is not necessarily “grippy”, although it is good in its hand despite its display size. Many testers and owners complained with the previous models S6 and S7, that the surfaces are simply too smooth and that it can therefore be disproportionately often a fall of the smartphones.
The Warentest Foundation recommends that their readers use the Galaxy S8 exclusively with a protective cover that is designed to mitigate any possible fall. The smartphone does not look so “noble”, but at least one must be annoyed much more rarely over a damaged display.