Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Release: Drop Test Proves Textured Plastic Is Durable While 5.7-Inch Screen Succumbs

on September 30 2013 3:42 PM
galaxy note 3 shattered
A Galaxy Note 3 handset shattered in a drop test by Android Authority. Android Authority

While the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 falls under the category of a high-end device, recent drop tests have proven it may not fare well when falling from high ends.

A recent drop test by Android Authority shows that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has some sturdiness due to a slightly updated design, but ultimately succumbs to the curse of the plastic device. Joshua Vergara of Android Authority demonstrated the standard drop test heights; from approximately five feet from the ground drops it from its back, bottom and face, which showed that the Galaxy Note 3 can withstand some drops, to an extent.

With the Galaxy Note 3 dropped on its back we see its textured plastic case acts as a bit of a cushion and gets away with just a few scratches around its camera module.  With the Galaxy Note 3 dropped on its bottom, we see some scuffs grating at the edge while the back starts to open slightly. However, once the Galaxy Note 3 is dropped on its face is where the real damage occurs; the screen completely shatters, rendering the Note 3 aesthetically displeasing at the least.

Vergara notes that the shattered glass shards have the potential to get dangerous for a user still handling their broken handset, but the Galaxy Note 3 was still functional after all three drops. This shows that user should in theory still be able to use their Galaxy Note 3 after a shattered screen, but screen repair may be needed if a Note 3 takes considerable front face damage.  

In comparison to other devices, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 especially failed the drop test when dropped on its face. A drop test of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 during its September 2012 release showed the Note 2 is a quite durable device, which didn’t incur any screen shatter, though its glossy plastic back did pop off during the impact. The Samsung Galaxy S4 experienced some screen damage during its drop test in April, but not to the extent of the Galaxy Note 3. My own Galaxy S4 handset, which experienced a sliding face first fall a month ago, suffered shattering similar to that seen in the Android Authority Galaxy S4 drop test.

image(5) My Samsung Galaxy S4 after a sliding front face fall.  Luke Villapaz

Even Apple’s “beautifully, unapologetically plastic” iPhone 5C took a considerable amount of damage being dropped on its face, which rivaled the shattering seen on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

With the exception of the Galaxy Note 2, a lack of durability is often credited to plastic chasses on smartphones, and the Galaxy Note 3 appears to follow the rules. We recommend anyone planning on buying the Galaxy Note 3 invest in a good protective case and/or screen protector to safe guard the Note 3’s edges against nicks and scratches and its front what could be extensive screen shattering.

Notably, despite its high breakability in its drop tests, the Samsung Galaxy S4 went on to sell over 20 million handsets in two months after its release. The Galaxy Note 2 has sold approximately 30 million handsets since its release. The Galaxy Note 3 is expected to sell at least 10 million handsets in the months immediately following its release.

Will you purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 after seeing its drop test? Let us know in the comments below.

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