The durability test of the Galaxy Z Flip questions Samsung’s ultra-thin “glass”

Samsung’s claim that the new Galaxy Z Flip uses “Ultra Thin Glass” sounded like a real breakthrough when the folding phone was announced last week. Until now, folding screens have used plastic screens, which can be easily scratched even with a nail. The Z Flip making the switch to glass, no matter how thin, made us hope that it would better withstand long-term use.

But it seems that might not be the case.

Zack Nelson has achieved Samsung’s second attempt at a folding phone, and the results of its JerryRigEverything durability test do not inspire confidence.

The Z Flip screen begins to show permanent marks and scratches long before the real crystal. Part of the tried and true JerryRigEverything test is to put the phones through a Mohs hardness barbed gauntlet to test when the screen glass begins to show damage. If you’ve seen Zack’s videos before, you’ve probably heard that modern smartphones have “scratches that start at level 6, with deeper grooves at level 7”.

The Z Flip begins to detect damage at level 2 and more significantly at 3, which is on par with the plastic screens of the Galaxy Fold and the latest Motorola Razr. “This screen is not scratch resistant at all,” Nelson says near the end of the video. At the end of the clip, it begins to make holes in the screen that cause the OLED panel to turn on, but there are no signs of broken glass.

In the presentation of the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung was categorical that it was crystal. My colleague Dieter Bohn pressured Samsung representatives to get more information on who is Samsung’s partner to manufacture it, how it was folded and what processes were applied to the glass. At that time, Samsung declined to comment on all those questions. But the company offered an answer when we requested a comment on this story.

Galaxy Z Flip features a Samsung Infinity Flex display with Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) to deliver a sleek, premium look and deliver an immersive visual experience, “a spokesperson said via email.” Samsung’s first UTG technology is different from others Galaxy flagship devices. While the screen bends, it should be handled carefully. In addition, Galaxy Z Flip has a protective layer on top of the UTG similar to Galaxy Fold.

Is Samsung trying to say that we are only seeing scratches on the outer protective layer? Those look pretty deep and permanent, but it’s possible. This is the layer Samsung talks about:

GIF: Samsung

We asked Samsung if it planned to offer a screen replacement service for the Z Flip as it did with the Galaxy Fold. Will. Z Flip buyers can get a one-time screen replacement for $ 119, says Samsung. In addition, you can also get a specialized screen protector designed for the Z Flip for free once. Here is the company’s statement about that:

As part of the Premier Service, we will offer a free one-time application of a Z Flip screen protector on certain UBIFs [U Break I Fix], Samsung brand locations or by sending them to the Samsung Premier Service by mail, ”the company added. “The screen protector will be applied by a specialist with the appropriate equipment to align and apply it. The program will launch soon.

Nelson believes that Samsung could be using a hybrid plastic polymer (with microscopic pieces of glass mixed) so that it can advertise this screen as “glass.” But if you can really scratch so easily, what seemed like a major selling point for the $ 1,380 Galaxy Z Flip is starting to look like an exaggerated marketing.

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