Durability: The Big Feature Samsung Forgot About

Hard to imagine, but there are people out there who have the enviable jobs of breaking things in the name of research. Numerous things, really; smashing everything from cars to protons together to get a better idea of what happens during impact. Somewhere in the middle, someone has the task of destroying expensive handsets such as Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 and Samsung’s (SSNLF.PK) Galaxy S 4, to find out where their weaknesses lie.

In this round, probably not surprisingly, the iPhone walked away the winner according to SquareTrade’s rigorous fitness test of the two devices. On a 1 to 10 scale, with 10 being the worst (or most fragile), the Galaxy scored a 7, whereas the iPhone scored a 5. More interestingly, the new Samsung construction is more fragile than its predecessor, the Galaxy S 3, which scored a 6.5 in the same test.

Kevin Roe, of Roe Equity Research in Dorset, Vermont, explains that the demand for the phone — its bigger screen, and thinner nature — will overrihttp://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=421432&action=edit&message=10de its increased susceptibility to accidents. “People want thinner phones and bigger screens,” he said. “That might trump the concern that the phone is more breakable.”

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Apple, meanwhile, has always been noted for its higher build quality, opting for aluminum casing where competitors tend to use plastics to save weight, and money. Though the overall build is a standard-setting design in the industry, it is having its drawbacks, as the markets appear to be moving in favor of more affordable devices. Last quarter, Samsung had one-third of the global smartphone market in the first quarter, nearly twice Apple’s share.

“While the S 4 proved slightly more water resistant than its predecessor the S 3, Samsung’s new Galaxy phone actually performed worse in most other categories,” SquareTrade said in a statement. The company sells wireless phone warranties. Reviews of the S 4 have been thoroughly mixed, garnering praise such as “best Android-driven smartphone” to “weak” and “soulless.”

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