Gadgets for humans

Galaxy Fold survives 60 percent of claimed folds in stress test, but that’s okay

When Samsung went on its apology tour for the Galaxy Fold, it claimed the device could outlast 200,000 folds, meant to estimate about five years of use. It was supposed to helpe assure its re-released Fold would be able to stand the test of time. But the company probably didn’t think anyone would go through the trouble of actually testing the device for that many folds.

Luckily for us, that’s exactly what CNET and SquareTrade did, the latter which built a machine to fold the phone in rapid succession.

Unluckily for Samsung, the device only lasted for about 60 percent of its claim – 119, 380 folds. In other words, closer to about 3 years of use. You can view a condensed version of the test below; it breaks at about the 25:30 mark:

But okay, there are a few important caveats here. Most obvious is the speed and force which SquareTrade’s robot uses to fold the device. For comparison, here’s the 34-second video Samsung put out:

Samsung said its test takes a “full week” to perform, while at the rate CNET was folding the device, it would’ve reached 200,000 folds in under a day.

I don’t know which one is closer to real use. Samsung’s looks too gentle – there’s no snap – while Squaretrade’s seems too rough. Either way, they’re clearly not testing the phones in the same manner.

Besides, how many people do you know that keep their phones for more than three years anyway? I’m all for our devices lasting longer, but few people I know have kept their devices for more than 2 years, especially on the Android side of the tech spectrum.

It’s good to get some independent testing, but to me, this actually looks like a win for Samsung. We know from other tests the Galaxy Fold is no durability champion; there are necessary compromises to a plastic screen and new form factor. But that hinge, at least, seems to be the real deal.

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Published October 5, 2019 — 00:10 UTC