Latest Foldable Smartphones Experiencing Failures and Durability Issues

Foldable smartphones are the latest device trend, and companies that include Motorola and Samsung have released new foldable smartphones over the course of the last few weeks.

The first foldable smartphone from Samsung, the Galaxy Fold, had major durability issues that caused its launch to be delayed. Samsung's newest foldable device, the Galaxy Z Flip, seems to be faring a bit better so far, but there are some complaints about the build quality and problems with the display. The same is true of Motorola's latest smartphone, the RAZR.

Motorola RAZR foldable smartphone, image via Ray Wong

Over the weekend, YouTuber JerryRigEverything tested the durability of the Galaxy Z Flip's display, which is made of a bendable "Ultra Thin Glass" for the first time rather than the plastic material used for the Galaxy Fold.

The testing suggests that the display of the Galaxy Z Flip scratches like plastic and isn't resistant to scratching or other damage. A fingernail on the display was able to make a permanent dent, which is concerning for a smartphone that costs $1,380.


In response to that video, Samsung told CNBC in a statement that the display should be "handled with care" and that it has the same protective layer used in the Galaxy Fold, which perhaps explains some of the scratching.

Another Samsung Galaxy Z Flip user on Twitter got his smartphone, opened the box, opened the phone, and then had it crack right down the middle. He suggests that it could have been due to cold weather.

Image via Twitter

Cracking at the fold was a problem that plagued the Galaxy Fold, and Samsung does warn against pressing hard on the screen and making sure there's nothing on the screen when it's folded closed, but a crack down the middle right out of the box is unexpected behavior.

The $1,500 Motorola RAZR, another foldable smartphone that came out in February, is also seeing durability issues. Ray Wong from Input over the weekend said that the site's Motorola RAZR has a display that's peeling apart just a week after it was purchased.

I'm too scared to even fold up the phone now because the more I close it the wider the spread gets. There's a long streak across the top of the bubble and at first glance, you might mistake it for a scratch. It's not a scratch; there's no physical damage on the surface of the lamination. It's literally the pixels splitting from the two layers.
The damage is more than just cosmetic - the touchscreen is broken and the warping on the surface makes touches and taps unresponsive. Wong isn't sure what caused the damage, but as with the Galaxy Z Flip crack, he speculates that it could be related to cold temperatures.

There have been a few rumors suggesting Apple is working on foldable display technology, but given the super high price points of foldable displays and the ongoing durability issues that have impacted every foldable smartphone to date, Apple may be planning to hold off on a foldable iPhone.

Apple in early February shared a patent for a foldable device with movable flaps to prevent the display from creasing, and that's the latest that we've heard about an Apple device with foldable display technology.


Interestingly, Apple has also separately patented a self-heating display for a foldable device to prevent damage in cold weather, which seems to be a significant issue for foldable devices at the current time.

Of course, Apple patents a lot of technologies that don't ever come to fruition, so whether or not these patents and other related patents hint at Apple's work on a foldable ‌iPhone‌ remains to be seen. At the current time, there are no rumors indicating a folding ‌iPhone‌ is something that we can expect to see in the near future, and certainly not in 2020. The 2020 iPhone lineup will be similar to the 2019 ‌iPhone‌ lineup, though Apple is planning to implement new technologies like 5G connectivity and 3D cameras.


This article, "Latest Foldable Smartphones Experiencing Failures and Durability Issues" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Motorola’s New P30 Smartphone Blatantly Copies iPhone X

Motorola's latest P30 smartphone is making headlines this week, but not for an impressive feature set or a unique design. As it turns out, Motorola has opted to copy the design of the iPhone X, resulting in an Android smartphone that's nearly identical to Apple's flagship device.

The P30, which features a 6.2-inch display, is by far the most iPhone X-like Android smartphone that we've seen yet, with a frontal design that includes rounded corners, a notch that's similar to the iPhone X notch in size and shape, and an edge-to-edge design. There's a small bezel at the bottom, which is the only feature that distinguishes the P30 from the iPhone X.


At the back, the P30 features a dual-lens camera setup in a vertical orientation much like the iPhone X, and it replaces the Apple logo with a Motorola logo that doubles as a fingerprint sensor. The colorful metallic body of the device is reminiscent of the Huawei P20, making the rear of the smartphone look like a P20/iPhone X hybrid.


Black and white versions look a little more like the iPhone X, and Motorola has even been marketing the device with iPhone-style wallpapers.


Motorola's P30 is available in China and isn't being distributed in the United States just yet, and while it has an iPhone X-style design, it is positioned as a mid-range device that's more affordable, perhaps attempting to lure customers who want the iPhone X look but aren't able to shell out $1,000.


Inside the Motorola P30, there's a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chip, 6GB RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 3,000mAh battery. The two rear cameras feature 5 and 16-megapixel sensors while there's a 12-megapixel front-facing camera. Despite the notch, there's no front-facing facial recognition system.


As The Verge humorously pointed out, the P30 looks so similar to the iPhone X that when doing a Google image search based on the P30, Google guesses that it's an iPhone X.


Since the iPhone X launched last November, many Android smartphone makers have adopted the notched design to allow for maximum screen space to compete with the iPhone lineup. Smartphones from manufacturers that include LG, Leagoo, Huawei, OnePlus, Asus, Vivo, Oppo, and others have adopted the notch design. Even Google is set to copy the iPhone X's notch with the upcoming Google Pixel 3 XL, based on leaked images.

Apple is planning to unveil three additional smartphones that use the notch design introduced with the iPhone X, and we're just a few weeks away from their debut. Based on rumors, we can count on a second-generation 5.8-inch iPhone X with an OLED display, a larger-screened 6.5-inch OLED iPhone that can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus," and a 6.1-inch device with an LCD display and a lower price tag.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

All three will feature an edge-to-edge display with a notch that houses a TrueDepth camera system, doing away with the Home button in the iPhone lineup. Apple is expected to introduce the new 2018 iPhone lineup right around the second week of September, perhaps on September 11 or September 12.


Discuss this article in our forums