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Galaxy S8 is reportedly the most fragile phone ever made, and repair shops are happy about that

SquareTrade, an American extended warranty service provider for consumer electronic devices, recently published a video showcasing how fragile the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+ are. It was reportedly the first phone that the company has tested that cracked on the first drop on all sides. Now, Motherboard is reporting that repair companies are stoked with the prospect of fixing the Galaxy S8 and S8+ since it is popular, fragile, and expensive, but most importantly, their replacement parts are relatively inexpensive. Repair shops reportedly started receiving calls for Galaxy S8 screen repairs within 24 hours of the phone’s release.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ feature Infinity Displays with almost no side bezels. These phones are covered by Gorilla Glass 5 panels on the front and the back. Moreover, the metal sides meet with glass panels, which results in devices that are susceptible to damage if dropped. This is making third party phone repair shops quite happy since they believe that a lot of people would accidentally damage their Galaxy S8 and bring them in for repairs. They are also happy because the screen replacement parts are relatively cheaper compared to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge at the time of their release.

The price point is good; the repairability is there. Durability-wise, it’s definitely going to break, no question about that.” Justin Carroll, owner of the Richmond, Virginia-based Fruit Fixed smartphone repair shop, told Motherboard. Repair store owners were surprised that early wholesale prices for replacement screens from China are hovering around $200, which is $50 to $100 cheaper than Galaxy S7 screen replacement parts last year. In comparison, iPhone 7 screen replacement prices were hovering around $300 at the time of the phone’s release.

The Galaxy S8 is priced around $750, so it’s worth it to get its screen repaired than buying a new device altogether. “It’s low for an OLED panel in a new flagship, especially for new screen tech like the Infinity Display,” Kev Notton, founder of San Diego-based RepairMapr, an upcoming diagnosis tool that repair shops can use to annotate their repairs. Since there’s so much fragmentation in Android smartphones, it’s not viable for repair shop owners to buy replacement parts in bulk, which makes Android phones more expensive to repair (compared to iPhones).

Independent mobile shop owners reportedly try to get the price of screen replacement under $200 – the price of most smartphone insurance plans – so that they can beat insurance companies on price. “If we can get repair price under $200 you take away all of the value insurance has. The only thing insurance can usually beat us on price point. If they can’t do that, then there’s no reason to have it,” Carroll said. Aftermarket and replacement part pricing is a function of global supply chain, so it is reportedly hard to know why Galaxy S8 screen replacement parts are cheaper this time around.

It is possible that Apple is bringing OLED displays to its upcoming iPhones, resulting in lower cost due to bulk manufacturing. It is also possible that Samsung has improved the manufacturing process for OLED displays, driving the cost down. Or it could be that Samsung understood that high prices for display repairs could turn down a lot of potential customers, so it is not going after aftermarket parts manufacturers who reverse engineer replacement parts or make them using stolen schematics (which are called counterfeit products by companies).

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bayfisher
bayfisher

when idiots use devices like hockey pucks or get intoxicated and abuse them, or drop them off ledges, of course less than 1 percent would shatter. since note 7s arent blowing up, editors got to slam samsung with screengate, and are probably apple owners.give me any device, i can crack the display.

gsdworld21
gsdworld21

Note 4 is plastic around the edges is it? Are you always a [email protected] or just on the days that end with Y. Moron

androcat8
androcat8

In good old Galaxy S2 days, phones were way more durable than current phones. I dropped my Galaxy S2 for many times from my desk and two times on concrete floor, and there was no damage on screen.

warlockba
warlockba

My Nexus S (first Samsung) still works. Using it as MP3 player … superb sound (one of the best sound centered phones ever). And I never had its batteries replaced in 6 years or so, nor any other parts …

Christopher Ross Reade
Christopher Ross Reade

You do realize that Square Trade sells warranties for these devices, so they have as clear profit motive to portray them as fragile. I wouldn’t believe anything they say on this issue.

MStuart
MStuart

Right. A curved glass sandwich is obviously something that can’t be fragile at all.

maccyb
maccyb

CNET did a drop test of an LG G6 vs S8. The LG cracked on its first drop from 1 metre onto concrete. The S8 survived numerous drops before eventually cracking. More negativity from this site.

SAMgalaxyXXX
SAMgalaxyXXX

Well, that only means that another company has been dragged down under this so called “premium” concept and in order to avoid more criticsm from the “expert reviewers” has just started to make their flagships phones more fragile in the quest of reviewers praise. Do you remember the bend test carried out by consumer reports after iphone 6 bendgate? The three top examples of “premium” phones at the time (iphone 6/6plus and HTC ONE M8) made of metal unibody were the weakest bending at 70-90 pounds pressure while Note 3 (made of plastic) bent at 150 pounds pressure followed by LG… Read more »

bayfisher
bayfisher

even bulletproof glass will shatter.

MStuart
MStuart

Samsung’s latest designs are shit. There, I said it. They’re all made to please reviewers, not for actual usage. Glass back on tablets? Madness.

warlockba
warlockba

But hey, it could be worse – maybe the next one they’ll make in form of a ball (since round is the new in) – so it can roll by itself down from the table and break. “Perpetuum mobile” for sales.

vassbak
vassbak

Latest design is the best of all mobile market by far. Even this design is innovation.

warlockba
warlockba

No, sorry, I do not agree with that (but that is my opinion) – it is not innovation. It is “packing” a ribbon on something already worse than its predecessors, and it enforces on you a reason to change the phone every year (at tops), if it does not break / fail / becomes obsolete sooner – also it feeds ones ego to have spent so much for it, even though it can’t do much more than any other (or actually does even less). If it would be so “awesome” except for the critics who love it, they would not… Read more »

HomerS66
HomerS66

@warlockba: The only reason why Samsung is losing market share in china and other asian markets is the high price and the lower price of the competitors. If Samsung would release their phones at a similiar price, their market share would increase quite a bit.
Only Apple can pull of these high prices also in Asian markets because, there is no other device which offers iOS, on the Android side there is much more competition.

warlockba
warlockba

Yes, let’s say you are right; but if those manufacturers would start selling in Europe / USA (and Huawei already does! – and others will follow – as they shaped up upon certification) – they will lose because of the same reason the market share here. I even have colleagues buying Xiaomis and Meizus here in Europe, due to the better price / quality balance.

o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

Glass backs on the phones are for wireless charging, it was either that or plastic, and Samsung will never go back to plastic because they got so much hate for it.
As for the Tablet, its called a unified design language, to match the phones, simple business strategies

MStuart
MStuart

So the only reason they stopped using practical materials is because reviewers didn’t find them shiny and fancy enough. Thanks for proving my point.

warlockba
warlockba

Wait for the 3rd year in a row with glass (or 4th), they’ll start getting hate for that too, as many people love change (and since mobile market is already mature, the only thing you can expect to change, is the design – and anyhow that is what most of the people care – shallowness of human nature, unfortunately) … reports of “bad concept / easy breaking” start popping up more and more – thus even this article …

SAMgalaxyXXX
SAMgalaxyXXX

“Unified language”? Then why not make the tablet with curved edges too? Glass back on the tab S3 is completely unnecessary because it doesn’t even come with the benefit of wireless charging and just makes it more fragile. It’s true that Samsung got a lot of hate (mainly from “reviewers” not from general consumers) because of the plastic backs but it was cheap, glossy, plastic back and also the whole phone until S5 was made of plastic. Samsung improved that with the galaxy alpha and Note 4 (not glossy and with better texture and feel plastic back and metal sides… Read more »

n900mixalot
n900mixalot

Exactly. I came to sammobile because I was SICK AND TIRED of reviewers whining about “plastic this” and “slimy” that. The devices were in CASES, nooooobody caaaared. Thankfully Sammobile wasn’t whining about it and had interesting articles about REAL issues and topics.

o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

I was actually expecting the Tab S3 to be glass, and curved like their TVs as a media consuming device, and when not in use, its AOD would be a nice as a standing frame, because the curve would allow it to stand unaided. and in case you didn’t realise, the FRONT of EVERY tablet is glass. what difference does it make if the back is too – are you going hiking up mountains with it? are you using it when you go to the shops? No. so the fragility comment is nonsense. Go put it in a case then,… Read more »

SAMgalaxyXXX
SAMgalaxyXXX

Making it look nicer? Really I don’t see how. It just makes it more fragile and it’s easier to drop a tablet than a phone because of the size. Why force people to use a case anyway? On the other hand your “making it look nicer” is contradictory when you are even suggesting it should be put in a case therefore no one can really see how nice it is.

o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

you have to be stupid to drop something that big while holding it.
I cannot justify people’s stupidity and the case is there for that added protection if you think you need it. the keyboard one, is for functionality of course. Like I said, I do not use cases, except those with added functionality.

martindale
martindale

Stupidity can be forgiven. Arrogance and crass rudeness is more problematic.

SAMgalaxyXXX
SAMgalaxyXXX

It would be even more stupid to not think you can drop any object any time regardless of the size. I’m pretty sure you’ve dropped many in your lifetime.

SAMgalaxyXXX
SAMgalaxyXXX

Read my comment again. I clearly wrote “Glass back on the tab S3” and I didn’t write anything about the front which OBVIOUSLY has to be made of glass.

o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

So why are you not complaining about the front?! its GLASS and that is your argument, isn’t it? the back is glass and is no different from the front. you’re talking crap if you tell me you’ve never held a tablet touching the front panel. I really can’t be bothered giving you a science lesson on the human hand and the ability to grip, maybe if you have wet hands, or the glass is wet. the iPhones are more slippery in the hand than the Galaxies

SAMgalaxyXXX
SAMgalaxyXXX

Yeah don’t bother with your super science explanation because I’m not interested at all.
We are talking about Samsung I don’t care about iphones because I’m not buying any.
Why would I or anyone complain about the front of a phone or tablet made of glass? What else could you make it of? You are just not making any sense when saying “the back is glass and is no different from the front”, really? Hahaha

MStuart
MStuart

Don’t you realise how idiotic it is to defend these damn things made of glass while at the same time telling everyone to get a case made of PLASTIC to solve the issues created by glass in the first place?

What’s wrong with you people?

o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

I don’t use a case on my S8+ nor on my S6 edge+ because, to put it simply, I am not going to be dropping it, I don’t need to be careful with it because its glass. I am careful with it because it is my phone. unless it is a crash test dummy, you’re supposed to care for all your stuff. so why the hell am I defending it? because idiotic people like you can’t seem to grasp the concept of business and selling products. which is why it is glass, because people like them!

MStuart
MStuart

So you defend a retarded design decision because companies are going to sell more of them to idiotic users if the design is moronic?

It actually explains a lot.

martindale
martindale

The Note 4 has plastic sides/edges. Yes, I know all the reviewers said it had metal sides, waxing lyrical about how this made it so rigid, unlike previous ‘plastic’ models. Funny really, they believe their own prejudice. But you only have to look at the cutouts for the pen, usb or jack to see that the metal edge is only a foil laminate on a polycarbonate mass. Yes, it is rigid, but not because of any metal edges. The central chassis is metal, just like it was on the original Note. But that is an engineering decision, not a ‘premium’… Read more »

SAMgalaxyXXX
SAMgalaxyXXX

What?!! Where did you get all that? The frame of the Note 4 is made of metal. If it wasn’t metal it wouldn’t have fooled any of the people that constantly did all sorts of durability tests when it came out and so far no one has said the frame was not made of metal.
Remember last year when LG tried to fool everyone with the G5 metal building and it was immediately discovered? The same would have happened to Note 4 if what you say were true.

o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

People breaking their phones within 24hrs of release, really do not deserve one. I struggle to understand why people treat their phones so badly, half the time I see a smartphone it has a cracked screen. 70% of iPhones I see have cracked screens. It’s like buying a buying a Porsche and just crashing it on the way out the garage.
You could at least but a case, and or screen protector on it.

stoertebecker
stoertebecker

Lets not forget. This is just a phone so at least it should have a decent durability

o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

My s6 edge+ did, I dropped it from about desk height a few times and it survived without scratches. I even missed my pocket one time and dropped it straight onto the kitchen tile floor, was expecting a crack at least. thankfully, it was nothing! I think they are durable enough. I think people are just careless.

warlockba
warlockba

Actually not, Gorilla Glass is tampered glass – which in turn, is similarly designed to bulletproof glass. And they share the same weakness. It is pure luck whether your phone breaks or not on the impact – whether you hit the tension cords inside the glass or not. If you hit them, even a 10cm drop can shatter your entire glass, and if you don’t, it might even survive 1m drops. Check “Prince Rupert’s Drop” – similar principle, at a more sophisticated level (check a video about it – has also cool visuals).