The new hinge design is said to make the phone thinner when folded and reduce the appearance of a crease when the main screen is unfolded. But according to this report, Samsung is testing the hinge to withstand 200,000 folds like the previous one, falling short of claims from recent competitors like the Honor Magic VS and Oppo Find N2 – both rated at 400,000 folds.
The Electric report does state that the hinge would be tested to a maximum “limit” of 300,000 folds, but 200,000 folds seems to be the main bar this design needs to clear. After 200,000 folds (which takes four to five days!), the hinge should retain at least 85 percent of its original strength. That test theoretically stands for about five years of daily use if you open the phone just over 100 times a day. The Magic VS and Find N2, on the other hand, should last about 10 years, which is about an eternity in consumer electronics years.
To be fair, the Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4 offer IPX8 water resistance ratings – neither the Find N2 nor Magic VS has an IP rating of any kind. If you drop your non-waterproof foldable phone in a puddle two years after owning it, it’s not pleasant to know that it would have continued to fold for another eight years.
Still, we hope that Samsung pushes the boundaries of its foldable devices a little further this year. It has run virtually unchallenged for Foldable of the Year in recent years in the US, where competition is sparse. With more candidates (hopefully) in the mix this year, it would be nice if Samsung felt a little more pressure to innovate – we’ll just keep our fingers crossed for bigger cover screens and better cameras.