iPhone 4S faces off against Samsung Galaxy S3 in drop test

Is your inner gadget sadist just dying to see an iPhone 4S pitted against the brand new Samsung Galaxy S3 in a drop test? If so, you're in luck -- and the two phones, decidedly, are not. SquareTrade, a third-party electronics warranty provider, did the deed and here are the results.

The display on the Android phone cracked after the first drop from ear height. Round two of having kids toss the phones into the air resulted only in the rear of the iPhone shattering, though the Samsung Galaxy S 3 didn't get too banged up. The third test took place with fresh phones being left on the top of a car as it sped away, and again, the Samsung Galaxy S3's screen shattered while the iPhone 4S looked nearly untouched.

While this might all just seem like wanton destruction of expensive high-end gadgets, SquareTrade was simply illustrating some of the more common situations where phones get busted. According to their data, one in two phones fail due to drops of some kind, while one in four smartphones owned by parents were busted by their children. One in 15 people have damaged their phones in and around a car.

The iPhone 4 got a lot of flak early on for having a a screen that shattered so easily, and though that's to be expected in such a compact frame, it's interesting to see how the next major smartphone manufacturer fares in these kinds of tests (as inconclusive and unscientific as they may be). I would be really curious to see how many of Samsung's other phones fare under the same conditions.

Maybe it's just dumb luck that the iPhone fared so well in this case, but personally, I've been pretty happy with the iPhone 4's build quality. Even without a case or a screen protector, I haven't had any lasting. noticeable damage on my handset. How has your iPhone handled getting banged up?  Have you had a better or worse time with other phones? Would you prefer investing in a case or a protection plan to keep your iPhone safe?