Samsung Galaxy S23 drop test is a great argument for buying a phone case

Samsung Galaxy S23 review
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

When you’re spending several hundred dollars on the Samsung Galaxy S23, the last thing you want is a damaged phone right after you've bought your handset. But that's exactly what could happen should you drop the S23, despite all the durability-boosting features Samsung put into place.

Allstate Protection Plans, which sells insurance for mobile devices, put the entire Galaxy S23 lineup to the test, with a series of drops designed to see just how well each model dealt with falling onto the sidewalk from a height of 6 feet. A “drop bot” aided in the testing to ensure consistent drops for all three phones.

Drop tests for all three models included a face down drop, back down drop and a side down drop. Each test led to very different results for each phone, which you can see in this video.

samsung galaxy s23 with shattered screen after drop test

Galaxy S23 (Image credit: Allstate Protection Plans)

The Galaxy S23 came out the worst from Allstate's drop testing, with the display shattering during the face down drop test and rendering the phone more or less unusable. The Galaxy S23 Plus fared a little better, but still suffered a series of cracks along the bottom of the display — especially in the bottom left corner. 

The Galaxy S23 Ultra — the most expensive of the three S23 models — sustained similar damage top the S23 Plus, with cracks in the bottom corner and across the curved edge of the display.

samsung galaxy s23 ultra after drop test with shattered camera

Galaxy S23 Ultra after drop testing (Image credit: Allstate Protection Plans)

The Galaxy S23 came out a little better in the back drop test, and remained usable, though it still suffered some serious cracking across the back panel. The S23 Plus, meanwhile, suffered some hairline cracks at the top of the back panels and some scuffing of the frame. The Galaxy S23 Ultra came out a lot worse for wear. While the glass panels only suffered minor cracks, the ultrawide camera lens shattered.

samsung galaxy s23 plus with cracked back glass after drop test

Galaxy S23 Plus (Image credit: Allstate Protection Plans)

The side drop test is particularly interesting, because the Galaxy S23 escaped with very minor damage — gaining a few scuffs on its frame. The S23 Plus and S23 Ultra both finished the test with shattered front displays. The S23 Ultra came out better than the Plus, and its curved edges also suffered some cracking, but both remained fully operational.

The Galaxy S23 series comes with dual panels of Gorilla Glass Victus 2, the strongest gorilla glass made so far, and an “Armor Aluminum” frame which is apparently made from a much stronger alloy. Unfortunately it seems that these measures are not enough to protect the phones from something as simple as a fall.

If anything this testing shows how important it is to pick up a good case and screen protector for your phone. Fortunately in addition to our round-ups of the best Galaxy S23 screen protectors and best Galaxy S23 Ultra screen protectors, we also evaluate cases for all three Galaxy S models.

Phone repairs are expensive, as are replacement phones, so you really should find a way to protect your device from all the damage the world can inflict.

More from Tom's Guide

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.