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Galaxy S24 Ultra fares worse in drop test than the Galaxy S23

Published Feb 5th, 2024 6:50AM EST
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Front With S Pen
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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The Galaxy S24 series is out, and we’ve already reviewed the Galaxy S24 Ultra, the obvious star of the three new handsets. With its larger footprint, the Galaxy S24 Ultra has two immediate benefits: the larger display and battery capacity. The Ultra also features a built-in stylus and more camera sensors because there’s more room inside the handset. 

Samsung then gave the Galaxy S24 Ultra additional perks that have nothing to do with size. The Ultra is the only phone to feature a titanium frame. It’s also the only Galaxy S24 variant to get Corning’s new Gorilla Armor glass panel that’s more difficult to scratch than Victus 2. And finally, the Galaxy Ultra gets a flat screen rather than a curved one at the edges. This should further improve its durability.

However, we just saw a drop test that proved the Galaxy S24 Ultra won’t survive accidental drops better than previous models. And now we have a more professional drop test from Allstate that reconfirms those findings. Not only that, but the Galaxy S24 Ultra, and the entire series, does worse than its predecessor.

Let me get this out of the way first: There’s no such thing as a perfect drop test. That is, these drop tests aren’t perfectly objective. But there are folks who try, and Allstate is one of them. They use a robot to try to deliver similar drop experiences for all phones, though you can’t perfectly control how a phone touches down against the sidewalk. 

With that in mind, Allstate found that the Galaxy S24 phone received damage identical to the Galaxy S23 when dropped on the back against concrete from six feet. But the display was “completley non-functional” after one drop on the display. 

The Galaxy S24 Plus shattered on its first front and back drops and then was unusable. The Galaxy S23 Plus survived drop tests last year. 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Display
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Display Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The biggest surprise came from the Galaxy S24 Ultra. It should be more durable than the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but it did worse than its predecessor: 

Surprisingly, the S24 Ultra, despite its upgraded cover material, new titanium frame, and flat-edge design, also shattered after one front- and back-down drop from six feet, unlike its S23 Ultra predecessor which proved more durable in our drop tests last year.

While the phones still powered on, they were unusable after the drop test. The moral of the story will feel like deja vu. You will need a protective screen and case for the Galaxy S24 phones. Even if you get the Ultra. Or, maybe, especially if you get the Ultra. Its more durable materials will not prevent accidental damage if you drop it. And the size might work against it. 

I found the Galaxy S24 Ultra to be too large for my taste. I can see how I might accidentally drop the device while trying to use it with one hand. 

Allstate says that American smartphone owners paid $8.3 billion in repair and replacement costs after accidents that damaged the screen. The report also notes that 89% of smartphone users use their smartphones one-handed, and 78% say they dropped the devices while doing so. The data comes from a December 2023 Allstate study.

If you want a caseless Galaxy S24 experience, you should at least consider a screen protector. Maybe pair it with extra Samsung Care coverage or additional insurance to reduce the cost of repairs.

The full Galaxy S24 drop test video follows below, showing the extensive damage of the new phones. The Galaxy S23 drop test is available at this link for comparison.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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