The competition between Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. iPhone 5s is extremely close but when it comes to durability, Apple's flagship smartphone may have a slight edge. Previously, I concluded that overall, the Galaxy S5 beats the iPhone 5s when it comes to specs and features but there are many factors to consider when buying a smartphone. A new study found that the iPhone 5s may be more unbreakable than the Galaxy S5, might give clumsy people incentive to choose Apple over Samsung.
A study by SquareTrade, a provider of smartphone protection plans, showed that while the Samsung Galaxy S5 might have the most improved breakability over its predecessor, it still isn't best in class for durability like Apple's iPhone 5s. The Galaxy S5 was shown to be the most break-proof Android device over the HTC One M8 and Nexus 5, and though the S5 and iPhone 5s performed similarly in a series of tests, the iPhone was ranked better for accident-prone people due to its smaller size. Here's how the Samsung Galaxy S5, iPhone 5s, HTC One M8 and Nexus 5 performed in drop, slide and dunk tests performed by robots to measure breakability:
First, the smartphones were subjected to a 4-foot drop in a video SquareTrade posted on YouTube. The Samsung Galaxy S5, iPhone 5s, and HTC One M8 all had superficial scratches on the edges but escaped with no damage to the glass screens. The Nexus 5 was not so lucky and was the only phone to have a smashed display. The drop test is hard to watch as we all know the dread that comes from dropping our phones and having to assess the damage but the results are far from conclusive.
Second, the smartphones underwent a slide test to determine the likelihood of the device sliding off a table to possible doom. Here the Nexus 5 was shown to be the least slippery, sliding 1.7 feet, followed by the iPhone 5s with a 2.5 foot slide, Samsung Galaxy S5 with 2.6 feet and HTC One M8 with 2.9 feet. The Galaxy S4's slippery rear panel was blamed for it being more susceptible to damage but the Galaxy S5's new perforated back seems to have fixed this problem.
Last, the smartphones were all dunked into water for 10 seconds while playing a music video. The Nexus 5 was the only one to stop working in the water. The SquareTrade tester was able to start the video again afterwards but the sound was missing. The HTC One M8 was also missing sound, but the iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy S5 were both able to play video and sound immediately after being dunked in the water. Though the two devices both aced this test, the iPhone 5s' performance is more impressive given that it's not advertised as being water proof like the Galaxy S5.
While the Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5s emerged from the tests on near equal footing, SquareTrade also evaluated their risk of breakage on other factors, including size, weight, grip, quality of front and back panels, materials and design factors such as button placement. Taking all this into account, the iPhone 5s beats the Galaxy S5 but only by a small margin. The S5 scored a 6 on a 10-point durability scale (10 being the most likely to break), while the iPhone scored a 5.5. The new HTC One M8 scored a 6.5 and Google's Nexus 5 was the worse with a score of 7.
[Image via Shutterstock]