Phone

Here’s how the Galaxy S9 is more durable than the Galaxy S8

The glass-heavy design language of Samsung’s mid-range and flagship smartphones these days warrants the use of a case for anyone not willing to risk seeing the glass shatter and pay a huge price to get it fixed. When your phone has a slab of glass on the front and back, it’s prone to damage no matter how durable it may be. Of course, luck’s a huge factor in deciding whether a drop will let your phone get by with a few minor scratches or make it shatter on impact, but Samsung isn’t sitting around idle, either. For its latest flagships, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, the company has made a few key design changes to improve durability compared to the Galaxy S8 and S8+.

Stronger metal, thicker glass equals higher durability

First, the front glass has been made slightly thicker – the S9’s front glass’ thickness value stands at 0.6T, while the S8’s was 0.5T. Just thicker glass isn’t enough, however, so Samsung has also upgraded the metal on the sides of the device. The company has used AL 7003 high-strength aluminum on the S9, and AL 7003 doesn’t deform as much as AL 6013, the aluminum used on the Galaxy S8. The metal rim on the S9 and S9+ is 0.2 mm thicker, and thanks to the stronger type of aluminum, the metal transfers 1.2 times less shock to the glass around it upon drop impact.

That might not seem like much, but when that glass is curved, as on every Samsung flagship these days, we’re guessing even such small improvements can do wonders. These build changes do mean the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are slightly thicker (0.5 and 0.4 mm respectively) than the S8 or S8+, but we’re told that’s also partly because of the repositioned fingerprint sensor and because Samsung wanted to keep the same battery capacities (3,000 mAh and 3,500 mAh).

Again, when fortune smiles on you, you can get away with dropping a flagship phone bought with your hard-earned money without much damage. But there’s only so much luck can do for you, so it’s great to see Samsung has taken the necessary steps – however minor – to make its latest flagships more durable than the ones that came before.

For more on the Galaxy S9, check out our extensive coverage.

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warlockba
warlockba

Honestly? This is a joke. Arguing that thicker glass makes a more durable device, is pointless, when their old designs were more durable and future proof. They were not eye candy, that’s for sure, but going glass and saying you can make it more durable does not add up …
But hey, most of the Samsung fanboys will vote me down. Well, no problem, now that Samsung also wants to enter automobile industry, wait till you get your first car out of glass, and then we talk 🙂

Horus Osiris
Horus Osiris

S8 looks better

WP00
WP00

The S8 was the most fragile Galaxy device ever (way more than even the S7 Edge). I’ve never seen someone use an S8 caseless and have it not crack, so this change is definitely great.

AgentBachman
AgentBachman

Got my S8+ on 4/24 and never put a case or screen protector on it. It’s in near perfect condition.

Bobbingalong
Bobbingalong

The s8 actually feels much nicer in the hands than the “fatter” s9 and compared side by sides it does look chunky

With the extra girth they should have put a bigger battery in it or at least 6gb ram and dual camera lens

61530041
61530041

Now the s8 is not a perfect phone?

Lukasz1536
Lukasz1536

Perfect phone does not existe. S8 is still a good phone, but S9 is better. Design maybe is the same or similar, but is this a bad thing? I do not think so, because S8, Note8 and now S9 are the most beautiful phones.

Martin Eugeniev
Martin Eugeniev

Nice to see that Samsung is making improvements

Biransahin
Biransahin

It’s good to see the extra structural strength. I use my phone without a case in the safe environment of my home, carpets and cork wood floors! When going out I always pop a case on it. It’s not a big deal and worth it for the cool premium feel of a top of the range Note8.

Marty04
Marty04

Wow, so Samsung used 6000 series aluminium on their previous phones and they didn’t bend like iPhones. Obviously Samsung and Nokia know it’s not about materials but how you design the device to be strong.

RoadRunner99
RoadRunner99

Plastic phone -> not premium!

Glass “premium” phone -> case needed -> plastic phone.

Logic?

cuervo792
cuervo792

So how is a plastic phone more premium, exactly?

RoadRunner99
RoadRunner99

If you ask me, I think the concept of premium is totally made up by the media. In any case, whether you consider it “premium” or not, it’s debatable at the least what advantages we got out of fancy materials such as glass. I can understand why manufacturers love these new designs (fragility, slippery backs and non-removable batteries are good for their business) and media as well (flashy devices attract more clicks). From the point of view of consumers, well, I don’t think it’s as clear-cut. And it’s not like I don’t like attractive devices, but I see no reason… Read more »

martindale
martindale

Correct on all points!

Martin Eugeniev
Martin Eugeniev

OMG you are so right! But metal last much,much more than the plastic and same goes for glass… so imagine it after a year the plastic has ripped of its coating whereas the metal hasnt. Plus the metal is more durable than plastic. I remember my S4 years ago I was cleaning my shoes and it bended a little and a part of the frame just cracked. Even with a case. So this is important! Plus some users dont care and just use their phones without a case and that doesnt bother them.