The Galaxy S20 Ultra is too fragile for a $1,400 smartphone – Business Insider – Business Insider

  • I accidentally dropped Business Insider’s Galaxy S20 Ultra review unit from knee height without a case, and the drop damaged the screen, back, and camera module. 
  • The surface was concrete, which I’m sure didn’t help.
  • There are no official repair services for the Galaxy S20 Ultra yet, but repairs for Samsung’s previous Galaxy S10 and Note 10 phones suggest it could cost around $380 to replace the screen and glass back. 
  • All smartphones are fragile, but few cost as much as the S20 Ultra. It’s too easy to damage the $1,400 Galaxy S20 Ultra. A case would surely make a huge difference, but it’s not fail-safe.
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Videos from respected YouTube channels have shown that the Galaxy S20 Ultra — and presumably the other S20 models, too — is a durable smartphone, but a single accidental drop from knee-height showed otherwise. 

Indeed, Business Insider’s Galaxy S20 Ultra review unit slid off my knees while I was sitting down, and the device hit a concrete floor, resulting in a cracked back and a hairline crack on the camera module. There’s also a small cluster of dead pixels on the S20 Ultra’s screen.

Apart from the cracks and the dead pixels, the Galaxy S20 Ultra still works just fine. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a case for the Galaxy S20 Ultra and Samsung didn’t provide one. From a knee-heigh drop, a case would surely have made the difference that saves the S20 Ultra from cracks. 

Still, the $1,400 Galaxy S2o Ultra lost much of its appeal and value from a single unfortunate accident. I maintain that $1,400 is too high an asking price for a device that can be damaged so easily. A case would surely have helped, but they’re not fail-safe, either. 

Samsung currently doesn’t have any information for Galaxy S20 repairs, so it’s unclear how much it would cost to repair the screen, glass back, and the camera module. Samsung didn’t respond to a request for comment or questions about the proper way to protect the S20 Ultra from damage.

Samsung charges $280 for a screen repair for the Galaxy S10+ 5G and the Note 10 5G — models with similarly high price tags when they were released in 2019 as the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Based on that, a simple screen repair for the S20 Ultra could also cost a similar $280.

As for the back glass panel, I’m seeing estimates of $100 to repair, based on a Galaxy Note 10 5G repair quote from device repair chain uBreakiFix.

And as for the hairline crack on the camera module, there’s nothing specific for the Galaxy S20 Ultra yet, but a quote from uBreakiFix for a Galaxy S10 camera repair suggests it could be a $150 repair. Thankfully, the crack doesn’t cross any of the camera lenses, so that’s something I’d live with. 

In total, I’d be looking at a $380 repair to get the Galaxy S20 Ultra into aesthetic shape again. 

Check out the damage from a knee-height drop onto a hard surface:

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