The new Galaxy S10+ has the same curved screen design as the previous Galaxy S flagships, though the glass on the front upgrades from Gorilla Glass 5 to Gorilla Glass 6. However, on the back, you get two materials to choose from, Gorilla Glass 5 or ceramic. But buying a ceramic Galaxy S10+ means you have to spend at least $250 more than the glass variant.
The base model (8GB+128GB with glass back) of the Galaxy S10+ is priced at $999, while the ceramic models come in 8GB+512GB and 8GB+1TB memory configurations and are priced at $1249 and $1499, respectively. The ceramic models are also touted to offer added strength and durability compared to the glass counterpart. But are they tough enough to spend an extra $250 on? A glass S10+ and a ceramic S10+ were subjected to a drop test from different heights. Here’s how they performed. Do note that this isn’t the proper drop test that those drop test-focused sites and YouTube channels do. It just involves the presenter dropping the phones from various heights.
Galaxy S10+ drop test
Both the glass Galaxy S10+ and the ceramic Galaxy S10+ were first dropped from a height of about 3 feet (90 cm), a natural height from which people tend to drop their phones, with the back side facing down. As expected, the ceramic S10+ has less damage than the glass S10+. The former got away with a couple of tiny spots on the back and some scrapes on the aluminum frame. The latter got more damage but the glass survived.
The devices were again dropped from the same height, but this time with the screen facing down. And since the devices had the screen protector on, both of them got away with minimal damage on the screen. Only the edges where the screen protector wasn’t able to cover suffered any visible damage.
Even after two falls from 3 feet, both the devices looked to be in pretty good shape, and hence were subjected to a drop from 5 feet. The devices were dropped with the back facing down, but the ceramic S10+ flipped midway and landed on its screen. And the damage was done at this point. The device suffered cracks all over the screen, and worse, it stopped working. However, the ceramic back was still fine.
And the glass S10+? Well, it got shattered when dropped from 5 feet with the back side down. The glass on the back, including the glass on the camera module, was completely damaged. So much so that it had to be retired. However, the ceramic S10+ was dropped one more time from the same height. And this time, it was ensured that it lands on its back. The ceramic back, however, still had only the two small dots from the original drop, and that was it.
Naturally enough, the stakes were raised, and the device was dropped from a height of above 6 feet.. In fact, the device was dropped twice from this height, and the ceramic back still looked immaculate with just a few hairline fractures on the curved edges and on the glass over the camera module. Nothing much.
So, as you can see, the back of the ceramic Galaxy S10+ is strong enough to survive multiple drops. However, its screen is only as strong as the glass S10+, so if you do drop it from up high, hope that it lands on its back.