If you’re going to drop upwards of $1,199 on a brand new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, it'd be nice to know it can handle some damage. Even if you do invest in a case, there's no telling what the world could throw at you. Thankfully YouTuber JerryRigEverything has already been putting the phone through its paces.
Galaxy S23 Ultra scratch resistance
First up is the front glass’s scratch resistance. Scratches still appear despite the use of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 — Corning’s strongest glass yet, though there's a notable improvement over the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Those scratches start appearing at level 6 intensity, with deeper ones at level 7.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra with Gorilla Glass Victus 1 (below) started showing scratches at the same point during JerryRigEverything’s testing. However, the S23 Ultra’s scratches don’t appear to be quite as prominent at level 6. A light scratch is still a scratch, but it’s good to see Gorilla Glass’s scratch resistance shows some apparent improvement this time round.
Armor aluminum and S Pen tests
The armor aluminum on the sides of the phone don’t hold up too well against some torture from a box cutter, and the side buttons can easily be removed as well. Not a huge improvement from last year. Likewise the S Pen snaps in half pretty easily, so you better keep that accessory safe.
Rear glass and camera lenses
The rear glass, also Gorilla Glass Victus 2, and camera lenses seem to fare reasonably well against light scratching from that box cutter — with no comments from JerryRigEverything as he attacks them.
The front glass also handled a 60-second attack from a disposable lighter pretty well, with seemingly no damage visible on the video itself. That’s also an improvement from the S22 Ultra, which suffered an on-screen blemish after the same treatment.
Galaxy S23 Ultra bend test
Bending from the front produces very little flex, and no visible damage to the phone. The phone is also “rigid as a rock” when bending from the back. That’s exactly how he described the S22 Ultra too.
JerryRigEverything notes that Samsung has never really had any issues with durability and the S23 Ultra is no exception. There do appear to be noticeable improvements over last year, which can likely be attributed to the new display glass.
However, JerryRigEverything still notes that it’s a good idea to protect your phone with a case, as he’s done for the past few years with his personal Galaxy Note 10 Plus. Which is pretty solid advice, and I recommend investing in a screen protector to go with it.
After all, no matter how strong Gorilla Glass Victus 2 is, those scratches do show up. Even if they’re only faint, they’ll still show up from time to time and bug the heck out of you.
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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.