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In brief: Samsung's first Galaxy Fold famously suffered a number of durability issues that saw its launch delayed, but how does the third iteration of the foldable stand up to abuse? JerryRigEverything found out by subjecting the device to the YouTube channel's usual round of torture tests.
In trying to alleviate fears that the company's $1,800 phone is easily damaged, Samsung claims the new 7.6-inch main screen is "80% harder" than its predecessor. The AMOLED is covered with ultra-thin glass and a screen protector. Zack Nelson notes that the Mohs scale of hardness isn't the best for plastic as it will all fall between levels 2 and 3, which is the case with the Galaxy Z Fold 3; the display under the plastic might be tougher, but the plastic layer is still pretty soft. However, Samsung does warn during the startup not to touch the display with fingernails.
The Gorilla Glass Victus-covered front and rear of the phone scratch at level 6 with deeper grooves at level 7, which is expected, so keys and coins in pockets shouldn't do any damage.
Next up is the special S-Pen designed for the Z Fold 3. It comes with a spring-loaded tip that does seem to protect the screen from damage. Snapping the stylus in two appears relatively easy, though, so try not to take out your anger on it.
Samsung has also praised the Z Fold 3's new Armor Aluminum frame. Nelson notes that it scratches at about the same level as most other aluminum phones, though the damage is superficial. The frame does make the handset much less susceptible to cracking, however, as we can see during the snap tests later in the video.
The foldable comes with an IPX8 rating, meaning it's water-resistant, but it's not dust proof. Samsung reportedly protects the phone from water by covering the internals with an oleophobic coating that repels liquid without being watertight. Nelson covers the Z Fold 3 with dirt and closes the device, and while that does leave scratches on the screen, the folding mechanism appears to work fine—debris entering the gap between the first Galaxy Fold's display and body caused a lot of problems.
Overall, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 performed pretty well throughout most of the tests, especially for a bendable device—which at one time had a reputation for damaging easily. A recent teardown that showed off the phone's inner workings confirmed it's just as difficult to repair as the previous Folds, so we can all appreciate the improved sturdiness.