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The Samsung Galaxy S8 is a premium smartphone known the world round for its beautiful aesthetics, all-glass body — and, of course, its immense fragility. So what happens when the gorgeous handset hits the floor and a crack spiders across its delicate exterior?

This is the question that many Galaxy S8 and S8+ owners are asking themselves, as reports of this weakness have turned out to be true. There are some great Samsung Galaxy S8 cases What's the Best Samsung Galaxy S8 Case? 5 Affordable Ways to Protect Your Investment What's the Best Samsung Galaxy S8 Case? 5 Affordable Ways to Protect Your Investment What are the best cases for the Samsung Galaxy S8? Read More out there, but what recourse do owners have when an accidental drop turns out to be an expensive mistake?

Let’s take a look at the different options for owners and the likeliness they will need to use them.

Just How Fragile is the S8?

We’ve heard about fragile phones before: the prettier they get, the less durable they often prove to be. In 2016, many consumers wondered about how easily the Galaxy S7 Edge would break and expressed concerns. But little did they know that a more fragile successor was on its way.

Insurance provider SquareTrade conducted their usual drop test with the Galaxy S8 and S8+ this year. Not only did they find out that the devices are very prone to cracks — but they are basically the most fragile handsets the company has ever tested.

The breakability of a device is measured on a scale of 100: the closer to 100 it is, the more fragile the smartphone.

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The Galaxy S8 scored 76 on the scale, while the S8+ scored 77. This is classified as a “medium-high risk.” According to the company, the S8 is the first phone they’ve ever tested that has cracked on the first drop on all sides (e.g. front fall, back fall, edge, etc.).

“While the nearly all-glass design of the S8 makes it a beautiful phone, it’s extremely susceptible to cracking when dropped from any angle,” SquareTrade said.

SquareTrade’s tests were done with a six-foot (1.8-meter) drop onto concrete, which is quite the fall. But it doesn’t take much for the S8 to crack under pressure.

Users have reported cracks from falls as small as two feet. Covers don’t necessarily make the device impervious to damage either. A drop of three feet onto a tiled surface is enough to crack the phone with a cover on.

Seeing that the most minor bout of clumsiness can lead to cracks on your S8, what are your options for repair?

1. Samsung Premium Care/Samsung Mobile Care

Accidental damage to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ is not covered by the normal manufacturer’s warranty.

Furthermore, Samsung’s Accidental Damage From Handling (ADH), which gave owners of previous Galaxy models one free screen repair, does not apply to the company’s latest flagships. In fact, there is very little that is free at all with the new plans.

Instead of ADH, Samsung is offering another warranty option for cracked screens and panels for the Galaxy S8 The Greatest Smartphone You Shouldn't Buy: Samsung Galaxy S8 Review (and Giveaway!) The Greatest Smartphone You Shouldn't Buy: Samsung Galaxy S8 Review (and Giveaway!) The $800 Samsung Galaxy S8 is, without question, the best smartphone ever made. But you probably shouldn't buy one. Read More . The extended warranty goes by different names depending on the country. The U.S. currently offers Samsung Premium Care, while the U.K., India, and South Africa offer Samsung Mobile Care.

cracked-samsung-galaxy-s8

They are essentially different versions of a product with a central aim — providing cover for accidental damage.

Another common thread is one that will see many Samsung owners already disqualified. You need to register for the extended warranty within 30 days of buying your phone. After this period passes, you cannot buy the insurance policy.

But if you do sign up in time, what exactly do these warranty plans offer?

Samsung Premium Care

Samsung Premium Care is the extended warranty plan that applies to the United States. It comes with some extra benefits that users in other countries won’t be seeing in their policies.

It comes with a monthly fee of $11.99 (with the first month free) and a $99 deductible for each claim.

This allows you to exchange your damaged device for a new one. However, these claims are limited to three per twelve month period. Not handing in your damaged device once receiving your new one can attract an unrecovered equipment fee of up to $1,200.

It also comes with the extra perk of in-person support. Unfortunately, any S8 not bought through an authorized Samsung carrier or retailer cannot be registered for the policy. You also cannot transfer the policy if you sell your device.

Samsung Mobile Care

samsung mobile care

Samsung Mobile Care has the same core inspiration of its premium counterpart (covering accidental coverage), but comes with fewer bells and whistles.

The coverage plan also comes with a monthly fee (with the first month free). It is slightly cheaper though, at around $5.50 per month depending on the country. You can also opt for a bulk payment of around $100 for the full 24-month plan.

The plan has a 24-month limit from date of purchase, after which it will automatically lapse. And no, you can’t extend it past the 24-month period.

For each claim, which is limited to one claim per year for two years, users will have to pay an “incident fee”. During the first month, the fee for a damaged screen is around $115 and the fee for a damaged back cover is around $30. During the rest of the policy period, these fees drop to around $80 for a front repair and around $25 for a back cover repair.

 2. Taking It Into a Samsung Repair Center

If you missed out on Samsung’s extended warranty plans, you can take it into a Samsung repair center for a quote.

Samsung repair centers tend to be more expensive than third-party repair shops, but the warranty of the device is guaranteed by using authorized Samsung services.

We took a cracked Samsung Galaxy S8 into a repair center to see how much it would cost to repair. We were told it would be between $270 and $390.

However, when selling its mobile care plan in South Africa, Samsung has stated that a screen repair could cost up to $780 (more than what the phone is worth in the U.S.). This repair cost is over two thirds the local recommended retail price of the S8, and over half the price of the S8+. It’s uncertain how Samsung estimated the high cost of repair.

The benefits of choosing this option are that you are not limited by how many repairs you can get, and your manufacturer’s warranty will remain intact.

3. Using a Third-Party Repair Center

smartphone-repair
Image Credit: Negative Space via Pexels.com

The cost of taking your cracked S8 into a Samsung repair center may be a bit more than many consumers are willing to cough up — which is why you might want to turn to a third-party center. Though it should be noted though that this option may affect on your warranty, and Samsung won’t help you out if the repair shop damages your phone further.

On the other hand, third-party repairs are usually cheaper. The key is to first know what the warranty implications are, and then choose a reputable repair company with a track record of good service.

The quote we received from a third-party repair service for the same cracked Galaxy S8 amounted to around $235. However, we also received a quote for approximately $390. Some sites put the estimates for repair as high as $500.

You will have to shop around to see the price range in your area and weigh it up with the other options.

4. Claim From Your Insurance

If you have personal item insurance, or specific insurance for your phone Should You Buy Smartphone Insurance? Should You Buy Smartphone Insurance? What does smartphone insurance cover? What does it cost? And after all is said and done, is it worth it? Read More , claiming from these policies could be one of the best options. Of course, your policy will need to cover accidental damage instead of just theft or loss.

Claiming from your insurance though comes with the risk of your monthly premiums increasing. Depending on your insurance provider, this will also likely come with a significant deductible. On the other hand, it comes with the benefit that the number of times you can claim during a given period is higher than Samsung’s available plans.

Fruit Fixed repair shop owner Justin Carrol told Motherboard in a recent interview that the average insurance deductible is $200. However, you need to take into account subscription and policy fees.

SquareTrade, the company that performed the S8 drop test, states that its 24-month smartphone insurance plan costs $149 and their deductible per claim is $99 — which would put the total of a repair at around $248.

Mobile carriers also tend to offer their own insurance plans. So if you opted for one when buying your phone, consider claiming from them.

5. DIY Repair

diy repair replace woman fix tools
Image Credit: Merylin via pixabay.com

This is an option that more consumers are turning to, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

DIY repair allows you to skip the labor fee and only pay for the parts you need. However, this is an option that can put your warranty at risk. While you can find online guides for repairing your S8, the phone is considered moderately difficult to repair and requires a lot of patience, according to iFixit.com.

“While the back glass is tedious to remove because of adhesive, it’s definitely doable for a non-pro to replace,” the company told MakeUseOf. “A screen swap on the S8 is a whole other beast. Just accessing the display requires getting the back cover off, tunneling through the phone, and removing several other components. Then you need to get enough heat on the screen to lift the adhesive. Additionally, the front glass doesn’t use standard adhesive, it uses double-sided tape gunk that is more resistant to heat.”

iFixit adds that technically third-party or DIY repairs shouldn’t actually void the warranty for US consumers unless you damage the device during the process. This is based on the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which basically gives consumers the right to repair What Is the Right to Repair and Why Should You Care? What Is the Right to Repair and Why Should You Care? When old technology broke, you could fix yourself. If that failed, you could find a repair shop. With newer products, those options are disappearing. Let's talk about the importance of the Right to Repair. Read More . Unfortunately, many companies try to ignore this legislation to get out of warranty claims, iFixit says.

You’ll have to decide whether you want to roll the dice on this. Replacement part prices also depend on the company you buy them from. Again, you’ll want to choose a reputable company with a track record.

We’ve seen front glass replacements for the S8 for as little as $30 to around $60, while full-service screen replacements are hovering around the $280 to $300 range.

Looking to the Future

On the bright side, it is expected that repairing your S8 will get cheaper in the future.

“Most repairs get cheaper over time as parts become more widely available. Once independent repair shops can get a steady supply of parts and more shops start to offer the service, that can help drive the price down as well,” iFixit says.

However the lack of ADH repair services and the fragility of the S8 might drive some consumers away in the meantime.

What would you do if you cracked your Galaxy S8? Would you even buy it at all or just look at S8 alternatives Should You Buy a Samsung? 5 Samsung Galaxy S8 Alternatives Should You Buy a Samsung? 5 Samsung Galaxy S8 Alternatives Looking for Samsung Galaxy S8 alternatives? We've covered five of the best smartphone options in 2017, ranging in price from the budget to the premium. Read More ? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Sarah
    August 30, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    I regret buying this phone. I have been so careful with it, but 1 little mishap and boom - the screen is shattered. All quotes for a replacement range from $300 - 450. Not a small price tag and I have a newborn at home (with all of the associated costs). Sure you can buy covers that go all around the phone, but then why bother with this sleek and aesthetically pleasing phone if you are just going to cover it up? Shame on you Samsung for charging such a high amount for the replacement screen when your buyers have already forked out for the expensive model. Might be time for me to venture back to an iPhone!!!

  2. Dale
    August 28, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Had I known how fragile the S8 is I would definitely not have bought it. Do not buy this phone.

  3. GRAHAM STIRMAN
    August 14, 2017 at 7:29 am

    YOU SHOULD NOT BUY A SAMSUNG S8, I HAVE BOUGHT SAMSUNG SINCE THEIR FIRST GALAXY AND AFTER FINDING THAT THIS PHONE CRACKED SO EASILY AND IS NOT COVERED UNDER WARRANTY I WILL BE BUYING AN IPHONE 8 WHEN THEY COME ON THE MARKET. I WILL NEVER EVER BUY ANOTHER SAMSUNG PRODUCT.

  4. Drt
    August 13, 2017 at 2:27 am

    I've always been a fan of Samsung products. The S8 though, has forced me to reconsider. Just looking at this phone on a display I recognize serious design flaws that male it prone to breaking even if you have an Otterbox Defender. Cant believe they even let this design survive beyond a concept drawing.

  5. Gina Uys
    August 9, 2017 at 4:02 am

    If I knew all the facts when I bought the phone that I know now, I would never have bought it. After owning the phone for 1 week, my daughter had her phone in a case in her school bag and someone bumped her bag and the screen cracked. I have been a Samsung fan for years, but I think things are about to change.

  6. asdf
    August 7, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Best bet is to just chuck it in the trash. That's where this phone belongs.

  7. Jj
    August 2, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Had this s8 4 days had a protective case and the first time it slipped out of my pants pocket it broke! I was never offered the insurance but tried to purchase and was denied. Too bad this sort of thing happens and will prevent me from being a future Samsung customer. Save your money and the frustration buy something else!

  8. Richard Anderson
    July 31, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Got the S8+. Was getting out of my car and it slipped out of my pant pocket and cracked :-S. I have never had a phone fall out of my pocket like that before, this darn phone needs to be designed to have a little more friction. Didn't have a case because I'm careful with my phones. Had a liquid screen protector, guess I'm never buying one of those again.

  9. David Martchouk
    June 26, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    My sister bought one of those sweet high tech LED wallet like covers for her S8 in Bestbuy > On the front it is like a wallet cover, but you can see most of the Always On Display light up + all the lockscreen buttons work on the cover, like answering a call or pressing play for music on whichever app is opened, it looks amazing because it is as if she has no cover at all! The back also looks sturdy, kinda looks like the back of an Otterbox, cost her $80 Canadian dollars. I really hope it can take a beating, because she is very clumsy with phones in the past (I guess she didn't learn her lesson by buying it?). She also took my advice to get accidental insurance from her cellular provider this time, hopefully no ridiculous warranty void claims by her cellular provider.

    • Allyson
      September 17, 2017 at 11:53 pm

      My phone has slipped out of this particular case once & shattered the front screen...my insurance through T-Mobile replaced with a re-conditioned phone which didn't work well. They then sent me a new one. This new one slipped out of my hands & the back glass shattered too. This is so costly! They need to quit selling the S8 & S8+ and give current owners a credit towards a different model...

  10. Saroj w
    June 25, 2017 at 2:51 am

    Knowing all kind of troubles, I will not buy the phone at all. Old fashion glass is much more practical.

    • Megan Ellis
      June 25, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      It's an amazing phone, but yes, spending hundreds of dollars on the phone and then subsequent repairs that will likely be needed it a huge deterrent

  11. Bunty
    June 25, 2017 at 1:00 am

    I put a polyurethane case on the back side and a tempered glass screen protector on the front of my S8 before I left the Verizon store. It's a clear case minimal bulk, you barely notice it. I love the phone personally for the most part but I really could live without that Bixby button. Major annoyance.

    • Megan Ellis
      June 25, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      I'm hoping they develop more hardy covers for the phone that don't impact too much on the aesthetics. We had one with the cover that comes with the pre-ordered phone, but that didn't save it from cracks when it fell once. I think tempered glass screen protectors might help increase durability.

      I feel bad for owners of the phone who try protect it so carefully but it ends up cracking from one accident. I hope the Note 8 will be a bit more durable

    • Emma
      July 3, 2017 at 8:26 pm

      Bixby is the bane of my life lol

      • Megan Ellis
        July 7, 2017 at 10:01 am

        How come? I'm actually looking at Bixby vs Google Assistant in an article set to be published on the 11th.

  12. likefunbutnot
    June 24, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Compare to LG flagship phones: remove 12 Phillips screws. Pull off the speaker, front and back cameras, motherboard, light sensor, headphone jack and display connector (sounds complicated but you can do all that with your fingers). Slap a new $120 display assembly in place. Reverse steps.

    I am not willing to buy a phone that includes the word "delaminate" in the repair instructions. They're pretty but it's just not worth it.

    • Kuldeep Uppal
      July 13, 2017 at 1:47 am

      i wish i had read this before i bought my S8. not fit for purpose

  13. Marty
    June 24, 2017 at 12:09 am

    Throw it in the gutter and go buy another

    • Bababooey
      June 25, 2017 at 1:42 am

      Easy E ....love it

  14. Noneya
    June 23, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    I think it's funny when people walk around saying that they've never owned a case and would never put a case on a phone etc. etc. era bragging about how they would never put a case or protector on such a beautiful device, thinking that they're all that and then break the case and claim that they still aren't going to put a case on it LOL that's just completely moronic. While I have been fortunate never to have even dropped my phone, I've still always had a nice padded Corner case that's absorbent to shock and I always use a front panel glass for Extra Protection but I know it can still break the screen underneath. It can't hurt to wear a condom even though you plan on pulling out early ;-) but these people that never buy cases or front covers and brag about it like they're Invincible or something make me laugh, total moronic for not at least trying to protect your $700 or more device in my opinion.

    • Kuldeep Uppal
      July 13, 2017 at 1:49 am

      i had an original samsung silicone case on mine and it still cracked from 2.5 foot fall

    • Bruhah
      September 6, 2017 at 7:17 pm

      Spent $50 for a case for my phone - dropped it 6 inches and it's shattered... Should have just saved my money. Stupid phone cracked 1st day I owned it and didn't do anything to it.