Galaxy S10 Plus drop test: Is ceramic tougher than glass?
Samsung's new Galaxy S10 Plus has the same curved screen design on the front as previous models, except this time around, you get two materials to choose from on the back.
Glass or ceramic?
The screens are covered in Gorilla Glass 6, but the glass on the back is Gorilla Glass 5, just like the S9 and the S8, both of which broke on the first drop in our previous drop test.
But buying the ceramic S10 Plus means you'll have to spend at least $250 more than what you'd spend on the $999 base model of the S10+ because it's only available on a 512GB or 1TB storage option.
So is it worth it?
And well, that's why we're here.
I'm going to drop a ceramic S10 plus and a glass S10 plus to see which one survives the highest drop.
Now before we begin I should point out that both these phones come with a pre-installed screen protector.
That could easily be confused with the packaging, so I reached out to Samsung to see what they recommended.
And they recommend leaving it on the phone, so that's what we're gonna do today, and that's how we're gonna drop them.
Starting at hip height which is our where our last S8 and S9 broke on the first drop on the glass back.
So let's see how these guys do.
one of them landed with the back facing me, and I can already tell that the glass survived.
Now that I'm looking at them more closely, let me wipe them downa little bit cuz they have some cement from the floor.
But now that I'm looking at them more closely, I can see that the class one Has some damage on the metal frame and a little bit of damage on the glass itself already, but nothing too serious some bumps and bruises.
The ceramic one has a little bit of a dent on the bottom of the metallic frame and just a tiny tiny tiny little dot on the actual.
Lets keep going.
So I can already tell that both the screens survived.
Because they did a little flip and landed screen side up.
But the screen protector does not look so good.
And I think to really assess the screen damage I'm gonna have to take the screen protector off.
Either way The way it is now, you probably wouldn't want to use the screen protector anyway.
Screen protector off.
And I can already see that there is some damage on the top frame over here.
Kind of where the screen protector wasn't able to cover it.
But nothing too bad on the glass itself.
Again, just on that aluminum frame.
Here on the bottom, there is a little bit of a mark on the glass, again nothing too serious.
This is gorilla glass 6 on the front of the phone, so it should be sturdier than the glass on the back of the phone as well.
Now for the ceramic phone, let's Take a look at that screen protector.
The screen protector especially on the sides doesn't look so good.
There's some bubbles over here.
So to really assess the damage and how much actually went through the screen protector I'm gonna take it off.
And show you guys, and over here on the side it does seem to have a Few dots.
Again nothing serious it could be, still be cement but as I am trying to wipe it off here it's not coming off.
So it is a little tiny dent on that glass.
And over here on the bottom you can see a little bit as well.
Both of these phones still look to be in pretty good shape so we're gonna keep going.
Okay, so [LAUGH]
this one sounded terrible, but this one didn't quite have the clean landing I was hoping for, so let's take a look.
Okay, [LAUGH] damage has been done on the back of this phone.
And the back of the ceramic phone is still okay, but the front has already cracked on the ceramic one.
So both these phones are broken at this point.
Take a look at the back of the phone here on the glass one.
The glass is totally shattered on the side, but also the glass on the camera is completely shattered So your camera will probably not work, or at least one of the three lenses on this phone will not work.
It's in pretty bad shape already.
So the ceramic phone didn't land exactly how I wanted it, it kind of flipped and actually landed on the screen and it looks really bad, first off.
It doesn't even turn on at this point.
And secondly, it's cracked everywhere.
It's got two huge dents on the side, on the corners over here, one of which I can already see through the phone.
So I can see inside of the phone behind the glass, which is really bad.
It's got cracks all over the screen.
And then this other big dent on the top.
It's Just barely you can see a little bit of the screen as it turns on just up here, but that's about it.
It just doesn't even work at this point.
So, because this one didn't really land on the back, we didn't get to try out the ceramic back.
So we're gonna run this test again on just the ceramic back, even though, at this point we've concluded that at five feet Both of these phones are in bad shape.
So that one did land on the ceramic back.
So, we've already decided that the front of this phone is completely useless.
So, focusing on the back now and it did land on the back this time.
Even though it flipped a little bit.
There isn't much damage, safe for a tiny little scrape over here on the top.
The aluminum frame did continue to get some damage, some scrapes on the side, but the back looks really nice still.
So we're gonna keep going and we're gonna take it one last step further because it's pretty much as high as I can reach, above my head to see if we can manage to break This ceramic back.
So it didn't land completely flat, but it definitely landed on the back.
And it looks great, I mean for how highly it dropped, it looks pretty good.
There is a few little tiny scars on the frame of the camera.
But nothing major.
I'm really trying hard to find more damage but I can't seem to find anymore other than what I pointed out here on the frame of the camera.
So I'm just gonna do it one more time to see if I can have it land completely flat on the back, just to keep testing that ceramic because it's hard to believe that With that solved, nothing has happened to the back of this phone.
So it did land on the back this time around but the ceramic looks fantastic.
It doesn't look like it has anymore damaged than we had already seen.
What I did notice now is that the The glass on the camera has gotten worst, it does have a hairline fracture over here going through the middle, I'm not sure that it would actually affect photos but the camera frame also has a little bit more damage.
That being said, if we are here for the ceramic, I would give it a completely passing grade.
So based on our highly unscientific testing from today I think it's pretty safe to say that the ceramic is stronger than the glass.
So if you're planning on going case free with this phone, definitely pick the ceramic.
However we all saw what happened to the screen.
So I would highly recommend keeping the screen protector that Samsung provides, or getting your own because You don't want this to happen to you.
And anything above hip height gets kinda dicey.
So that's it for this drop test.
And you can check out all our drop tests on cnet.com, and we'll continue to do more testing on the S10.
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