Galaxy S7 vs. iPhone 6s: Which is tougher?

New tests pit Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge against Apple's iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Do the waterproofing claims hold true? Which is the toughest smartphone?
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Protection-plan specialists SquareTrade have been busy testing the durability of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge smartphones, and pitting them against Apple's iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in its latest Breakability tests.

To help them carry out repeatable tests, SquareTrade added two new robots for the latest round of Breakability tests - the Deep Water DunkBot and the TumbleBot.

The Deep Water DunkBot submerges phones under five feet of water for 30 minutes to test water resistance, while the TumbleBot continually drops the devices in an enclosed chamber at a rotational speed of 50 revolutions per minute for 30 seconds in order to test durability.

How did the devices fair?

  • Water resistant? Yes. Waterproof? No. While the S7 and S7 Edge both survived 30 minutes under water, it turns out that their audio was permanently muffled and distorted. The iPhone 6s lost all audio and suffered water damage under the screen, while the iPhone 6s Plus malfunctioned at 10 minutes and died at 24 minutes.
  • The iPhone 6s is a tumble master. The iPhone 6s was the only smartphone to survive SquareTrade's tumble test unscathed. The S7 and S7 Edge both suffered significant damage to their back panels, while their front screens had minor cracks. The iPhone 6s Plus' screen completely shattered.
  • Sidewalk resistant? No. Dropped on their corners from six feet high, the S7 cracked after four falls, while the S7 Edge was completely unusable after seven. Dropped facedown, the S7 shattered on the first fall, while the S7 Edge shattered on the second.
  • Bend issues persist for Samsung. SquareTrade's testing showed that the S7 Edge performed the same as its S6 Edge predecessor. Not only did the phone crack at 110 pounds of pressure, but it also reached catastrophic failure at less than 170 pounds. The S7 withstood 170 pounds of pressure - the same as the iPhone 6s.

Here's a video of the testing in action.

"Samsung's new phones may hold up to an impressive amount of water, but we've found that they still struggle to keep up with the iPhone when it comes to screen durability," said Aileen Abaya, director of communications at SquareTrade. "So while the S7 and S7 edge may be perfect for underwater adventurers, those of us who are clumsy or accident-prone should still be careful about drops and tumbles."

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