Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge may be able to withstand a dip in the water. But independent testing of the newly released phones finds that Apple's iPhone 6s may be more durable. The series tests, performed by phone insurance company Square Trade, found the the iPhone 6s proved to be stronger than the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, with Apple's phone less likely to crack or bend than Samsung's latest models.
Testing the water resistance of the new Galaxy phones, SquareTrade said the S7 and S7 Edge both survived 30 minutes under water, but noted that "their audio was permanently muffled and distorted." During Tom's Guide testing, in which we submerged the phones in a small tank of water for about 15 minutes, we noticed similar audio issues after we retrieved the devices. But, in our experience, the sound problems went away within minutes.
On the other hand, the iPhone 6s Plus malfunctioned after about 10 minutes of being dunked, completely dying at 24 minutes, while the iPhone 6s lost all audio and suffered water damage under the screen.
The iPhone fared better in other testing performed by SquareTrade. Thanks to its aircraft-grade aluminum body and ion-strengthened glass, the iPhone 6s emerged unscathed from a tumble test that involved being tossed around in a chamber that rotates at 50 revolutions per minute for 30 seconds. The iPhone 6s Plus' front screen was shattered, while the S7 and S7 Edge were damaged on both the back and front.
As for drop testing, after falling four times onto a sidewalk on its corners from 6 feet, the Galaxy S7 cracked. The Galaxy S7 Edge was completely unusable after seven drops from the same height on its corners. Both device screens shattered after one or two falls facedown. SquareTrade did not say how the iPhones did in this round.
Bendgate is back, except this time it appears to be a bigger problem for the Galaxy devices than the iPhones in SquareTrade's bendability testing. The S7 Edge cracked at 110 pounds of pressure, said SquareTrade, while the S7 and iPhone 6s withstood 170 pounds of pressure before cracking. The company did not provide results on this test for the iPhone 6s Plus, outside of an overall grade.
SquareTrade calculated each device's performance on all the tests, and found the iPhone 6s Plus to be the most breakable, with the Galaxy S7 Edge coming in a close second. The iPhone 6s was the least breakable of the four phones tested, though SquareTrade still rates it as a medium risk for breakability.
To be fair, Samsung has made no claims about the Galaxy S7's durability and has cautioned against prolonged underwater use. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are covered in Gorilla Glass on their front and back, which can make them slippery when wet. Regardless, SquareTrade's results is bad news for butterfingers, since it shows that today's most popular smartphones remain susceptible to damage from falls — whether onto sidewalks or into water.
Our advice? Consider a case for your Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge that can protect your new investment from bumps and bruises.