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back to article Oi, butterfingers! Drop your mobe in a pint? Hope it's not an iPhone

A submerged Galaxy S4 will outlast an iPhone by half a second - 18.8s versus 18.3s - but when dropped from nine feet (2.74m) it's the S4's screen that shatters. This pointless destruction of consumer electronics comes courtesy of some insurance bods, who wanted to demonstrate something about water and electronics, and how …

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Anonymous Coward

Bubble my ****....

I admire the gap in the market that these people have spotted. But I'd never use them because they have such a lousy name.

That's not just a criticism of the poor branding, but more to do with the fact that this notion of 'your bubble,' is utterly meaningless. I find it infuriating.

Therefore, if I were in a position to need their help, I'd be damned sure to use someone else.

Glad I got that off my chest.

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Agreed

Anyway, why would I want to protect my Greek?

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Coffee/keyboard

On the lower drops she drops them side by side, you can see one phone lands partially on top of the other one. So one blower is getting lighter damage.

This test is scientifically inaccurate, where were the disclaimers? Im off to the Offcom office to complain about burst my bubble

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Anonymous Coward

I noticed that too. Plus, the phones end up hitting the ground at different angles. When dropping a phone, the angle it lands at is critical. My iPhone 4 has some plastic/rubber around the glass that insulates it from the metal ring around the sides of the phone. I dropped my phone onto concrete a while ago and it dented the metal ring but didn't break the glass. I'm pretty sure that if the phone landed on the glass, it would have broken. This test is not scientific at all...

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Anonymous Coward

Thought I had seen every Fandroid excuse why not to buy iPhone

I guess not though. An extra 1/2 second in water? Wow, that makes up for the Google Spyware OS selling all my data and not even asking my permission to do so. Not.

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Facepalm

Re: Thought I had seen every Fandroid excuse why not to buy iPhone

Hear that whooshing sound? That's the point going right over your head.

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Re: Thought I had seen every Fandroid excuse why not to buy iPhone

Ironic that Apple do the same to search information on their devices. Isn't it?

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Re: Thought I had seen every Fandroid excuse why not to buy iPhone

Who in the fuck even mentioned an iWotsit vs Droidthing argument about that?

Though if you think iOS isn't chock full of spyware (and very little support for rooted devices that get rid of it), you are quite the naïve little AC, aren't you?

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WTF?

cumulative effect

what difference (if any) would we see if these tests had used new phones at each stage, instead of handsets that had been subject to an ever growing amount of abuse..?

Also, if an iPhone can survive a 20ft drop onto concrete, what the hell do people do to their phones that makes 'cracked iPhone screen' such a common affliction?

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Re: cumulative effect

My S3 died after a 1.5m drop onto concrete, but also survived many falls before that... it all depends on HOW it lands, not just how high it was dropped from.

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Re: cumulative effect

Simple. It's the way it hits that causes the cracks. Put simply, if the phone lands face-first, the glass is not likely to survive. Similarly, if sat on a sufficiently hard surface, you could probably stress the phone to the point of cracking. Most cracks I've seen, however, radiate from a point in the middle of the glass, indicating an sufficiently-hard direct impact. What struck the glass hard enough to make the impact crack, I can't say.

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I've seen a ruggedised mobile phone used to hammer a nail into a wall.

You can get nigh on indestructible phones, but they are bloody expensive.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've seen a ruggedised mobile phone used to hammer a nail into a wall.

I've got a 15 year old Nokia 3210 that is basically a zombie-in-phone-form. It has chunks taken out of it, bits missing, a smashed up screen, yet it still staggers on, relentlessly...

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Re: I've seen a ruggedised mobile phone used to hammer a nail into a wall.

I've seen a video of a supposedly indestructible phone being broken.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfBWds4HChI

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Re: I've seen a ruggedised mobile phone used to hammer a nail into a wall.

not just rugged phones, heres the current Lumia 920 screen being used to hammer a nail...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf1fRu9YgfE

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bubble everyones arse

I dont think it's meaningless i think it's pejorative.

isnt someone in a bubble removed from reality? (I think this is what they are suggesting their service does - clumsy much?)

yeah?? well you know what you can do with that insurance policy.

shove it up your own bubble. dickhead.

(that said id use them in a shot before i consign an ex mobe to fecking mazumba!) the name is bad enough but that grimacing spaz in the old ads.....uuuugggh! muthaaaaa! where's me dried frog pills?)

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Anonymous Coward

What about the fish?

The poor goldfish, all that toxic Apple and Samsung tat invading their domain...

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Joke

Re: What about the fish?

... so Apple and Samsung are sleeping with the fishes?

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Re: What about the fish?

We can but hope..

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Scientific evidence

These videos provide about as much scientific evidence as simply saying "my phone is more durable than yours! nyah nyah!.

The survival of a drop from any height will be highly dependent on what part of the device actually impacts the ground, both on the initial impact and after bouncing.

On the 9ft drop the iPhone appears to land bottom edge first, with subsequent bounces mostly hitting the edges. The Samsung on the other hand appears to impact on at least one of it's flat surfaces which is going to put considerably different pressure on the screen.

As for the water immersion tests, sure one phone may "survive" longer than the other by 0.5s in the sense that it still powers on. But do either of them actually function properly afterwards? Are the displays still working properly? Do the touch panels still responds correctly? etc.

It's rather like testing which ethnicity of people survives drowning better by seeing if they are still alive afterwards, but not bothering to test if they've suffered brain damage from the experience.

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Re: Scientific evidence

Also I would like to add, the TV show Braniac : Science Abuse, is actually more scientifically valid than this.

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Devil

Re: Scientific evidence

Agreed...

But I need to ask will they blend?

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Re: Scientific evidence

The phones or the people of different ethnicity? I'd be amused to see either tested.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scientific evidence

I once spent a weekend practicing how to drop a product we were developing so that it still worked and we could certify that it had passed a certain drop-test.

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hmm not exactly truthful

No one else notice

How do we know the phones still worked. neither was switched on and some cracks are so fine youd not notice them.until the screens lit.

completely pointless tat. just some tart trying to sell insurance (that you get with a decent bank account anyway).

how do we know the apple survived better or that the sammy gave up the ghost earlier neither where working anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows phone kept running?

Being the spawn of evil it was rejected by the water and kept running... Blah blah blah

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Anonymous Coward

even if that was scientific its saying they wont pay out for iphones that are dropped as they consider them proof from dropping at 9m....

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Happy

Real World

My colleagues Galaxy S4 screen shattered on its first tumble from about 18" and my iPhone stayed submerged in thread cutting fluid for several minutes while I drained the tank to retrieve it. Other than a distinct odor for a few days it is fine.

Jim Bobs test facility will never give you remotely accurate test results, there are simply too many variables in the real world that have impacts (ha) on an item in the wild. A repeat of the simple tests performed here will certainly give different results: Likely 180 degrees out from the original findings. It would be fun yes, but I foresee 'tests' like this being used to adjust insurance premiums for 'tougher' phones and that's just no good.

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Trollface

Water load of nonsense

The first thing you do after the phone gets wet is pull the battery out and leave it to dry.

How did the two phones fare after that test?

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Waste of a good phone that! Depends how it falls but 9' is good enough for me.

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FAIL

Half a second? That makes all the difference! Sell me an Android right now! Not.

And if you can't keep your phone out of your beer you are intellectually on par with a potato.

Slow news day on El Reg? This is sad even for the first Fanboy Church of Android.

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Half a second? That makes all the difference! Sell me an Android right now! Not.

And if you can't keep your phone out of your beer you are intellectually on par with a potato.

Slow news day on El Reg? This is sad even for the first Fanboy Church of Android.

To quote TFA:

A submerged Galaxy S4 will outlast an iPhone by half a second - 18.8s versus 18.3s - but when dropped from nine feet (2.74m) it's the S4's screen that shatters.

There are some seriously insecure fanboys on this comments section. WHERE IN THE FUCK WAS THIS TURNED INTO AN ANDROID VERSUS IPHONE SLAGFEST?

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Happy

When does it not?

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Facepalm

Good point.

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Water damage doesn't have to be permanent

This is what I'm missing out on here a bit. Sure; eventually those phones will stop working but it's not due to the water perse; but simply because water isn't an isolator. So al sorts of weird and unwanted connections will be made, eventually resulting in a direct connection on the battery, and that's kinda bad.

But the thing is; this doesn't have to be the end of the phone. Take it apart,dry up the individual components and then let the whole thing dry up for a day or two. Chances are high that it will simply continue working.

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Re: Water damage doesn't have to be permanent

Also depends on the water. Phone drops in fresh water, you have a chance. Drop it in the SEA, however, and you're basically screwed (not only is the salt in seawater an electrolyte, but the dissolved chemicals make cleaning it off afterward a pain; miss a spot and the minerals will deposit).

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Boffin

Re: Water damage doesn't have to be permanent

Okay, so a sample of 1 is not conclusive evidence, but I've found an iPhone on a beach that clearly had water (presumably salt water) behind the screen. it had been bashed about by the tide, and definitely did not turn on. I gave it to a friend as I was not staying in his country.

two weeks later, he powered it up, turned it on, and actually found it working. to his chagrin, the owner wanted it back, but salt water does not necessarily completely corrode the electronics. I was very surprised it had not shorted the battery entirely.

*Okay, so it did have a sort of all weather rubber casing covering all the back and sides, but water was behind the screen, and not the screen protector, so I would have expected it long since dead

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Destruction tests

When I was at Bell, a rep from Panasonic turned up one day to punt Toughbooks. To show just who was boss he invited us all out to the car park and promptly drove his BMW over his own Toughbook. It was in a pretty bad state when he was done, but blow me down the thing still booted.

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Re: Destruction tests

We had some CF25's in that *had* to be destroyed. That was actually easier than said and we had great fun trying to disable them. Even the prehistoric Hyster gas forklift driven over them didnt do much more than cosmetic damage.

Extreme over voltage killed one (10Kv @ 200mA)

Two more fell pray to a wood chipper

Of the remaining three one was beaten to deat with an IBM keyboard (sort of which would give out first) not sure how we killed the remaining two.

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Re: Destruction tests

*Had* to be destroyed? As in confidential data that had to go? Whatever happened to just removing the storage medium and dealing with it as appropriate (I've been partial to fire myself--even if you don't destroy the drive outright, the heat alters magnetism)? Just curious.

As for a test, it's best to find a source that performs a standardized test and describes, precisely, what's involved in each test. For the drop test, I would expect it to be performed from at least a 2m drop (say, a tall man drops the phone while holding it up to his face) and face-first (worst-case scenario, usually). Perhaps also a sit test involving the phone being tightly wrapped around a 30Kg round weight (simulating being stuck in the back pocket of skintight jeans) which is then set down on solid wooden bench such that the phone is between weight and wood (and then sitting on it).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Destruction tests

Doesn't surprise me if the laptop has some metal cross-members. Sort of like driving over a metal rod.

More interesting to me would be blasting it with sand or water.

Actually it occurs to me that the pressure exerted by a car (3500 lbs divided by 4, more or less, over a surface area of ... 20? square inches) might be significantly less than simply dropping the laptop from several feet (8 lbs accelerated 6 feet, contact patch likely to be much smaller). If I was more motivated I might try to work out some numbers but I'm not. :(

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Devil

Half a second?

The Samsung lasts 18.8 seconds and the iPhone only lasts 18.3 seconds? Well the iPhone is clearly utter tat compared to the shining beacon that is the Sams... oh wait they're both dead.

If you drop your smartphone in a pint you better hope it was an empty...

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Trollface

Re: Half a second?

So this is actually reasonably good news - I'm fairly sure I can extract said android phone from said pint/ toilet bowl/swimming pool, pop the back and remove the battery in this amount of time thus removing the electricity from the equation. Pop in some rice/silica gel desiccant, leave in the airing cupboard for a day or two, and fingers crossed, it'll survive the ordeal.

With an iphone, you have to remove the battery - oh wait, no, sorry - unlock it, hold down the power button, swipe, and wait for a shutdown, still waiting, oh darn, it's shorted. Back to apple it is then. Still, at least their customer service is top notch...

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Happy

Re: Half a second?

Phones which have the "feature" of a user-removeable battery will survive a short dunk if the user's quick enough to do this. Had that happen with a couple of Nokias. They lived on without a problem, except for one that required replacing the ringer.

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Hoe
Stop

Um 18.8 Really?

Isn't it just me or doesn't it look like the Galaxy has crashes (timer stops at 10secs) long before it 'dies', for all intense and purposes I think it was already dead!

Best not be getting mine wet then!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Um 18.8 Really?

Probably got confused by the water on the screen and understood it to be a tap stopping the timer.

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EXPLODING PHONE?

These things have LITHIUM batteries - LITHIUM explodes on contact with water. Elf and Safeti - we paranoids demand to see the risk assessment before we even watch this ....

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Re: EXPLODING PHONE?

METALLIC Lithium, yes. But most rechargeable batteries don't contain metallic lithium but rather a lithium compound (which means the lithium is already reacted and more stable in the presence of water).

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Re: EXPLODING PHONE?

Naw, they contain lithium. The more highly charged, the better condition it's in. You can extract the lithium foil and do various interesting things with it, including dipping it in water to watch it bubble, or watching it react with moisture in the air.

Difference is, it's all wrapped up and sealed inside, which is kind of why the packs swell up like balloons shortly before catching fire if you do something silly to them.

Oh, bear in mind that lithium is a rather nasty poison and will do funky things to your head before it kills you.

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