Drop tests, static electricity, dust exposure & more – how Samsung tests the Galaxy S5

April 10, 2014

    Samsung S5 Static electricity gun

    You’ve heard about automotive crash testing and crash tests for motorcycle helmets. Samsung, too goes through great lengths to ensure its flagship Galaxy S5 can stand up to its claims of water- and dust-resistance, as well as mandated radiation-related safety standards.

    Throw in radiation meters, static electricity, five-foot drops and repetitive button pressing into the mix and you have some extreme durability testing!

    Here are some of the devices and methodologies that Samsung uses at its testing facility in Korea to ensure its design is up to spec. Don’t forget to check out the crash-test dummy.

    Radiation testing. No matter how research claims that mobile phones don’t emit enough radiation to cause cancers and other disorders at the cellular-level, fact is that these devices do emit radiation through radio waves. For mobile phones, this is measured through the specific absorption rate (SAR) defined by the FCC and other regulatory agencies. Samsung uses a mix of foam-coated walls and ceilings, antennae and liquids that mimic the human body, in order to determine how much radiation its devices give off.

    The foam in this room absorbs waves from the S5. Samsung uses this setup to mimic an open-air environment and test the device's radio.

    The foam in this room absorbs waves from the S5. Samsung uses this setup to mimic an open-air environment and test the device’s radio.

    Durability tests. The Galaxy S5 is marketed as a water- and dust-resistant device, which should help ward against damage from spills and exposure to dusty environments.

    Samsung uses this device to expose the S5 to dust particles. Engineers then try to determine how well the device handles dust.

    Samsung uses this device to expose the S5 to dust particles. Engineers then try to determine how well the device handles dust.

    Samsung also uses a device for dropping the phone from various heights and positions, using high-speed cameras to determine points of potential stress and damage. That’s definitely more scientific than the drop tests we do!

    This device drops the S5 from various heights. The entire thing is captured by high speed cameras, helping Samsung determine potential break points when the phone is dropped.

    This device drops the S5 from various heights. The entire thing is captured by high speed cameras, helping Samsung determine potential break points when the phone is dropped.

    Samsung also tests for static electricity (featured image above), which can fry the electronics inside a device when your hands have all those extra electrons from physical activity. And if you’re curious about that home button? Yes, Sammy also presses it thousands of times to see if it will give out.

    Samsung uses this device to repeatedly press the device's physical and capacitive buttons to test for wear and tear.

    Samsung uses this device to repeatedly press the device’s physical and capacitive buttons to test for wear and tear.

    Sensor tests. Now what’s a phone without great audio? And what’s a smartphone without a decent camera? Samsung also tests the S5 for audio quality, particularly the speaker volume, microphone sensitivity, and how well these perform when set against a human face.

    Samsung audio engineers test the S5's speaker quality and mic sensitivity with different simulated noise settings.

    Samsung audio engineers test the S5′s speaker quality and mic sensitivity with different simulated noise settings.

    What’s interesting is that engineers fine-tune the S5 differently depending on the intended market. For example, models meant for European markets have different volume and audio sensitivity compared with those meant for Asian markets, taking into account the expected noise levels in these scenarios.

    Of course, these scenarios are done in controlled environments, which means the real-world might result in different levels of stress. Still, you can hand it to Samsung for its due diligence. While you probably won’t immerse your smartphone in a bag of flour, it’s probably going to get a few dust particles and pocket lint wedged into in-between spaces due to regular use.

    Interested in learning more about the Galaxy S5? Here’s our review and first thoughts. Do you think Samsung’s controlled testing is extreme enough, or is there no match for real-world testing when it comes to a device you carry around in your pocket all day?

    Comments

    • xd feng

      rigid flex circuits is designed to be of high reliability,high density, high stability and durability, moreover, FPC is light in weight,thin in thickness and small in size.

    • iainbong

      I’m pretty sure all smartphone manufacturers does these to their own waterproof models. No surprise about this. Samsung can stop paying people to write about these things. Sony has been manufacturing waterproof phones and yet they never release these ‘discovery’ articles to their models.

      • LLLLL

        Dude plzzzzz…AA does not gets paid for witing posts for sammy….it just says stuff….reports said sony has one too….but with very lessser functions…and now stop insulting AA

        • jangeloracoma

          Hello. It’s actually the BusinessInsider team that got invited to visit Samsung’s testing facilities. We’re pretty sure all manufacturers test their devices — it’s part of quality assurance, after all. Perhaps it would be a good idea for other brands to showcase their testing procedures, as well.

          I kind of remember the ThinkPad ads showcasing how tough those notebooks are (that was pre-Lenovo, I believe). Again, real-world scenarios might differ drastically. My brother spilled pineapple juice on his supposedly liquid-resistant Xperia and it got fried inside.

      • Android Developer

        I actually like those kind of videos, but they should also show comparison vs the other “rivals”…

        For example, I liked the video pantech has done for their Vega Iron device.

      • Alex Cuaron

        Tired of people who think that everything comes at a price. Get a freakin life!

    • Alex Cuaron

      Nothing seems to change my mind about Samsung. Expected so much…. Damn..

    • Red Soga

      Thanks to visit my Website: http://WWW.SOGARED.COM, We are China wholesalers!

      Here you can buy lots of merchandise brands! The Secret,Super Good

      High quality,Cheap,and save 30%

      Do not miss the opportunity to surprise waiting for you!

      24 hours for your service! Thank you!

      I HOPE YOU LOVE IT,IF YOU NEED SOMETHING,CAN CONTACT ME DIRECTLY

      Welcome to http://WWW.SOGARED.COM ,Please click http://www.sogared……..com ooooooo

    • Luka Mlinar

      “This device drops the S5 from various heights” ON WHAT? If you want to do a real test do it on asphalt. I don’t trust any of their test’s. I’ve seen OPPO drop their phones or rubberized mats. Geniuses at OPPO think people have rubberized floors in their home. Loos like Samsung might be doing the same.

    • muski

      Galaxy S5 may be the soul device for them, but they never did those tests with the cheaper line-up! I have seen GALAXY S-DUOS-2 and GALAXY GRAND shatter to pieces after single mediocre 4-5 feet accidental face-drops! My Xperia U (cheaper handset) fell after a FootBall hit it, and never broke anything!

    Popular

    Latest