How to Find a Smartphone that Will Last

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Americans have spent more than $23.5 billion on smartphone repairs and replacements over the last seven years, and those numbers are on the rise.

So when shopping for a smartphone and exploring features like camera and speaker quality, don’t neglect to consider a device’s durability.

New research can help you make a smart smartphone decision. SquareTrade, a protection plan provider for smartphones, tablets and other electronics, tested the durability of new smartphones from Samsung and rated the phones according to their breakability.

The SquareTrade Breakability Score is based on a number of factors, from physical characteristics to the results of SquareTrade’s drop, dunk and slide tests — and for the first time, the score incorporated results from a new bendability test.

“Bendability may be good in the yoga studio, but it is not what you want in a mobile device,” says Jessica Hoffman, vice president of global communications for SquareTrade.

Looking into new phone options? Consider these results:

• Samsung created its most durable phone yet with the recently released Galaxy S6, which performed well in all four tests. It was the least bendable of any of the phones tested, surviving 110 pounds of pressure. Under the same amount of pressure, the new Galaxy S6 edge cracked, and the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus bent. The iPhone 6 even separated near its volume button.

• Samsung took a step back with the slide test: The glass-bodied Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge slid farther than any other phone, and twice as far as the plastic Galaxy S5.

• Both new Galaxy phones survived six drops from six feet high without breaking — perhaps due to their Corning Gorilla Glass 4 bodies. In comparison, the Galaxy S5’s removable back popped off repeatedly, exposing the battery and other components. The iPhone 6 Plus broke apart entirely and stopped working 30 minutes later.

• All phones performed equally when dunked into water for 10 seconds.

The lower the score the more durable the phone is and after testing was completed, the Galaxy S6 came away with a Breakability Score of 4, faring better than its Galaxy S5 predecessor, which received a Breakability Score of 6 in last year’s test. However, the Galaxy S6 edge performed slightly worse with a Breakability Score of 5.

“Samsung has sharpened its game with the new Galaxy S6, the phone we believe is the new phone to beat when it comes to durability,” says Hoffman. “However, while thinner and larger screen phones like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Apple iPhone 6 are extremely popular and continue to make gains in durability, our claims data shows that consumers are breaking them at higher rates than ever before.”

To watch breakability testing in action visit, https://youtu.be/A3rF6B4qBvg. For more information on protection plans for today’s most popular smartphones, visit www.SquareTrade.com.

Before investing into technology you will use daily, make sure the product you choose is built to withstand inevitable wear and tear — from drops to slides to bends.