Galaxy S20 Ultra drop test: Only the camera survives

The Galaxy S20 Ultra is the biggest and priciest of Samsung’s three new S20 phones, nevertheless it is probably not the hardest. It has a large 6.9-inch display with curved edges and a giant camera module on the again that stands proud like a sore thumb. To learn how it holds as much as on a regular basis accidents, I subjected a model new S20 Ultra to 5 drops from completely different heights onto the sidewalk.

Unlike final 12 months’s Galaxy S10 Plus, which was obtainable with a ceramic again, all three of this 12 months’s S20 fashions have glass on both facet. But the Galaxy S20 Ultra is the one one with Gorilla Glass 6 on each the back and front of the phone: The backs of the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus are lined in Gorilla Glass 5. They all include a preinstalled display protector, which I left on for the aim of this drop take a look at. 

S20 Ultra drop 1: Pocket top (Three ft), again facet down  

I began off by dropping the S20 with the again of the phone dealing with down to find out how fragile the digicam module is. 

The phone landed on its again as meant. It did a flip and ended up display side-up. The display, which I might see from the place I used to be standing, survived and not using a scratch, however the again was already damaged. 

Two of the 4 corners of the phone — seemingly the place it hit first — have been utterly shattered with one lengthy hairline fracture working from high to backside. I might really feel tiny glass particles come unfastened on my fingers as I assessed the injury. The solely nook that did not break was the highest left, the one closest to the digicam. The digicam module itself was intact with simply two tiny dents on the facet of the body, roughly the scale of a grain of sand. 

The injury to the S20 Ultra after the primary drop from hip top with the digicam dealing with down. 

Angela Lang/CNET

I then opened the digicam app on the phone and clicked by way of the three completely different lenses to check it out. The telephoto, wide-angle and extremely wide-angle lenses all checked out. 

S20 Ultra drop 2: Pocket top, display facet down

Next I dropped the phone from the identical top (Three ft) with the display dealing with down. Though the S20 Ultra landed face first as meant, it did not fall flat. The backside left hand nook broke the autumn and sustained many of the injury.

Even the display protector wasn’t sufficient to maintain the display from breaking. It landed proper on the tiny sliver of uncovered glass between the sting of the display protector and the metallic body, inflicting the glass round it to shatter. At least it prevented the break from spreading past the nook of the phone. The metallic body was additionally considerably beat up and dented on the nook. 


The nook of the display on the S20 Ultra cracked regardless of the display protector.

Angela Lang/CNET

S20 Ultra drop 3: Eye stage (5 ft), again facet down 

At this level, the one a part of this phone nonetheless intact was the digicam module. To take a look at how rather more it might deal with, I took it as much as 5 ft and dropped it once more with the digicam module dealing with down. 

This time my intention was missing. The facet of the phone hit first and it will definitely landed display facet up. The again had a brand new crack above the digicam module and some scrapes on the body, however the glass on the digicam was nonetheless intact. 

One extra time…

I tried the drop repeatedly it landed on its facet, and this time there was no extra injury to the phone that I might see at first look, so I went for it one final time to see if it could land on the again. 

Third time’s the allure

The phone landed almost flat with the again dealing with down. All of the earlier cracks had continued to develop and the again was utterly shattered across the edges. It seemed prefer it was framed in shards of glass that have been coming unfastened below my fingers. The largest shocker: Still not a crack on the digicam. At least on the surface. On nearer inspection I observed a couple of specks contained in the wide-angle lens. They have been so microscopic that I simply might’ve missed them after I first opened the phone, and so they might don’t have anything to do with the drops. 


This is what the again of the S20 Ultra seemed like after the fifth and remaining drop. 

Angela Lang/CNET

To check it out, I opened the digicam app and clicked by way of the completely different lenses once more. The digicam had some autofocus points, which once more could not have been due to the drop, however in any other case it checked out and was nonetheless in working order. 

The break down 

The Galaxy S20 broke on the primary fall and even the display protector was no match in opposition to the tough sidewalk. If you have paid $1,400 (or extra) for this phone, I implore you to place a case on it! The hero right here was the digicam, which I used to be anticipating to be its Achilles heel, nevertheless it proved to be strong — no less than throughout this very unscientific take a look at. Your S20 Ultra digicam is probably not as fortunate. 

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Tarun Banerjee

Professional Web Designer & Developer,Expert in SEO & Digital Market, Founder of Tech Hunt.

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