Samsung subjects its Galaxy phones to rigorous testing and quality assurance measures.

Samsung subjects its Galaxy phones to rigorous testing and quality assurance measures.

Inside Samsung’s Reliability Testing Labs: Stress-Testing Phones and Ensuring Durability

Have you ever wondered how durable your smartphone really is? Well, inside a nondescript building on Samsung’s campus in Suwon, South Korea, lies a top-secret facility where Samsung’s phones are put through a series of grueling tests to ensure they can withstand drops, dunks, extreme climates, and other hardships.

Samsung is no stranger to reliability issues. The recall of the Galaxy Note 7 in 2016 due to overheating issues and the delayed launch of its first foldable phone in 2019 after broken screen incidents are examples of the challenges the company has faced. To address these concerns, Samsung has invested in a state-of-the-art reliability testing lab where engineers and technicians work tirelessly to ensure their devices are built to last.

Torturing Phones to Ensure Durability

A tour of Samsung’s lab provides a fascinating insight into how the company stress-tests its devices. The facility is equipped with various machines and chambers designed to simulate different scenarios phones might encounter in the real world. From robots dropping phones on metal surfaces to water jets pummeling devices from all angles, Samsung leaves no stone unturned when it comes to testing durability.

Drop Tests: Can Your Phone Survive the Fall?

When thinking about phone durability, the first concern for many is whether it can survive drops. According to a study from AllState Protection Plans, 140 million Americans have damaged their phones at some point. Samsung’s lab has machines that evaluate how phones react when dropped from different angles and heights. These tests focus on specific parts of the phone, such as the screen and cover glass.

One standout test is the tumble test, where devices are put in a rotating rectangular chamber and tossed around from various angles. This test assesses how phones hold up after being hit from different directions. It’s a rigorous process that ensures Samsung phones can withstand accidental drops and impacts.

Foldable Phones: A Special Testing Regime

Foldable phones require their own set of tests to ensure they can endure repeated folding and unfolding without issues. In Samsung’s lab, robotic arms open and close foldable devices repeatedly to mimic real-world usage patterns. The goal is to understand how many times the average person would fold and unfold their device during regular use. Samsung’s foldable phones are tested to outlast 200,000 folds, equivalent to about five years of use if unfolded 100 times per day.

Foldable phones have faced their fair share of durability concerns. A quick search reveals numerous stories of broken screens on Samsung’s foldable devices circulating on Reddit, YouTube, and forums. By subjecting the devices to extensive testing, Samsung aims to prevent such issues from occurring on their commercially available devices.

Water Resistance: Making Sure Your Phone Stays Afloat

Apart from drops, Samsung also focuses on testing water resistance. The lab has machines that simulate different levels of water exposure to determine a phone’s resistance to water damage. From light sprays to complete submersion, Samsung’s phones are tested to meet robust durability standards.

In the lab, water jets soak a Samsung phone to test for the IPX4 rating, which ensures that devices can endure being sprayed with water. For more stringent ratings like IPX8, a phone sits at the bottom of a towering water tank. These tests assure consumers that their Samsung phones can survive encounters with water, be it accidental spills or usage in wet environments.

More Than Just Drop and Water Tests

Samsung’s lab goes beyond drop and water tests. The company conducts various assessments to evaluate the durability of different aspects of their devices. For example, robots continuously plug in chargers and press the side keys to test the USB port and buttons’ longevity. Another test involves dragging the S Pen across the Z Fold’s display repeatedly to ensure that the stylus pressure doesn’t impact durability.

Furthermore, Samsung’s testing lab also includes dedicated spaces that simulate real-world scenarios. For instance, areas designed to mimic cafes, park benches, and restaurants allow Samsung to assess how a device’s cameras perform in those environments. These tests help the company understand how their devices will hold up in everyday usage scenarios that users encounter regularly.

Extreme Temperatures: Pushing Phones to the Limits

One aspect that stood out during the tour of Samsung’s lab is how the company tests for extreme temperature resistance. Dedicated chambers expose devices to extreme cold and high humidity, ensuring phones will function properly in different climates worldwide. The environmental test chamber, which looks like an unassuming metal and glass box from the outside, can reach temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit).

These tests mimic the harshest conditions phones might face, guaranteeing that Samsung’s devices can perform reliably in extreme temperature settings. It is through such rigorous testing that Samsung delivers durable devices that can withstand even the most demanding environments.

The Development Process: Patience for Innovation

Touring Samsung’s reliability lab provides a glimpse into the company’s development process and sheds light on why new concepts take time to become real products. With every new component or feature added to their phones, Samsung must test its durability under extreme circumstances. This explains the extended development periods for concepts like folding screens and other innovative features showcased at events like CES. The reliability lab plays a crucial role in ensuring that these new technologies meet Samsung’s high standards before reaching the hands of consumers.

In conclusion, Samsung’s rigorous testing processes demonstrate the company’s commitment to delivering durable and reliable smartphones. Whether it’s drop tests, water resistance assessments, or extreme temperature trials, Samsung’s lab leaves no stone unturned in ensuring their devices can withstand the challenges of everyday life. So, the next time you drop your phone or accidentally spill water on it, you can trust that Samsung has put it through the paces to ensure it can handle whatever life throws at it.