Why it matters: It’s no secret that foldable phones aren’t the most sturdy of devices. With Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip, however, there was hope that its extra-thin glass would be tougher than the easily scratched plastic displays found on similar handsets. But a new YouTube video suggests this isn’t the case.
Zack Nelson put the Galaxy Z Flip through one of JerryRigEverything’s durability tests, and it wasn’t a great showing. The glass doesn’t stand up to that used in standard smartphones, being just as easy to scratch as the Motorola Razr and Galaxy Fold.
Most modern handsets start showing scratches once the test reaches level 6, with deeper grooves at level 7. The Z Flip started showing damage at level 2, with more significant damage appearing at level 3—the same result as the Fold, Razr, and other phones with plastic screens.
Nelson suggests that Samsung might have used a glass-polymer hybrid in the Z Flip, but the company insists it uses Ultra Thin Glass “to deliver a sleek, premium look and offer an immersive viewing experience.” It added that the display should be “handled with care” and that the “Galaxy Z Flip has a protective layer on top of the UTG similar to Galaxy Fold.” It seems that layer isn’t enough to protect the glass in Nelson’s tests, though.
Is it sketchy they didnt obviously tell us there was a layer of plastic on top of the glass? Yes. Did they lie about using glass? No.— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) February 16, 2020
Did they promise scratch/dent resistance? No.
Samsung revealed to The Verge that it would be offering a screen replacement service for the Z Flip, which allows owners to purchase a one-time replacement for $119. The company is also giving away a specialized screen protector free for one time.
Last week saw iFixit perform a teardown of Z Flip rival the Motorola Razr, which it called “the most complicated phone it’s ever taken apart.” PBKReviews (above) was first to teardown the Galaxy Z Flip, which appears easier to disassemble than the Razr, though removing the screen is more difficult.