Samsung's claim that the new Galaxy Z Flip uses "Ultra Thin Glass" sounded like a real breakthrough when the foldable phone was announced last week. So far, plastic displays have been used for foldable screens, which can also be easily scratched with a fingernail. The Z Flip, which switched to glass, however thin it may be, made us hope that it would withstand better for long-term use.
But it seems that this may not be the case.
Zack Nelson got his hands on Samsung's second attempt at a foldable phone, and the results of his JerryRigEverything durability test don't inspire confidence.
The Z Flip's display shows permanent marks and scratches much earlier than the actual glass. Part of the proven JerryRigEverything test is to run phones through a glove with Mohs hardness tests to test when the display glass is damaged. If you've watched Zack's videos before, you've probably heard that modern smartphones have "scratches from level 6 with deeper grooves from level 7".
The Z Flip takes damage from level 2 and even more clearly from 3, which corresponds to the plastic screens of the Galaxy Fold and the newer Motorola Razr. "This screen isn't scratch-proof in any way," Nelson said towards the end of the video. At the end of the clip, he starts punching holes in the screen that bring the OLED panel to Fritz – but there are no signs of a glass break.
When the Galaxy Z Flip was unveiled, Samsung thought it was glass. My colleague Dieter Bohn urged Samsung representatives for more information about who Samsung's manufacturing partner is, how it was made to bend, and what methods were used on the glass. At that time, Samsung declined to comment on any of these issues. However, the company responded when we asked for a comment on this story.
The Galaxy Z Flip has an Infinity Flex display with the ultra-thin glass (UTG) from Samsung, which offers an elegant premium appearance and an impressive viewing experience, ”said a spokesman by email. “Samsung's first UTG technology is different from other Galaxy flagship devices. As the display bends, it should be handled with care. In addition, the Galaxy Z Flip has a protective layer on the UTG, similar to the Galaxy Fold.
Is Samsung trying to say that we only see scratches on the outer protective layer? These look pretty deep and permanent, but it is possible. This is the level that Samsung is talking about:
We asked Samsung whether it is planning to offer a screen replacement service for the Z Flip, as is the case with the Galaxy Fold. It will. According to Samsung, Z Flip buyers can get a one-time screen replacement for $ 119. In addition, you will receive a special one-time free screen protector for the Z Flip. Here's the company's explanation:
As part of the Premier Service, we offer a one-time free application of a screen protector for the Z Flip at selected locations of UBIF (U Break I Fix), the Samsung brand or by mail to the Samsung Premier Service, ”the company added. “The screen protector is applied by a specialist with the right equipment for aligning and attaching. The program will be launched soon.
Nelson believes Samsung could use a hybrid plastic polymer (with microscopic glass shards) to advertise this display as "glass." But if it really can be scratched that easily, what appeared to be a major selling point for the $ 1,380 Galaxy Z Flip is beginning to look like over the top marketing.