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Display cracked while in my pocketGeneral

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  1. gearhead64

    gearhead64 Member

    Yesterday morning the display on my Samsung Galaxy S4 cracked while it was in either the front pocket or cargo pocket of a loose-fitting pair of cargo shorts. The only other item with it in the front pocket was a Chapstick. The display side was facing toward my leg. I carried a Motorola Atrix II like this for 3 years and never had a problem.

    The only thing I can figure is either I leaned against something (the counter or the seat of my truck), or I twisted or bent it somewhat while taking it out of my pocket. Just prior to noticing the problem I started to place it in the cargo pocket but then changed my mind. While pulling it back out I remember my hand getting slightly stuck and putting a small amount of pressure on the phone (certainly not enough for me to have been concerned about).

    The crack actually seems to be in the display itself, as I can't physically feel the crack in the glass. The crack runs horizontally across the middle of the screen in a shallow S shape. It does not run all the way to either end, but stops short about a 1/4 inch from either edge of the screen.

    This phone seems very fragile. I was just thinking the other day about how my dad carries his iPhone in his back pocket and sits on it, and my wife did the same thing with her S3 before she gave it to my son, who always carries it in his front pocket. Of course I didn't buy the protection plan, because it's extremely rare for me to damage anything. Looks like I'll be out $200+ to repair it. The touch screen isn't working quite right now. I get a lot of extra i's while typing, and the swipe to unlock only works if you swipe in the top half of the screen, not to mention the discoloration where the crack is.

  2. SEMIJim

    SEMIJim Well-Known Member

    zendroid likes this.
  3. BigRedGonzo

    BigRedGonzo Well-Known Member

    One of the issues that I have noted with the newer, thinner phones with larger screens is that the phone does flex when pressure is applied. Since the S4 has actual glass, this is a crack waiting to happen. Older phones tended to be thicker and had smaller screens and weren't, because of this, "flexible". I used to do the "Naked in the front pocket" thing with my phones, but with the S4 I have opted for a case and belt clip. I like the phone and my money too much to risk it with this handset.
    zendroid likes this.
  4. Goodspike

    Goodspike Well-Known Member

    Thinner phones and thinner bezels make phones more prone to breaking. Personally I'd prefer a more rugged phone, but it's hard/impossible to find a high end rugged phone. Thin sells.
  5. lotus49

    lotus49 Well-Known Member

    Isn't that what the S4 active is supposed to be?
  6. Goodspike

    Goodspike Well-Known Member

    I think that phone is waterproof, but not rugged. I remember being disappointed with it in some way.
  7. Sydney99

    Sydney99 Well-Known Member

  8. lotus49

    lotus49 Well-Known Member

    If you aren't bothered about how thick the phone is, cannot you just put your S4 in a rugged case like an Otterbox?

    I hate cases but seeing this (and the thread Sydney99 linked to on XDA) is starting to make me worry. I have never even damaged a phone, much less broken one, but it does seem like something is wrong when the screen can break behind the glass.

    Out of interest, does no-one here have household contents insurance? Mine covers me for accidental damage with a small excess (
    zendroid likes this.
  9. Goodspike

    Goodspike Well-Known Member

    One other point. Besides being thinner, the S4 is likely larger than most phones people are used to carrying in their pocket. That also contributes to more force being exerted on the screen.
    zendroid likes this.
  10. gearhead64

    gearhead64 Member

    I saw someplace else that a guy had his in an Otterbox and it cracked also.

    At this point I'm thinking maybe a solid steel box with padding, operate the touch screen with a feather.

    Mine has an Incipio featherlight, same thing my Atrix was in for 3 years and never had a problem.
  11. Goodspike

    Goodspike Well-Known Member

    I doubt most cases would provide any protection against this sort of thing. They are designed more for drops, not twisting action.
  12. zendroid

    zendroid Guest

  13. Goodspike

    Goodspike Well-Known Member

  14. beowulf7

    beowulf7 Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear about that. :( Were you using a screen protector?
  15. zendroid

    zendroid Guest

  16. gearhead64

    gearhead64 Member

    No. The screen (glass) is fine. The display behind the glass (AMOLED?) is what's cracked.
  17. Goodspike

    Goodspike Well-Known Member

    Could be, but reading that article and this thread it did occur to that the need for flexible displays might be just due to increasing screen size.
  18. zendroid

    zendroid Guest

    I'm very sorry to hear about your misfortune.

    This really hits home with me since I too have never damaged a phone in any way. You seem very mindful, aware, careful and smart. If this happened to you, it could happen to me. I can imagine your shock upon discovering the failure. And failure it is, it should hold up better than that.

    I've read an tremendous amount about the Galaxy line including the Note, but until reading this thread I was unaware this was an issue. While I enjoy taking care of my gear, I don't baby it. It seems that I better do some focused research on this before my Note 3 arrives, as I'm not fond of the idea of having to risk such an event happening to me.

    Am I overreacting?

    All thoughts, comments or suggestions welcome from any of you.

    Thanks !
  19. gearhead64

    gearhead64 Member

    I don't think you're overreacting. Part of the reason I started this post was to give people who are thinking of buying one of these more information with which to make their decision. Buying a new phone (or tablet), and then having to spend $250 periodically to replace screens that haven't been treated roughly is a big consideration.
    zendroid likes this.
  20. Colchicine

    Colchicine Well-Known Member

    For those of you talking about thin phones flexing and being more prone to breaking...
    There is a video of Samsung's factory testing of the S3 that showed it in a device that was literally twisting the phone from the corners. It looked unnatural how much it could bend without the glass breaking. I am unable to readily locate that video.

    Thinness is not the problem here. The problem is that a pressure point got applied to the glass and it broke.
  21. rmrlc

    rmrlc Well-Known Member

    GALAXY S4 Factory Testing Reliability - YouTube
    Colchicine likes this.
  22. Colchicine

    Colchicine Well-Known Member

  23. Goodspike

    Goodspike Well-Known Member

  24. Colchicine

    Colchicine Well-Known Member

    Right, in the S3 video I am thinking of and still can not find, they tested the whole phone, and it was deflecting probably an 1/8 inch off center.
  25. Goodspike

    Goodspike Well-Known Member

    Probably because at 9/64ths it cracked. :D

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